An Open Letter

Dear Coco,

I am so thankful for having such a loving, caring, energetic, crazy dog. Even though you most likely don’t understand what this letter is saying or what I ever say, you are one of my favorite people dogs in the world.

Even though you are a dog, you are my sister and I love you so freaking much. I don’t even know what I would do without you, and I don’t even want to think about it. Ever since that one day, well not just “one day” but my birthday, you have always been the best dog. When we walked into the shelter to choose the best dog, all of the dogs decided it would be a real treat to jump on me and knock me over, that is, every dog but you. Why not? Why didn’t you decide to give me scars and bruises and scratches like everyone else?

Wait— I think I know.
I think it’s because you are the:
Bestest
Nicest
Gentlest
Always-Caring-est (if that’s a word)
Dog ever.

Every time I come home from school on the bus stop, I see you there, waiting for me, by the door. And every time I open the door, I shout “Coco, my Coco!”, you jump on me (but playfully, not like the other dogs at the shelter), and lick me, and give me kisses ‘till I shove you off because I need to start on my homework.

A few years from now, when I’m an adult, when you are gone, I will still shout “Coco, my Coco!” because now I will always picture you waiting for me by the door. Whenever I’m down, I picture you by the door, wagging your tail impatiently, waiting for me to come home. That always raises my spirits because I think to myself: Well, someone is happy to see me.

Thank you for being the best dog ever, thank you for staying calm when Adam pulls on your tail, thank you for climbing into bed with me every night when I have nightmares, thank you (even though I probably shouldn’t be saying this) for pushing Adam off of my bed when he has nightmares, when he climbs into bed with me, and when he takes away all of the comforters (and I guess for not hurting him when you push him off). Thank you for always coming back home when you run away, thank you for loving eggs so that I can feed it to you from under the table when it gets slightly burnt and no one else seems to notice or care, thank you for running with me and for making me beat my previous time because you are literally Usain Bolt. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Your snuggle buddy

The Day After

This is a sequel to “The Day”

*WARNING: very sad*

It was a drowsy day. No sun in the sky, but instead, heavy gray clouds. Everyone surrounded the casket in the church with wet eyes and black clothes. Nothing was happy, nothing was bright. It seemed the whole world had ended, not just one life.

The Pastor goes on and on until finally, he introduces Katy’s sister, Carry to the stage.

“Katy was a wonderful person” weeps Carry. “She was kind, loving, gentle, meticulous, sometimes very energetic. She was my sister. She was my best friend. But now it’s all over. Now I’ll never see her until many years later when I enter the golden gates of heaven. I will never forgive what God did to Katy.”

“Why Did he make her die? Why did he make her die painfully? Why couldn’t it have been a fall-to-sleep-and-die death? Why couldn’t she have been with her friends or family when she blinked for the very last times? Why did that lightning have to strike when, and where it did? Why couldn’t it have been me on the front porch getting the mail?”

“She wouldn’t want this. She wouldn’t want me to stay angry for my whole life to our creator, to our father. But how couldn’t I? I will never forgive him. I will never forget what he did. I will never forget you, Katy. And I know that you will stay with me through everything I say and do, but that’s not enough for me. I want to see you, I want to speak to you, I want to hug you, and tickle you, and laugh with you like every other day in our lives.”

“But I can’t.”

“And I never will.”

The Day

*WARNING: very sad*

It was a bright, sunny day, no cloud in the sky, when Katy came skipping down the sidewalk to get the mail.

Then all of a sudden, the blinding light of the sun was abandoned as the clouds drifted upward from beneath the now wet, muddy ground. Lightning as bright as heaven, and thunder as booming as the devil’s laughter came crashing down from the sky.

“Oh no!” shouted Katy as she sprinted the other way as fast as the lightning itself toward her house. Thoughts raced her mind as she climbed up the stairs every-other-step to her front yard. She suddenly was getting closer and closer and closer to her front door.

50 feet away. 20 feet away. 10 feet away. 5 feet away. 1 foot away as she slowly inched her tired, shaking finger to the doorbell. But—

She was struck.

She screamed slowly, painfully, overwhelmingly, as she collapsed and held her bloody, bruised, painful leg.

