Star of Youth

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Chapter 6

A day after her heartbreak, Susan scrolled through her gallery and deleted all of Alvin’s photos.

“I will show him.” She said furiously.

Vanessa walked past her granddaughter with concern and asked: “What are you doing?”

Susan gazes at her grandma and she informs her that is deleting every image, photo or video related to Alvin.

She then marks all Alvin’s photos, which were 15 on her phone, and puts them in the digital trash can.

“I’m so fucking done.” Susan said out loud.

Hatred fueled her thoughts, and she wanted to break her phone in half just by thinking about her former crush.

Ari stood in the distance, worried about his sister and her phone. Vanessa grit her teeth from being scared, not knowing what to tell Susan to ease her anger. She looked at Ari and she nodded and she told Susan that she had to go.

With an awkward giggle, she waved at her granddaughter as she scurried to her grandson.

They immediately left, and Vanessa started asking Ari about recent topics.

“Did those two leave you alone?” Vanessa asks.

Ari smiled and said that they did. His grandma then smiled from joy and she stated that if Ari’s bullies will even touch him or hurt him, then she will tear in half.

“Nobody will hurt you while I am here.” Vanessa highlighted.

When they did not know of a conversation, Vanessa thought about recent memories she had made. She felt like she achieved peace for now.

But then something struck Vanessa. A realization that it’s the sixth day before she passes away. To her it seemed like it would erase all the work like in a snap of someone’s fingers.

She stared into nothing and tried to shrug it off. The thoughts were reaching the breaking point and Vanessa felt the cold that was ahead of her. It seemed like she was already in her cold coffin.

“What’s wrong?” Ari asked, which snapped Vanessa out of her thoughts.

“Oh, I’m just thinking about something.” Vanessa said with a forced laugh.

They arrived in front of the school’s main entrance. Ari gave Vanessa a cheery smile and waved at her.

“See you later.” he said.

Vanessa was shaking and in the feeling of hopelessness. She waved back with her icy hand. She watched Ari as he walked into the school with the ocean of other children.

Ari vanished from Vanessa’s sights and in her mind it was like a barrier that was forming between her and her beloved grandson.

She self hugged and tried not to crumble on her feet. Her eyes were watery but tried to hold the urge to cry.

While she was on the way home, Vanessa felt like winter was following her with every footstep. Each step she took was like walking in cold snow while the world’s colors reduced to gray.

When Vanessa got home, she locked the door to her room, and she curled up herself and finally let her tears go.

Her heart shattered to pieces and she couldn’t hold the pain any longer.

Her heart felt like a cold dagger of time, which was slowly erasing her cheerful personality.

It was like a glorious trip that will be over soon.

A familiar voice then said: “I’m sorry Vanessa.”

Vanessa wiped her tears, and she stared at her husband’s ghost.

She asked: “What are you doing here?” while still trying to stop her tears.

“I’m here to tell you that you’re doing great.” Edward responded to cheer his wife.

She sobbed and asked: “How do you know? Do you have a magic TV up there?”

Edward giggled and with a smirk replied: “Sort of.”

Vanessa rolled her eyes, and Edward then pep talked about her.

He sat down on a nearby chair and said: “Look, when I knew I was about to kick the bucket, I knew one thing and that was that it’s going to hurt leaving you and Emma. But then I realized that if I feel sorry about that, then I will not spend my remaining time enjoying with you and her.”

Vanessa then silently agreed. She let out a smile and looked at Edward.

“You always cheered me up. Did you know that?” she said, wiping her tears and gazing at him.

“Just promise me you’ll do the right thing.” Edward pleaded.

“Now do the right thing,” he said with excitement.

Vanessa jumped from the bed and hugged and lifted her husband. Edward embraced her back.

“I honestly didn’t think that hugging a ghost would work.” She said, concerned.

“Honestly, too.” Edward admitted as well without breath in his lungs he shouldn’t have.

“I’ll see you later.” Vanessa said excitedly.

She then turned away but then spun, but then spun back and hugged him again.

Vanessa jumped from the stairs and quickly grabbed her wallet, and then sprinted away to the store from her daughter’s house.

