Hello:

I wrote a short story for my college application. The instructions say that emphasis should be placed on describing the scene and developing the characters.
Can anyone please read it and tell me if it is ok or if there is any grammatical/spelling mistake?

Here it goes:

Never Despair

As Chris and Amy awaited the start of their father’s funeral, the only thing they could think of was the day their father died. That day had been like a nightmare for the twins. The night before, their aunt called them to tell them that their father was very sick, and that they should pray for him. Chris and Amy wouldn’t conform with that and decided that they should do something about it. However, they knew that the hospital had a policy against children visiting. Therefore, they decided to write a letter to their father. When it was ready Amy read it out loud to see if it sounded OK.

Dear father:

You don’t know how much we have missed you. Since you left for the hospital, we haven’t argued or fought as much as we did before. We promise that once you return, we will behave much better. These last few weeks have been very lonely without you. Our aunt said that you are not doing so well, so we decided to write you this letter because we are not allowed to visit you at the hospital. Please be strong, and don’t forget your promise to return home before your birthday. We have been planning a surprise for you. In fact, everything is almost ready. We already have a present for you. Don’t forget that we love you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Amy & Christopher Thompson

P. S: Don’t lose the hope. You’ll be all right.

As they entered the hospital to deliver the letter, they were stopped by a grumpy looking nurse, who told them that they couldn’t visit their father. So, they explained that they just wanted her to give him a letter. She said that it wouldn’t be possible until visiting hours, and if they wanted her to deliver the letter, they would have to come back in two more hours.

When they returned to the hospital, they found their aunt at the entrance waiting for them. At first, they thought that she was mad because they had left their home without telling her.

"Aunt Elizabeth, we are…." They started to apologize, when they noticed that the white of her eyes was bloodshot. Her face wasn’t wet, however, which meant that she had dried it before their arrival. Their aunt started taking long breaths before she could say anything. She could barely put the words together to explain what had happened.

"Your dad…, your daddy has gone to heaven," she said. It took several seconds for the kids to analyze and understand what she was saying.

"Is this some kind of a joke?," Amy asked angrily. Their aunt shook her head without saying another word, and both kids exploded into tears. It seemed as though the louder they cried, the more pain they could take out of their hearts.

" I’m sorry about your father… he was a good man" someone suddenly said, and brought them back to reality.

Amy and Chris were still at the funeral. Although, they had arrived at the cemetery 10 minutes ago, it seemed like an eternity. To worsen the situation, the day was rainy, which made everything look more depressing. Even though they stood under an umbrella, Amy was holding a package against her chest to prevent it from getting wet.. The twins were surrounded by people, most of whom they had never seen before. Half of them seemed sad, and the rest were just trying to be sympathetic.

After analyzing their surroundings, the twins noticed that their classmates were just arriving, and headed to greet them. They thought they would feel more comfortable around familiar faces, but they didn’t. Some of their friends from school had taken the day off to accompany them at the funeral, and the rest were there just to skip classes. Suddenly Chris and Amy overheard a conversation between their aunt and one of their cousins.

"Does their mother know?" asked their cousin.

"I don’t think so," their aunt replied. "I asked her family for her phone number, but they said that they lost communication with her"

"Then, who is going to take care of the children"

" We still don’t know" " I think we’ll have to separate them"

" You want to separate us?!!!," Amy interrupted angrily

"Can’t we just live with you, aunt Elizabeth?" asked Chris.

"Unfortunately no, Chris," their aunt said "You know that your uncle doesn’t like kids."

"Well, what about our grandparents from our mom’s side?" asked Amy.

"I asked them and they said that there’s no room for two more children."

"Then what’s gonna happen to us?" Asked Chris.

" Well, the only possibility that I see is that each of you go to live with one of your cousins until we come out with a better idea?"

"Can’t we live at our apartment by ourselves, as we did when our dad was at the hospital?" the kids asked.

"No, no, no. You can’t because you are only 12 years old, unless you want to be sent to a foster home."

"My dad wouldn’t have allowed you to separate us. Why are you doing this?" asked Amy. "Chris is the only one that I have left" she said as she started to cried.

"There’s another option" said their cousin, who had listened quietly not wanting to interrupt the conversation. "What would you say if my husband and I wanted to adopted you?. That way you wouldn’t be separated."

"What?!!!" The kids exclaimed.

