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Shadow of a Dream
Saving Annie


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She moved in next door about two years ago.  Her name was Annie.  She was sort of the outcast type of girl.  The one that you never try to be friendly with.  She had no friends and was always in her room, looking out her window at everyone that actually had a life.  If only I had tried to be her friend.  Then maybe she wouldn't be gone right now.
My name is Isaac Hanson.  Of course I'm very popular and have friends everywhere.  I guess that happens when your famous.  Its just that even though I have "friends", I'm really alone.  No one knows how hard it is to live up to your reputation as being a "pop-star".  It all started when I began having reoccuring nightmares.  I just couldn't sleep after I had one.  I'd stay awake and read or go down to the den and watch tv.  It was no problem.  And I couldn't tell anyone.  Besides, they wouldn't understand.
A couple of weeks ago, after one of my nightmares, I went to the living room to read a book.  I heard a noise outside the front window and went to go check it out.  I saw her, Annie, the outcast, sitting down on the curb under the street lamp.  She was sitting there, in jeans and a jean jacket and her hair up in a ponytail.  She was looking at the sky.  I thought it was odd that she was actually outside of her room.  I thought nothing of it and went to sit on the couch and read. 
Well, after that night, everytime I would look out the window, I'd see her sitting in the same spot, with the same jean jacket, looking at the sky.  After one of my oh-so-famous nightmares I decided to go out there and see why she would always sit there, looking at the sky.  I carefully opened the door and quietly walked over to her.  She stayed in the same position.  As I got closer I saw that her eyes were closed and she was whispering.  I didn't want to bother her so I turned around and headed for the door.
"Don't go"  I heard a soft hesitant whisper.  I turned around, amazed that she had talked to me.  "Sit down" she said as she patted the cold pavement next to her.  I walked over and carefully sat down, not wanting to look at her.  "So, you couldn't sleep either?"  She looked at me, studying my face.  I didn't know what to say to her.  I couldn't even form the words in my head.  It was just blamk as I stared back at her.  "You can talk to me you know, I won't bite or mame you." She smiled at her joke.
"Sorry, it's just that I don't know what to tell you."  I looked to the ground.  She took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly. 
"I couldn't sleep either.  I always have these nightmares and then afterwords I just can't get back to sleep."  She started pouring her heart out to me and I had no idea what to do.  So I decided to listen to her.  I can never get any peace in that house, " she said pointing to it "So I started coming out here."
"I don't mean to be rude or anything, but what were you doing when I first came out here.  It seemed like you were whispering or something."  I was curious, so sue me.
"Oh, I was praying.  See, my mother died when I was 7.  And after that I became the social outcast.  So I didn't have any friends or anything.  People hate me, I know they do.  So I come out here and pray to my mother to help me find some friends.  But I know it won't happen."
"Annie, don't say that.  People don't hate you...I mean..." I stumbled with the words.  I just didn't know what to tell her.
"Issac, your very popular, and I can't even begin to imagine what thats like.  And I know that people do hate me.  So I guess we'll just leave it at that."  she looked back behind her and began to stand up. "Well I'm gonna get going.  Thanks for your time." and she ran inside her house.
I sat there for a few minutes.  It wasn't that bad talking to her.  She was actually quite pleasant for company.  I just can't believe what it must be like to be alone like that.  Then I made a promise to my self.  I would continue to come out here and sit with her for as long as it took.  I'd be her friend.
I woke up the next morning and went downstairs.  I want to make a cake for her.  I went into the pantry and grabbed the cake mix and frosting.  I turned on the radio and rocked out as I baked. After I was done, I went to tell my parents that I was going next door to Annie's house.  I got the cake and walked out the door.  What I saw would change my life forever. 
There was an ambulance in her front driveway, and some cops surrounding the house.  I walked over to where her parents were standing.  Her step mother was being held by her father and they were both crying.  "What happend?" I asked.  Her father turned to me and put a hand on my shoulder. 
"I'm sorry son, but Annie killed herself last night."  All of the feeling left my body, I dropped the cake to the floor.  I had only talked to her once, and now she was gone!  "You're Isaac Hanson right?"  The question was a blur to me.  He took out a white envelope.  "She left this for you."  I took the envelope and started backing away.  I didnt even reach the porch when I fell to my knees and started crying.  I looked at the envelope, in my shaking hands.  It was blank.  I opend it and took out a piece of paper, and began to read the tiny writing:
Dear Isaac,
I just wanted to thank you for everything you did for me.  I know that you may think that you didn't do much, but you did.  You saved me.  I had never known what it was like to have a friend until you came out last night and talked to me like a normal human being.  And I thank you for that.  I'm really sorry for any pain that I caused you today, if any.  Thank you for saving me.
I didn't know what to think.  Then I heard Tay's voice in the distance calling me.
"Ike, Ike, man come on.  Ike, wake up!  Ike please, wake up!"  My eyes shot open and I sat straight up. "God Ike, what happend?  Did you have a nightmare?  Your were screaming bloody hell right now.  What was it."
"Where is she?  Is she ok?  I have to talk to her, before its too late!"  Tay looked at me confused.
"Who, who are you talking about?  Before whats too late?" 
"Annie.  Before she does something to herself."
"Who's Annie?"  Tay sat next to me on my bed.
"Our next door neighbor." I pointed out our bedroom window to the house next to ours.
"Ike, no one has lived in that house for five years."  I stared at Tay.  He was wrong.  Annie lived there.  I got up from the bed and walked over to the window.
"No Tay, you're wrong," I looked out the window at the empty house.  "Oh my god, he's right." I whispered to myself.  It was just a dream.  It wasn't real.  "It was a dream"
"Yeah, so now can we go back to sleep?"  Tay got off my bed and went to his and ploped down.  I walked over to mine, amazed that it had been a dream.  I laid down on my bed and slowly fell asleep.
I woke up next morning and saw mom frosting a cake.  "So, whats the occasions?"  I asked her.  She turned to me and smiled.
"New neighbors in the old house next door."  She finished frosting it and gave it to me.  "Why don't you go over and give it to them."  I took it and walked out the door.  I walked over to a woman that was facing men in a moving truck, giving them directions for what went where. 
"Excuse me ma'am."  She turned around and smiled at me.  "This is for you and your family."  I gave her the cake and smiled at her.  She looked a little familiar, but I shook away the feeling.
"Aww, why thank you young man."  She started looking around and then said, "Why don't you go over to the back of that truck so you can talk to my daughter."  She turned around and went inside.  I walked over to the back and saw a girl kneeling down, writing some stuff on some boxes.
"Hi, I'm Isaac.  I live next door."  she slowly stood up and turned to face me.  It was her.  It was Annie.  I couldn't believe it.  She's here.
She stuck out her hand, "Hi, I'm Amy."  I shook her hand in awe.  "Have we met before?" She asked me.  I shook my head no.  "Hey do you want to give me a hand with some of these boxes?"  She picked one up and started walking away.  I grabbed one and walked after her. 
Could it be fate?  I don't know.  But I know one thing I'll do differently this time. 

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