She kept screaming as she reached up praying that she would still be alive to reach and press on the doorbell. Up, over, push. Up, over, push. She thought as a million other thoughts were racing through her head. As she raised her arm, the pain increased almost instantly. She kept thinking as she collapsed once more. The world seemed to start spinning around her.

She thought about her family. Would they miss her? She thought about her death that was about to occur. Would it hurt? She thought about the lightning strike. Why did it have to be her? She thought about heaven. What will it be like? She thought about the people a few miles away. Would they even know that a death was about to occur from that distant lightning strike? Would they even care?

Then it stopped. Like—everything stopped. The thoughts. The swirling vision around her. The pain.

It was over. She was dead.

Jeans vs. Leggings

Many people wear jeans in the winter. However, leggings are pretty common too. This is why leggings are better than jeans.

First, they are much more comfortable. Instead of being all antsy and  worrying about how your pants feel, with leggings, you can always be comfortable. Whether you are lifting weights or sitting in a classroom or doing you homework or walking your dog or playing soccer or realizing that you Reading Log is due in 5 days, leggings are always much more pleasant.

Another reason why leggings are better than jeans is because of athletics. So, whenever we go outside in athletics, you have the option of wearing shorts or leggings. But—no jeans? That’s because you can’t run in them. Jeans are not flexible so it is very tough to try to work out in them. “Well then you can just wear shorts.” In 40 degree weather? I don’t think so.

This is why leggings are WAY better than jeans and why you should always choose leggings over jeans if you are given an option.

Breakaway

There is a church retreat at my church—WHPC— called Breakaway. This is where my friend found her faith. And this was one of the biggest steps toward my faith.

It was a bright sunny morning, no wind, no slight shiver of cold in the air. All was good. That’s how God made it. Good. Everyone there knew that it was free choice day. We were all so thrilled. We got to choose between the rock-climbing wall, the zip-line, the slide, and the ropes course. However, since we had all day to do it, we all got to do more than one of the options.

First, me and my friend Sarah decided to do the ropes course. WE HAD A BLAST!!! It was the most thrilling time of my life. And when I say ropes course, I don’t mean one of the ones that are like really easy and you can do with total simplicity, I mean like you will be screaming so loud that you will loose your voice, and everyone else will loose their hearing. Anyways, the ropes course was super hard and a few people got stuck on the side where you can’t go down the stairs to the bottom. They refused to move because they were so frightened of falling until we all encouraged them to go across by shouting “You’ve got this!” and “God’s got you!”

Once we finished the ropes course, we went to the rock-wall. This was fun but not as fun as the ropes course. The wall had 4 sides. Level 1, level 2, level 3, and level 4. Level 1 was like the easiest ever that even a baby who doesn’t know how to walk could do it, whereas level 4 was like only one person has been able to make it to the top EVER. So anyways, we all did the climbing and I did—well, tried to do—all of the walls. I was doing really well and I finished 1 & 2 with ease. Although, 3 & 4 were really difficult. I eventually finished 3 and got up halfway of 4 until I realized that there was no way that I would be able to reach up and grab onto the next rock, so I just lowered myself down.

So then when we (finally!) finished the wall, me and Sarah decided to go on the zip-line. Sarah was really scared but I was fine since I’m not scared at all of heights. So anyways, we were climbing up the stairs and Sarah was begging me to go back down but I refused. We kept climbing up…and up… and up… and up until we reached the top. But of course, Sarah’s harness just had to be on backwards so we had to go back down… and down… and down… and down to the bottom. But then, double-of-course, Sarah’s harness actually was NOT on backwards so we had to go back up… and up… and up… and up to the top. Sarah was getting really scared as we kept climbing higher and higher and higher. I just kept telling her that it was okay.

Once we got to the top, I starting counting down from 10. I could tell that this was going on in Sarah’s head. 10…we are about to die…9…tell everyone that I love them for me…8…what’s about to happen?…7…what did I get myself into?…6…oh no…5…oh no…4…oh no…3…oh no…2…oh no…1…GOD. Right when I let go, I looked right behind my back and saw Sarah screaming with her hands in the air, looking like she was touching the clouds. Sarah found God in that moment. She found faith in that moment. She found life in that moment.

Dreadful Mornings

Bleep…Bleep…Bleep…Bleep. “No, I don’t wanna wake up.” This is why I always dread waking up in the morning.