By noticing the anger in the children’s eyes, their aunt tried to calm them. "Kids, I think that we should talk about this later," she said. "This day is dedicated to honor your father’s memory, and you should be more respectful."

"OK, aunt Elizabeth" the twins replied at once with a frustrated expression on their faces.

After, the conversation with their aunt, Chris and Amy remained silent until the end of the ceremony. A priest gave a speech, and so did their aunt. The coffin looked surprisingly small for their father, who measured about 6’ 2". As the coffin was lowered one of their cousins sang the song I will remember you as he played the guitar beautifully. After the song, coincidentally it ceased raining as if the sky had stopped crying. Then, everyone approached the tombstone to leave flowers. There were flowers of every existing color and type, decorating it. Some people approached the twins before leaving to pay their respects as if it would make any difference or make them feel better. Others told the kids that they knew how they felt. However, the expression of sadness on the twins’ faces was greater than anybody could ever describe. How could anybody know how they felt? Those words were only meant to make the person who said them feel better, nothing more.

After everyone left, Amy and Chris asked their aunt if she could give them a few more minutes alone with their father, before they left. Amy unwrapped the package she was carrying on her hands. It was a picture of their father and the two of them at each side, smiling. The picture was surrounded by a mahogany frame, which had inscribed "We love you daddy" in golden letters at the bottom. They placed the picture over a flower bed located next to the tombstone, and said "Happy birthday in advance dad." Then, they stood there for a long time staring at grave, with an expression of sadness and disbelief.

As they were leaving, they turned around to look at the grave one last time, and noticed a beautiful familiar looking woman dressed in black. The woman placed a red rose next to their picture, and then walked up to them. She greeted them with a warm smile, but there was no hiding the sadness in her eyes. " Amy, Chris! Don’t you recognize me?" said the woman.

" Mom?" the kids asked. Their mother had changed a lot since the last time they saw her. She looked as young as before, but there was something different about her or maybe, time had erased the image they had of her, on their minds.

" You didn’t lose the hope that some day I would come back for your. Did you?"

" Well…at least you are here now," Chris said with an emotional look on his face as he extended his arms to hug her. "You don’t know how much we have missed you, mom."

" Don’t expect us to forgive you so easily" Amy said. Her words were full of hatred.

" But, how did your know that dad passed away?" Chris asked his mother.

"My family told me," she replied.

" But we heard that they didn’t know where you were!," exclaimed Chris.

" They said that because they didn’t want anyone else to tell me, but themselves," their mother replied.

Their mother noticed that Amy was quietly glaring at her, and said "I am not asking you to forgive me honey; you’ll have as much time as it’s necessary. I just couldn’t leave you here by yourselves, but I’m here now, and I won’t ever leave you again." Amy was touched by her mother’s speech, but tried to escape the gaze of her mother to hide the emotions she was feeling. " I know you have suffered since my departure, but so have I…," their mother said.

" But, why did you leave us in the first place?," Amy interrupted.

" I had my own reasons," she replied. " It wasn’t your fault, nor your father’s."

Amy started crying uncontrollably, and was hugged by her mother, who tried to console her.
After the girl calmed down, her mother said to her, "I want to see a big smile from you, now." Amy tried to force a smile, and her mother mimicked it to make her smile truthfully. Then, the three of them started to laugh, and joyfully left the cemetery holding hands.

The End

Copyright © 2004 Macarena P.
All rights reserved.

Do you think that there is too much dialogue in the story?
Have I describe the scene well?
Are the characters well developed or I should add something more about them?

Thank you in advance. Emotion: smile .
1 2
I hope no one minds my constantly tossing in my pennies.

If I were you, I'd do more show and less tell. Leave more things understated. e.g.

"Aunt Elizabeth, we are…." They *** just when they noticed that the white of her eyes was bloodshot (the rest is implied). Her face wasn’t wet, *** they definitely noticed the puffy eyes (or whatever). Their aunt started taking long breaths -- *** like she was getting ready to talk.

(show that she can barely put words together) "Your dad…, your daddy...*** has ... gone .... ," she said.

"Is this some kind of a joke?," Amy asked angrily (the line itself says it all; no need to say "angrily").
I don't know if I should do that, because the people from the admission's office, want me to describe the scene as much as I can.

Could you please tell me if there's any spelling or grammar mistake?
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
You can certainly describe the scene with more "showing".

