Not Just a Dream

 /   /  By Stella Keaveny Haapala, 12
Stone Soup Magazine
July/August 2017

By Stella Keaveny Haapala, Illustrated by Viktoriya Kukarekina
Not Just a Dream girl on the bed

I knew that the memories of my mother would burn on forever

Wind rushed through my long hair as I ran through the spring-green grasses of my mother’s farm. I was the happiest I had ever been.

I ran through fields, picking flowers and tucking them behind my ears. I felt like a little girl again, so free, so wild.

I ran with the birds, flying high above me in the sun. I felt like I could just jump and I would fly. I tried. I was flying, flying higher than the sun; leaping, bounding, laughing.

Then, I woke up.

My laugh faded, I looked around at my closet of a room and sighed. I was still in musty, dirty, and polluted New York City, in my small apartment, living with my absent father.

When was I going to get out of here? I couldn’t stand it any longer!

After my mother had died, my father had hidden any remembrance of her. He sold all of her clothing, sold all her trinkets from around the world, and sold her books. She had a whole library filled with books. Her books were historic, she got them from her travels: Egypt, Asia, Greece, everywhere! Now, there was nothing left here, except for her memories.

The memories of her singing Joni Mitchell out of tune in the car, the memories of her teaching me how to ride a horse, pressing flowers from the garden, and learning to read books. These memories brought tears to my eyes.

I jumped out of bed, put on my favorite dress, although I didn’t know why. I slowly walked into the small kitchen that held only a microwave, a minimum amount of cabinets, and a miniature table. I poured myself a bowl of cereal and sat down at our table to eat. My dad was at work, like he always was at this time.

It was still summer, so I sat at the small table and waited. Most kids my age dreaded the day school would start, but I couldn’t wait. I had nothing to do.

At the farm I had everything in the world to do: I could explore, I could pick flowers, I could help my mother cook our meals, or I could ride my horse, Rose, a mare with beautiful spotted white hair. I remember my mother asking me what I wanted to name her. I decided as quick as I could on my last name, Rose. Cecilia Rose, that was my name. I hated the name for myself, but it suited her just fine. Rose was another treasure my father sold when my mother passed away.

I continued to sit at the table, waiting for my father to return. I walked around the very small apartment and waited…and waited.

At 5:45 p.m., my father arrived. His face was encrusted with dirt and his hand was bleeding heavily.

“Dad, are you OK?” I asked, concerned.

He didn’t answer, he just walked straight into his room.

I went to bed that night with no words spoken. My father had disappeared into his room and had not returned.

That night I had a different dream.

I was running, leaping, and picking flowers. I was happy, like in the other dreams I had in the past nights. Then, in the distance, I saw my mother. She was walking closer and closer. She was beautiful, her long white dress cascaded down like a waterfall, gently flowing until it reached the ground. Her face shined bright like an angel. Her golden locks blew in the wind. She walked closer and closer.

As she approached I was filled with a warm sensation of new comings.

I woke up and knew exactly what I was going to do.

I was going to cry.

I sat on the edge of my bed and I cried. I cried for joy, I cried for sadness, I cried for letting go, and I cried for moving on. I thought of all the things I would do and all the things I would miss.

Not just a dream Stella Keaveny Haapala

Stella Keaveny Haapala, 12
Portland, Oregon

Not just a dream Viktoriya Kukarekina

Viktoriya Kukarekina, 10
Flower Mound, Texas

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  1. July 26, 2017 at 12:08 pm Reply

    So beautiful! I love this story because it is heartfelt and meaningful, and speaks of bittersweet memories.

  2. pandagirl^ ^ July 31, 2017 at 6:40 pm Reply

    ^ ^ just amazing

  3. Lily Spangler August 7, 2017 at 10:22 am Reply
  4. Emily Xu August 10, 2017 at 8:04 am Reply

    Wow! What a great story! Although it was short, this story was touching and very wise. The art was fantastic as well!

  5. Amber September 1, 2017 at 3:58 am Reply

    I love it!

  6. Angela Knapp December 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm Reply

    Kinda sad but a good story .l

  7. February 10, 2019 at 9:47 am Reply

    I totally agree with Emily! The story was short, but very touching!

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