While on a way to the store, Vanessa swiftly brainstormed about what to buy for her daughter and grandkids. She pondered about giving Ari a toy gun and then giving Susan something to wear and then a big rose for her one and only daughter.

Upon arriving at the store, she walks to the toy shop and sees a toy crossbow. She took out the money from her wallet and gave it to the shopkeeper after she took the crossbow from the shelf.

She thanked him, and then quickly sprinted to the nearby clothes shop. The shop had an 80´s bus in the middle of the shop and a sense of nostalgia filled the youthful grandmother. Vanessa then goes to the jacket section for women. There was an orchid pink colored bomber jacket with the text: “Forever young.”

“Perfect!!” Vanessa said electrified.

After paying for the bomber jacket, she moves to the flower shop, and she asks for ten roses.

“Isn’t it a bit too expensive for you, young lady?” the slightly older shopkeeper asks Vanessa as she is about to pay.

“Money will not be with you in the afterlife.” Vanessa said, and she entered the pin on her credit card.

“Wait, what?” the confused shopkeeper wanted to ask.

But without having time to answer, Vanessa was already leaving and heading home with all the newly bought gifts.

Some time later, Emma asks her kids how their days went. Susan sat on the couch, bored, cringing at her terrible confession from yesterday.

“It was okay, but the boys are probably plotting something.” Ari claimed with uneasy feelings.

Then the doors of the house opened, and Vanessa rushed in while out of breath.

“Hi!!!! Sorry I went to the store!” She said, and she handed Ari a toy crossbow.

“This is for you, so you don’t lose to me again in a duel.” Vanessa told Ari with a smirk.

Ari smiled and hugged his grandma. “Thank you!” he said excitedly.

After Vanessa patted him on his back, she turned her attention to Susan. She sat down and put the bag with her gift on the table.

Vanessa took a deep breath and grabbed Susan’s hands.

“I know you feel bad about Alvin and that it hurts, but I hope that this will cheer you up.” Vanessa said to uplift her granddaughter.

She then reached for the jacket and she revealed it to Susan and said: “Consider it a gift that I hope will make you realize you can always be young at heart and also that you are always pretty. No matter if you get rejected by any boy in the world.”

And she turned and revealed the back of the jacket with a big rose with the text: Forever young.

A little smile formed on Susan’s face and she said: “Awww, it’s really pretty. Thank you.”

Vanessa smiled back, and she caressed her granddaughter on the cheek, and then she glared at Emma.

She launched herself from the couch and walked to the kitchen.

Vanessa took out the roses for her dear daughter.

“This is for you Emmie!” she said while her hands shook.

“Why are you so nervous?” Emma asked with a curious smile.

Letting a nervous laugh, Vanessa ignored the question and then told Ari and Susan to go try their new gifts upstairs. Ari ran upstairs, trying out his new toy on his target that was placed at his room’s door.

While taking her new roses, Emma asked with her back turned from her mother: “Why are you so nervous today, mom?”

Scratching her arm, Vanessa chuckled and made up a sentence: “Oh, I am just excited about the gifts I gave you…”

Vanessa’s legs were like her legs transformed into sticks that were about to crack. A tear fell from her eye and Emma turned around and asked what’s wrong with her head tilted.

The shaking grandma felt the anxiety taking hold of her with each second that passed. It felt like nails were pinning her to the floor, making her unable to move.

And then Vanessa stuttered: “I-I have six days left before I pass away…”

“M-my wi-wish gave me only twelve days to live…” she explained with all her remaining strength.

Emma then dropped the roses on the ground. The shock made her speechless and was so severe she couldn’t tell what to feel.

Emma collapsed backwards with tears filling her eyes.

“No, no, no, no!!!” Emma said, trying to deny what she had heard.

Vanessa tried to comfort her daughter, and she pleaded: “Please, don’t tell this to Ari and Susan.”

It shattered Emma’s world to pieces and Vanessa swiftly went for a comforting hug, trying to ease her daughter’s pain.

And as Emma cried on her mother’s shoulder, Vanessa told her: “I will always live through you…”

While they embraced, Ari was hiding behind a wall and heard everything. He was heartbroken, and he tried to be as quiet as possible. He covered his mouth, so he didn’t make a sound by sobbing. And then he ran upstairs as he struggled to hold his tears.

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