Perhaps this site will help you.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative/showing.htm

Hope it helps!

julielai:

Now I understand what you mean. Could you please tell what parts should I change to show more and tell less?
Now that I read your story again, I see some issues with narrative pacing and perspectives.

Again, just my 2 pennies here.

Never Despair

As Chris and Amy awaited the start of their father’s funeral, the only thing they could think of was the day their father died. That day had been like a nightmare for the twins.

Try to remember a movie with a similar story line. Give this part a more optimistic tone, so the sad part will come as a nice contrast.

The night before, their aunt called them to tell them that their father was very sick, and that they should pray for him. Chris and Amy wouldn’t conform with that and decided that they should do something about it. However, they knew that the hospital had a policy against children visiting. Therefore, they decided to write a letter to their father. When it was ready Amy read it out loud to see if it sounded OK.

Dear father: (*this letter has to sound a lot more "kiddy", like daddy has an ouchie, I hope daddy's ouchie goes away, etc. etc.)

You don’t know how much we have missed you. Since you left for the hospital, we haven’t argued or fought as much as we did before. We promise that once you return, we will behave much better. These last few weeks have been very lonely without you. Our aunt said that you are not doing so well, so we decided to write you this letter because we are not allowed to visit you at the hospital. Please be strong, and don’t forget your promise to return home before your birthday. We have been planning a surprise for you. In fact, everything is almost ready. We already have a present for you. Don’t forget that we love you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Amy & Christopher Thompson

P. S: Don’t lose the hope. You’ll be all right.

As they entered the hospital to deliver the letter, they were stopped by a grumpy looking nurse recall kids' movies. Whenever the kids try something, they are always stopped by tall and scary adults, right? Well, tell us how this nurse looks, and then the nurse should have a line, like: "no visiting for children!" ,
who told them that they couldn’t visit their father. So, they explained that they just wanted her to give him a letter. She said that it wouldn’t be possible until visiting hours, and if they wanted her to deliver the letter, they would have to come back in two more hours.

When they returned to the hospital, they found their aunt at the entrance waiting for them. At first, they thought that she was mad because they had left their home without telling her.

"Aunt Elizabeth, we are…." They started to apologize, when they noticed that the white of her eyes was bloodshot. Her face wasn’t wet, however, which meant that she had dried it before their arrival (*how would the children know? They are too young to understand these things). Their aunt started taking long breaths before she could say anything. She could barely put the words together to explain what had happened. (*try redoing it from the children's perspectives. Maybe the kids don't understand why auntie can't talk, so they offer her candies and such, and that makes auntie burst into tears, and that in turn puzzles the kids more.....build up the suspense, like they do in movies)

"Your dad…, your daddy has gone to heaven," she said. It took several seconds for the kids to analyze and understand what she was saying. (*the kids are too young to understand? usually, they will ask more innocent question like "what does that mean?" )

"Is this some kind of a joke?," Amy asked angrily. Their aunt shook her head without saying another word, and both kids exploded into tears. (*too soon, too soon.)
It seemed as though the louder they cried, the more pain they could take out of their hearts.

" I’m sorry about your father… he was a good man" someone suddenly said, and brought them back to reality. (*Time to show -- like "The kids looked up. This such-and-such person is standing in front of them. They are in the funeral... or something like that)

I'll be back for more.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Although, they had arrived at the cemetery 10 minutes ago, it seemed like an eternity. To worsen the situation, the day was rainy, which made everything look more depressing (*you're telling and not showing --often happens when you use an adjective). Even though they stood under an umbrella, Amy was holding a package against her chest to prevent it from getting wet.. The twins were surrounded by people, most of whom they had never seen before. Half of them seemed sad, and the rest were just trying to be sympathetic. (*how will kids this young know???)

After analyzing their surroundings (*they are too young for "analysis"), the twins noticed that their classmates were just arriving, and headed to greet them. They thought they would feel more comfortable around familiar faces, but they didn’t. Some of their friends from school had taken the day off to accompany them at the funeral, and the rest were there just to skip classes (*time to show -- do those classmates give the twins a cold shoulder? How do the twins know the classmates are here to skip classes?). Suddenly Chris and Amy overheard a conversation between their aunt and one of their cousins.

"Does their mother know?" asked their cousin.

"I don’t think so," their aunt replied. "I asked her family for her phone number, but they said that they lost communication with her"

"Then, who is going to take care of the children"

" We still don’t know" " I think we’ll have to separate them" (*this comes from nowhere)

" You want to separate us?!!!," Amy interrupted angrily (*why does Amy sound like an adult?)