One reason why waking up in the morning is because of the alarm clock. Bleep..bleep…bleep Snoooooooooze bleep…bleep…bleep Snoooooooooze. The process keeps going on and on and on. It has the deafening sound. It has the unpleasant sound. It has the horrific sound. I just slept six hours because I had to finish my stupid homework to wake up to THIS?! Nuh-uh, No way, Not today, NO. Whether it’s the first or second bleep that wakes me up, they are all equally dreadful.

Another reason why waking up is dreadful is because of getting ready for school. Finding the urge to get out of bed, picking out an outfit, brushing my teeth, brushing my hair (which is a very hard task), changing, washing my face, putting on deodorant, going downstairs, eating breakfast, unloading the dishwasher, finishing up my homework, saying “bye” to my family, leaving, walking up that huge, giant hill to the bus stop, picking up Radhika on the way, getting on the bus, driving away from all things as dreadful as my alarm clock to go to the one place that is the worst. School.

So, whether it’s the alarm clock, the doing of hair, or the bus, I think that we can all agree… Mornings are dreadful.

Masks

There are many types of masks in the world. Eye masks, face masks, body masks. These are all examples. However, the most commonly used mask is none of these. The most common is one that everyone wears. You can’t see it. You put on this mask to hide the pain and suffering that you have inside.

There are also many types of people in the world. Bullies, victims, parents, children. All of which wear masks. Every single person has had to deal with pain. Most people hide the the pain inside. They do this because they are scared of letting it show.

There are also many ways to deal with pain in the world. Punching, crying, shouting are all ways. But the most common is by wearing a mask.

This mask hides not only pain, but fear.

That Texas Summer

Everyone knew that the cold was gone forever, but there was still a sprinkle of hope in Mary. She believed that when something went away, it would never be gone forever and she just had to get that cool air back.  “Abominable heat!” she yelled. “I watered these plants. I clothed them in soil. It’s still not enough?!” she shouted. “No more shall I try to nourish these innocent plants, for you will always be there to kill them, strangle them, poison them. Why do you do this to them, to us, to me?”

That summer was the driest Texas had ever known. Everything burned, everything died, everything was destroyed. The lakes went down, the heat went up. It was like the rain broke and never was put back together. There was not enough water. There was not enough soil. There was not enough of anything. Thirst was the only thing that grew. It seemed everyone alive would die of dehydration. Soon, there would be no single person left in all of Texas.

Inspired by “Demeter and Persephone” by Anne Terry White

Heartbroken

“Love me-that’s all I ask of you..” sang Christine and Raoul as they leave the rooftop of the opera house. The Phantom, heartbroken by the love between Christine and Raoul whispers softly…
“I gave you my music” in a hurt tone. All that the Phantom asked of Christine to do was love and sing his music but she instead chose love with Raoul.
“YOU WILL CURSE THE DAY YOU DO NOT DO!”the Phantom screams.
“Go!” he yells as he simultaneously swings the great chandelier to land at Christine’s feet.
“Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha” laughs the Phantom as he plans how long he will wait for his revenge to make Christine suffer while she keeps wondering in her head…
Will it be today?
What will he do?
When will he come?
Will I die?
Will Raoul die?
Will I live in darkness for the rest of my life?
-Juliana Goodell

The Phantom of The Opera

Christmas Poem

The pale white snow is waiting,
Outside for me to play,
With all the other children,
On this frosty winter day.

We make three giant balls of snow,
Then stack them top to bottom,
We add a face, we add a scarf.
“Hasta luego Autumn!”

Leaving stockings out on the fireplace,
Making a wish list 10 pages long,
Leaving cookies out for Santa,
Hearing carolers sing their song.

Decorating an evergreen,
With ornaments of every color,
I can’t reach every branch on the tree,
Oh why can’t I be any taller?

Snuggling under the blanket,
With fuzzy socks around my feet,
Sipping egg nog sip by sip,
Next to the warm fireplace heat.

My candy cane pajamas,
All cozy, soft, and warm,
As I read my book inside,
While outside there is a storm.

~Juliana Goodell

This poem is about a winter day when you get ready for Christmas. I chose to write my poem about a winter day because I LOVE Christmas and this was just one more thing to get me ready for it. I chose to make my words sound like a child is the narrator. I hope that my reader gets the imagery in this poem.