Star of Youth

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Chapter 12

Vanessa wakes up and sees her grandkids lying on her and embracing her in her bed. She smiles and hugs them tighter. She slowly stands up and puts a blanket on both of her precious grandkids.

Then meanders downstairs, seeing her daughter in tears. Emma almost collapses from the trauma. She ran towards her mom and embraced her like never.

“Shhh. It’s alright.” Vanessa told Emma.

Emma’s tears start flowing like water from waterfalls.

“I’ll miss you!” she sobbed.

Vanessa pats her daughter on the back. She lightly smiles and hugs back tight.

The day went silent. She later sits on a bench outside, looking at the sky, thinking about something. Inside the family house, everyone looks at Vanessa, heartbroken.

Vanessa thinks for a bit and shakes her head. Then she chuckles and writes something.

Then lunchtime comes, and she slowly walks in. She looks at the entire family shaking and being worried about her.

Vanessa calmly eats her food, and she cleans the dishes and then sits on the couch and starts writing again on a sheet of paper.

“Granny?” Ari asks, worried.

“What do you need, sweets?” Vanessa asks with a smile.

“W-what will you do after you…” Ari said and struggled to finish the sentence.

Vanessa looks down and smiles. Then looks back at her little star and says: “Be your guardian angel silly.”

Ari cries and asks: “How can you be one when you’re not with us?”

Vanessa smiles and replies: “One day everyone gets strong enough to go out there alone. The thicker your skin, the higher you go.”

Ari then countered with: “I’m not as strong as you.”

Vanessa replied simply with: “No, you’re stronger.”

And she gives her grandson a wide smile. She then puts the arms to the side and opens herself for a hug.

Ari jumps in and hugs Vanessa more tightly than ever.

While she embraced her grandson, she gazed at a photo of her husband on the wall, and she smiled, knowing she will be with him again after all this time.

“Do you guys have some videotapes in the loft?” Vanessa asked.

Emma asked why her mother was asking.

“You’ll see.” Vanessa chuckled.

She entered the loft and grabbed a really dusty box downstairs. She blew off the dust and took out a videotape.

The videotape had a date written on it: 5th June 1971.

“There it is…” she said in disbelief.

She popped in the videotape and told everyone to sit down on the couch and watch the TV.

The video started playing and Vanessa had goosebumps.

It showed a wedding of a young Vanessa with her husband.

“You may kiss the bride!” the wedding priest said.

The newly married couple kissed and everybody cheered.

As the video was playing, Vanessa’s eyes were watery.

“Aww.” Susan said from the wholesome footage.

“You looked so good.” Ari added.

Vanessa wiped her tears and chuckled with a response: “Excuse me, I look good all the time, Ari.”

The wedding music played and Vanessa and Edward ran to the car as everyone was clapping.

Emma couldn’t stop herself from crying as well, seeing her father so young.

The footage ended, and they played more tapes, including Emma’s first birthday.

Vanessa felt like her life flashed before her eyes.

“It was a wild ride.” She said to herself.

Vanessa didn’t even know, but it was suppertime. Susan was preparing a cake and Vanessa sat down on the chair and Emma gave her some water.

Susan then gently put a New York cheesecake in front of Vanessa and told her to enjoy it.

“I always enjoy an excellent cake.” She complimented her granddaughter.

She then took out a paper and started writing.

The last 4 hours of the day strike Vanessa sits on the couch writing.

Then her grandkids and daughter come to the living room with pillows and blankets.

“What is that for?” Vanessa asks with a smile.

“We want to be with you during your last hours.” Emma told her mother.

Vanessa smiles and almost cries from the wholesome situation.

The group of three sit next to Vanessa. Susan puts a pillow under Vanessa’s head for comfort. Ari then puts a blanket on his grandma. And Emma puts a teacup in front of her mom.

They all embrace her as she is writing something mysterious the entire day. Vanessa stops writing and pulls everyone towards her.

Then Vanessa suggests: “Do you guys want a last photo for a memory?”

Ari replies with tears in his eyes: “Of course we do!”

Then Emma tells everyone to unite and they take a family photo. In the photo were Susan and Ari hugging their grandma and much as possible. And Vanessa smiles as much as she can while secretly making bunny ears behind her grandchildren.

“Say cheese!” Vanessa said.

Then the last minutes of the day struck and everybody was asleep on the couch and only Vanessa remained awake.

She then stops writing the last sentence and puts down the pen.

Then she folds the letter and writes on it, “For my dearest.”

Vanessa then put her blanket on Ari.

She then looks at the clock and tears start coming out of Vanessa’s eyes.

She slowly closes her eyes as her soul leaves her body.

“I hope everyone will live with no regrets.” She said for the last time.

It was the next morning and Ari woke up and saw his grandma smiling like she was sleeping.

“No!!!!” he says in tears of shock.

He then hugs his grandma, and he then sees a letter fall from Vanessa’s hand.

Ari looks at the letter with tears in his eyes and opens when it says, “For my dearest.”

The letter says: “My dearest, please don’t be sad that I’m gone. It was supposed to happen. Sometimes we lose the ones we love, but we must keep going and don’t let the world break us. We should break the world!”

Then Ari continues reading the letter: “Nobody is immortal but what can be immortal is someone’s legacy.”

“I hope you will live your life like it was your last day on this planet. Never let go of the beauty of life and never let go of your dreams.”

“Always look at the light and always be a good person, even during the hardest times.”

“Never give up on your purpose. If you have dreams, chase them till the end of time.”

“I love you forever.”

“Your grandma Vanessa.”

Ari hugged the letter, and Susan and Emma cried their hearts out.

“I won’t fail.” Ari said as he looked up.

Ten years pass and Ari stands and sits on a chair in front of an enormous crowd. It was his first ever concert. The fans cheer for him out loud and then he says to the microphone. “I’d like to dedicate this song to someone special. Someone who saved my life and someone who was my light on my darkest days.”

And Ari plays the piano. A beautiful melody starts and then the lyrics start echoing from the stage.

“Granny, this is our story I’m about to tell, the ways we lived; we laughed as well.”

“Now you’re resting in the heavens above, watching down as I sing these words.”

“Granny, this is my time.. to shine, I’m standing on this stage today, missing the games we played.”

“But I’m grateful for your days, the days you spent with us, those memories stacked like a tree, forever being cherished by you and me.”

“Your laugh stays around me so I embrace our happy times we shared. I’ll still act like you’re sitting there.”

“As happy as they make me, your memories here lie.”

“I’ll happily carry your legacy, so you live another day.”

“That smile, the light in your eyes- You taught me how to love, to laugh and to live.”

“You lit me up and your memories will forever light me up.”

“So granny, that promise I once made you- I won’t back till I fulfill it, in your name, your honor.”

“My dearest granny, this is all for you.”

And the song ended.

The fans cheered, and Ari cried out in joy. He takes out a little photo of him being young with his family and grandma. Ari finally could tell his grandmother in the afterlife: “We did it…” He stands up and bows to his audience and from backstage the ghosts of Vanessa and Edward proudly watch the beginning of their grandson’s music career.

The crowd whistled and cheered and then the curtains closed and so did the story of Vanessa Lechnerova.

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