"Can’t we just live with you, aunt Elizabeth?" asked Chris.

"Unfortunately no, Chris," their aunt said "You know that your uncle doesn’t like kids." (*will the aunt be this blunt with kids? Won't she say, "poor dear, you will be much happier with xyz, you'll have your own bedroom, toys, etc. etc.)

"Well, what about our grandparents from our mom’s side?" asked Amy. (*again, sounding like an adult)

"I asked them and they said that there’s no room for two more children."

"Then what’s gonna happen to us?" Asked Chris.

" Well, the only possibility that I see is that each of you go to live with one of your cousins until we come out with a better idea?"

"Can’t we live at our apartment by ourselves, as we did when our dad was at the hospital?" the kids asked.

"No, no, no. You can’t because you are only 12 years old, unless you want to be sent to a foster home." (I see, so the twins are almost a teenager. Then they have to sound like 12-year olds)

"My dad wouldn’t have allowed you to separate us. Why are you doing this?" asked Amy. (*again, sounding like an adult)
"Chris is the only one that I have left" she said as she started to cried.

"There’s another option" said their cousin, who had listened quietly not wanting to interrupt the conversation. "What would you say if my husband and I wanted to adopted you?. That way you wouldn’t be separated." (again, it doesn't make sense -- the uncle doesn't like kids)

"What?!!!" The kids exclaimed.

By noticing the anger in the children’s eyes, (*the kids should be more confused and scared than angry -- show it) their aunt tried to calm them. "Kids, I think that we should talk about this later," she said. "This day is dedicated to honor your father’s memory, and you should be more respectful."

"OK, aunt Elizabeth" the twins replied at once with a frustrated expression on their faces (*show -- do they keep their heads down all the time or something?).

After, the conversation with their aunt, Chris and Amy remained silent until the end of the ceremony. A priest gave a speech, and so did their aunt. The coffin looked surprisingly small for their father, who measured about 6’ 2". (*good details) As the coffin was lowered one of their cousins sang the song I will remember you as he played the guitar beautifully. After the song, coincidentally it ceased raining as if the sky had stopped crying. Then, everyone approached the tombstone to leave flowers. There were flowers of every existing color and type, decorating it. Some people approached the twins before leaving to pay their respects as if it would make any difference or make them feel better. Others told the kids that they knew how they felt. However, the expression of sadness on the twins’ faces was greater than anybody could ever describe. (*too much telling.) How could anybody know how they felt? Those words were only meant to make the person who said them feel better, nothing more.

After everyone left, Amy and Chris asked their aunt if she could give them a few more minutes alone with their father, before they left. Amy unwrapped the package she was carrying on her hands. It was a picture of their father and the two of them at each side, smiling. The picture was surrounded by a mahogany frame, which had inscribed "We love you daddy" in golden letters at the bottom. They placed the picture over a flower bed located next to the tombstone, and said "Happy birthday in advance dad." Then, they stood there for a long time staring at grave, with an expression of sadness and disbelief.

As they were leaving, they turned around to look at the grave one last time, and noticed a beautiful familiar looking woman dressed in black. The woman placed a red rose next to their picture, and then walked up to them. She greeted them with a warm smile, but there was no hiding the sadness in her eyes. " Amy, Chris! Don’t you recognize me?" said the woman.

" Mom?" the kids asked. Their mother had changed a lot since the last time they saw her. She looked as young as before, but there was something different about her or maybe, time had erased the image they had of her, on their minds.

(*mom's appearance comes out of nowhere. Explain what's the deal with the mom at the very first mention of her -- are the parents divorced? Did she just leave her family (and now she's back)?????)

" You didn’t lose the hope that some day I would come back for your. Did you?"

" Well…at least you are here now," Chris said with an emotional look on his face as he extended his arms to hug her. "You don’t know how much we have missed you, mom."

" Don’t expect us to forgive you so easily" Amy said. Her words were full of hatred. (*why this hatred? don't expect your readers to believe everything you say. Lead your readers into the story. Has Amy been disappointed with her mom???? You should have given us more clues before we get to this episode)

" But, how did your know that dad passed away?" Chris asked his mother.

"My family told me," she replied.

" But we heard that they didn’t know where you were!," exclaimed Chris.

