The River: A Literary Story

The sun rays danced on the blue streaks of the water. It illuminated everything hidden to the natural eye. How many creatures wander in the river forever?  Where do the creatures go when the river is no longer there?

I remember when I was a little girl, I used to visit my grandmother every other weekend which I loathed. Whenever my cousin would pick me up in his old smoked filled 2001 Honda, I used to skip to his car in excitement. My excitement would soon diminish when he would make that unforgivable left turn out of the school parking lot. That left turn was away from my home. That left turn was away from my parents. That left turn was towards my hunched over grandmother’s apartment complex which smelled of oatmeal, stale urine, and mothballs.

My grandmother took care of me during the treacherous times of the economy. She took care of me when my parents were shackled down to their demanding jobs. But yet, I still hated her and the pungent smell of her house.

Another reason I distaste the visitation of my grandmother was her firm belief in me reading books. Whenever I visited the river, she would force me to read books. The books were old yellow stained pages and carrie the dust from years. Regardless if the content was suitable for my age, she would insist that I read them.

But despite the hatred my five-year old self had for her, there was one thing I adored. The river. The river behind her complex was hidden by lanky tree branches and monstrous fields of unkempt grass. The river was the cleanest, most glorious, and sweetest river in all of the city. It was in a quiet area where only the birds lullaby was heard and the constant sound of the river flowing to its next destination. Although I hated reading the books, I enjoyed being in the presence of the tranquil river. The river not only sedated my body but my mind as well. Therefore, I began to enjoy the books I read and retained the storyline of the book. And whenever my grandmother would ask me in her thick Jamaican accent “ what did you learn from the story gyal," I was able to regurgitate the story line.

As a child, I was always loud and rambunctious. Never focused on anything for too long and was always moving about. Some would say I had ADHD; others would say my parents gave me too much sugary foods. But whenever I visited the river, I was quiet and thoughtful. The river was my sanctuary and I was a worshipper at the altar. The sounds of the scenery kept me calm, cool, and collected.

But soon like all good things, the river began to be wasted away.

The river soon became polluted with the empty beer bottles by the teenagers who snuck out for a midnight of mischief. Trash of all kinds littered the area making it look more like a place where waste went to live. As the river began to look more sickly, so did my grandmother. The years of hard labor in the Jamaican cane fields began to show on her appearance. And then the river dried up and died away like my grandmother. I lost motivation to read books on my own. Soon reading by the river became a distant memory in my childhood.