" They said that because they didn’t want anyone else to tell me, but themselves," their mother replied.

Their mother noticed that Amy was quietly glaring at her, and said "I am not asking you to forgive me honey; you’ll have as much time as it’s necessary. I just couldn’t leave you here by yourselves, but I’m here now, and I won’t ever leave you again." Amy was touched by her mother’s speech, but tried to escape the gaze of her mother to hide the emotions she was feeling. " I know you have suffered since my departure, but so have I…," their mother said.

" But, why did you leave us in the first place?," Amy interrupted.

" I had my own reasons," she replied. " It wasn’t your fault, nor your father’s."

Amy started crying uncontrollably, and was hugged by her mother, who tried to console her.
After the girl calmed down, her mother said to her, "I want to see a big smile from you, now." Amy tried to force a smile, and her mother mimicked it to make her smile truthfully. Then, the three of them started to laugh, and joyfully left the cemetery holding hands. (*too soon, too soon. Kids don't forgive parents that easily)
Julielai:

I appreciate your help very much, but I din't how to replace the parts you pointed out. At this point is a little late since I have to send it tomorrow (tuesday) , and I still have an application to complete. Do you think that the story is too bad as I wrote it previously?
I did some changes regarding the age of the kids. I wrote that they are 14 years old because at that age they can use the dialogues I wrote. This time I know that they can think that way because that's what I though the day my father died. The story is based on true events. In my opinion, the kids can forgive their mother that easily because that's the best option they have. Otherwise they will have to get separated by living with their cousins.

Thanks again.

here goes my story with the little changes:

Never Despair

As Chris and Amy awaited the start of their father’s funeral, the only thing they could think of was the day their father died. That day had been like a nightmare for the twins. The night before, their aunt called them to tell them that their father was very sick, and that they should pray for him. Chris and Amy would not conform with that and decided that they should do something about it. However, they knew that the hospital had a policy against minors visiting the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) because they thought teenagers and children would alter the patients who suffered of a heart disease. Therefore, they decided to write a letter to their father. When it was ready, Amy read it out loud to see if it sounded OK.

Dear father:

You don’t know how much we have missed you. Since you left for the hospital, we haven’t argued or fought as much as we did before. We promise that once you return, we will behave much better. These last few weeks have been very lonely without you. Our aunt said that you are not doing so well, so we decided to write you this letter because we are not allowed to visit you at the hospital. Please be strong, and don’t forget your promise to return home before your birthday. We have been planning a surprise for you. In fact, everything is almost ready. We already have a present for you. Don’t forget that we love you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Amy & Christopher Thompson

P. S: Don’t lose the hope. You’ll be all right.

As they entered the hospital to deliver the letter, they were stopped by a grumpy looking nurse, who told them that they could not visit their father. So, they explained that they just wanted her to give him a letter. The nurse said that it would not be possible until visiting hours, and if they wanted her to deliver the letter, they would have to come back in two more hours.

When they returned to the hospital, they found their aunt at the entrance waiting for them. At first, they thought that she was mad because they had left their home without telling her. "Aunt Elizabeth, we are…." They started to apologize, when they noticed that the white of her eyes was bloodshot. Her face was not wet, however, which meant that she had dried it before their arrival. Their aunt started taking long breaths before she could say anything. She could barely put the words together to explain what had happened.

"Your dad…, your daddy has gone to heaven," she said. It took several seconds for the kids to analyze and understand what she was saying.

"Is this some kind of a joke?," Amy asked angrily.

Their aunt shook her head without saying another word, and both teens exploded into tears. It seemed as though the louder they cried, the more pain they could take out of their hearts. "I’m sorry about your father… he was a good man" someone suddenly said, and brought them back to reality.

When Amy and Chris looked up, there was a stranger in front of them, who by receiving no response from the twins decided to walk away. Then, Amy and Chris realized that they were still at the funeral. Although, they had arrived at the cemetery 10 minutes ago, it seemed like an eternity. To worsen the situation, the day was rainy, which made everything look more depressing. Even though they stood under an umbrella, Amy was holding a package against her chest to prevent it from getting wet.. The twins were surrounded by people, most of whom they had never seen before. Half of them seemed sad, and the rest were just trying to be sympathetic.

After analyzing their surroundings, the twins noticed that their classmates were just arriving, and headed to greet them. They thought they would feel more comfortable around familiar faces, but they did not. Some of their friends from school had taken the day off to accompany them at the funeral, and the rest seemed to be there just to skip classes, since they did not even say hello. Suddenly Chris and Amy overheard a conversation between their aunt and one of their cousins.

"Does their mother know?," asked their cousin.

"I don’t think so," their aunt replied. "I asked her family for her phone number, but they said that they lost communication with her."

"Then, who is going to take care of the kids?"

"We still don’t know. Their cousin Sally said that she can take care of Amy, we have to see who is willing to receive Chris."

"You want to separate us?!!!," Amy interrupted angrily.

"Can’t we just live with you, aunt Elizabeth?," asked Chris.

"Unfortunately no, Chris," their aunt said. "You know that your uncle doesn’t like kids."

"But we aren’t kids anymore!!!," Amy exclaimed, feeling offended.

"Well, what about our grandparents from our mom’s side?," asked Chris.

"Those people haven’t done anything for you since your mother left you. I don't understand why would you even consider that as an option," their aunt said coldly. Then she added: "However, I asked them just to know their response, and they said that there’s no room for two more children."

"Then what’s gonna happen to us?" Asked Chris.

"Well, the only possibility that I see is that each of you go to live with one of your cousins until we come out with a better idea?"
"Can’t we live at our apartment by ourselves, as we did when our dad was at the hospital?," the kids asked.

"No, no, no. You can’t because you are only 14 years old, unless you want to be sent to a foster home."

"My dad wouldn’t have allowed you to separate us. Why are you doing this?," asked Amy. "Chris is the only one that I have left" she said as she started to cried.

"There’s another option" said their cousin, who had listened quietly not wanting to interrupt the conversation. "What would you say if my husband and I wanted to adopt you?. That way you wouldn’t be separated."

"What?!!!" The kids exclaimed.

By noticing the anger and confusion in the children’s eyes, their aunt tried to calm them down. "Kids, I think that we should talk about this later," she said. "This day is dedicated to honor your father’s memory, and you should be more respectful."

"OK, aunt Elizabeth" the twins replied at once with a frustrated expression on their faces and left with their heads down, without saying another word.

After the conversation with their aunt, Chris and Amy remained silent until the end of the ceremony. A priest gave a speech, and so did their aunt. The coffin looked surprisingly small for their father, who measured about 6’ 2". As the coffin was lowered one of their cousins sang the song I will remember you as he played the guitar beautifully. After the song, coincidentally it ceased raining as if the sky had stopped crying. Then, everyone approached the tombstone to leave flowers. There were flowers of every existing color and type decorating it. Some people approached Chris and Amy before leaving to pay their respects as if it would make any difference or make them feel better. Others told the twins that they knew how they felt. However, the expression of sadness on the twins’ faces was greater than anybody could ever describe. How could anybody know how they felt? Those words were only meant to make the person who said them feel better, nothing more.

After everyone left, Amy and Chris asked their aunt if she could give them a few more minutes alone with their father before they left. Amy unwrapped the package she was carrying on her hands. It was a picture of their father and the two of them at each side smiling. The picture was surrounded by a mahogany frame, which had inscribed: "We love you dad" in golden letters at the bottom. They placed the picture over a flower bed located next to the tombstone, and said "Happy birthday in advance dad." Then, they stood there for a long time staring at the grave with an expression of sadness and disbelief.

As they were leaving, they turned around to look at the grave one last time, and noticed a beautiful and familiar young looking woman dressed in black. The woman placed a red rose next to their picture, and then walked up to them. She greeted them with a warm smile, but there was no hiding the sadness in her eyes. "Amy, Chris! Don’t you recognize me?," said the woman.
"Mom?," the twins asked. Their mother had changed a lot since the last time they saw her. She looked as young as before, but there was something different about her or maybe, time had erased the image they had of her on their minds.

"You didn’t lose the hope that some day I would come back for your. Did you?"

"Well…at least you are here now," Chris said with an emotional look on his face as he extended his arms to hug her. "You don’t know how much we have missed you, mom."

"Don’t expect us to forgive you so easily" Amy said. Her words were full of hatred.

"How did your know that dad passed away?" Chris asked his mother.

"My family told me," she replied.

"But we heard that they didn’t know where you were!!!," exclaimed Chris.

"They said that because they didn’t want anyone else to tell me, but themselves," their mother replied.

Their mother noticed that Amy was quietly glaring at her, and said "I am not asking you to forgive me honey; you’ll have as much time as it’s necessary. I just couldn’t leave you here by yourselves. But I’m here now, and I won’t ever leave you again." Amy was touched by her mother’s speech, but tried to escape the gaze of her mother to hide the emotions she was feeling. "I know you have suffered a lot since my departure, but so have I…," their mother said.

"But, why did you leave us in the first place?," Amy interrupted.

"I had my own reasons," the mother replied. "It wasn’t your fault, nor your father’s." Amy started crying uncontrollably, and was hugged by her mother, who tried to console her. After the girl calmed down, her mother said to her, "I want to see a big smile from you now." Amy tried to force a smile, and her mother mimicked it to make her smile truthfully. Then, the three of them started to laugh, and joyfully left the cemetery holding hands.

The End
Never Despair

As Chris and Amy awaited the start of their father’s funeral, the only thing they could think of was the day their father died. That day had been like a nightmare for the twins. The night before, their aunt called them to tell them that their father was very sick, and that they should pray for him. Chris and Amy would not conform with that and decided that they should do something about it. However, they knew that the hospital had a policy against minors visiting the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) because they thought teenagers and children would *disturb the patients who suffered *from a heart disease. Therefore, they decided to write a letter to their father. When it was ready, Amy read it out loud to see if it sounded OK.

Dear father:

You don’t know how much we have missed you. Since you left for the hospital, we haven’t argued or fought as much as we did before. We promise that once you return, we will behave much better. These last few weeks have been very lonely without you. Our aunt said that you are not doing so well, so we decided to write you this letter because we are not allowed to visit you at the hospital. Please be strong, and don’t forget your promise to return home before your birthday. We have been planning a surprise for you. In fact, everything is almost ready. We already have a present for you. Don’t forget that we love you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Amy & Christopher Thompson

P. S: Don’t lose *hope. You’ll be all right.

As they entered the hospital to deliver the letter, they were stopped by a grumpy looking nurse, who told them that they could not visit their father. So, they explained that they just wanted her to give him a letter. The nurse said that it would not be possible until visiting hours, and if they wanted her to deliver the letter, they would have to come back in two *hours.

When they returned to the hospital, they found their aunt at the entrance waiting for them. At first, they thought that she was mad because they had left their home without telling her. "Aunt Elizabeth, we are…." They started to apologize, when they noticed that the white of her eyes was bloodshot. Her face was not wet, however, which meant that she had dried it before their arrival. Their aunt started taking long breaths before she could say anything. She could barely put the words together to explain what had happened.

"Your dad…, your daddy has gone to heaven," she said. It took several seconds for the kids to analyze and understand what she was saying.

"Is this some kind of a joke?," Amy asked angrily.

Their aunt shook her head without saying another word, and both teens exploded into tears. It seemed as though the louder they cried, *the sadder they were. "I’m sorry about your father… he was a good man" someone suddenly said, and brought them back to reality.

When Amy and Chris looked up, there was a stranger in front of them, who by receiving no response from the twins decided to walk away. Then, Amy and Chris realized that they were still at the funeral. Although, they had arrived at the cemetery 10 minutes ago, it seemed like an eternity. To worsen the situation, the day was rainy, which made everything look more depressing. Even though they stood under an umbrella, Amy was holding a package against her chest to prevent it from getting wet. The twins were surrounded by people, most of whom they had never seen before. Half of them seemed sad, and the rest were just trying to be sympathetic.

After analyzing their surroundings, the twins noticed that their classmates were just arriving, and headed to greet them. They thought they would feel more comfortable around familiar faces, but they did not. Some of their friends from school had taken the day off to accompany them at the funeral, and the rest seemed to be there just to skip classes, since they did not even say hello. Suddenly Chris and Amy overheard a conversation between their aunt and one of their cousins.

"Does their mother know?," asked their cousin.

"I don’t think so," their aunt replied. "I asked her family for her phone number, but they said that they lost *touch with her."

"Then, who is going to take care of the kids?"

"We still don’t know. Their cousin Sally said that she can take care of Amy, we have to see who is willing to receive Chris. *** least until we find their mother."

"You want to separate us?!!!," Amy interrupted angrily.

"Can’t we just live with you, aunt Elizabeth?," asked Chris.

"Unfortunately no, Chris," their aunt said. "You know that your uncle doesn’t like kids."

"But we aren’t kids anymore!!!," Amy exclaimed, feeling offended.

"Well, what about our grandparents from our mom’s side?," asked Chris.

"Those people haven’t done anything for you since your mother left you. I don't understand why you *would even consider that as an option," their aunt said coldly. Then she added: "However, I *did ask them *about this, and they said that there’s no room for two more children."

"Then what’s gonna happen to us?" Asked Chris.

"Well, the only possibility that I see is that each of you go to live with one of your cousins until we come out with a better idea?"
"Can’t we live at our apartment by ourselves, as we did when our dad was at the hospital?," the kids asked.

"No, no, no. You can’t because you are only 14 years old, unless you want to be sent to a foster home."

"My dad wouldn’t have allowed you to separate us. Why are you doing this?," asked Amy. "Chris is the only one that I have left" she said (*my 2 cents: hold back on their crying.).

"There’s another option" said their cousin, who had listened quietly not wanting to interrupt the conversation. "What would you say if my husband and I wanted to adopt you?. That way you wouldn’t be separated."

"What?!!!" The kids exclaimed.

By noticing the anger and confusion in the children’s eyes, their aunt tried to calm them down. "Kids, I think that we should talk about this later," she said. "This day is dedicated to honor your father’s memory, and you should be more respectful."

"OK, aunt Elizabeth" the twins replied at once with a frustrated expression on their faces and left with their heads down, without saying another word.

After the conversation with their aunt, Chris and Amy remained silent until the end of the ceremony. A priest gave a speech, and so did their aunt. The coffin looked surprisingly small for their father, who measured about 6’ 2". As the coffin was lowered one of their cousins sang the song *"I will remember you" as he played the guitar beautifully. After the song, *the sky had stopped crying. Then, everyone approached the tombstone to leave flowers. There were flowers of every existing color and type decorating it. Some people approached Chris and Amy before leaving to pay their respects as if it would make any difference or make them feel better. Others told the twins that they knew how they felt. However, the expression of sadness on the twins’ faces was greater than anybody could ever describe. How could anybody know how they felt? Those words were only meant to make the person who said them feel better, nothing more.

After everyone left, Amy and Chris asked their aunt if she could give them a few more minutes alone with their father before they left. Amy unwrapped the package she was carrying on her hands. It was a picture of their father and the two of them at each side smiling. The picture was *in a mahogany frame, which had *an incription of "We love you dad" in golden letters at the bottom. They placed the picture over a flower bed located next to the tombstone, and said "Happy birthday in advance dad." Then, they stood there for a long time staring at the grave with an expression of sadness and disbelief.

As they were leaving, they turned around to look at the grave one last time, and noticed a beautiful and familiar *looking woman dressed in black. The woman placed a red rose next to their picture, and then walked up to them. She greeted them with a warm smile, but there was no hiding the sadness in her eyes. "Amy, Chris! Don’t you recognize me?," said the woman.
"Mom?," the twins asked. Their mother had changed a lot since the last time they saw her. She looked as young as before, but there was something different about her or maybe, time had erased the image they had of her on their minds.

"You didn’t lose the hope that some day I would come back for your. Did you?"

"Well…at least you are here now," Chris said with an emotional look on his face as he extended his arms to hug her. "You don’t know how much we have missed you, mom."

"Don’t expect us to forgive you so easily" Amy said. Her words were full of hatred.

"How did your know that dad passed away?" Chris asked his mother.

"My family told me," she replied.

"But we heard that they didn’t know where you were!!!," exclaimed Chris.

"They said that because they *wanted to tell me *about this themselves," their mother replied.

Their mother noticed that Amy was quietly glaring at her, and said "I am not asking you to forgive me honey; you’ll have as much time as it’s necessary. I just couldn’t leave you here by yourselves. But I’m here now, and I won’t ever leave you again." Amy was touched by her mother’s speech, but tried to escape the gaze of her mother to hide the emotions she was feeling. "I know you have suffered a lot since my departure, but so have I…," their mother said.

"But, why did you leave us in the first place?," Amy interrupted.

"I had my own reasons," the mother replied. "It wasn’t your fault, nor your father’s." Amy started crying uncontrollably, and was hugged by her mother, who tried to console her. After the girl calmed down, her mother said to her, "I want to see a big smile from you now." Amy tried to force a smile, and her mother mimicked it to make her smile truthfully. Then, the three of them started to laugh, and joyfully left the cemetery holding hands.
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