Joseph Wallace, Grade 9
“Have a great first day,” Linda says, and she hugs Kade tightly. I smile.
“Come on Kade,” I say to him, holding out my hand. He turns, eyes sparkling, and skips towards me, slipping his hand into mine. We walk in together.
“How about you Kade? Tell us something about yourself.” Kade grins and claps his hands together.
“I have a best friend,” he exclaims. “His name is Pob. He is the bestest friend I ever had!” I smile and squeeze his little hand.
“Where is he now, Kade?” The teacher asks. Kade points to me.
“Right next to me!” he answers, in a high-pitched voice. The teacher looks my way, seemingly through me… and then smiles.
“Who’s next?” She asks.
“Wait!” Kade shouts. “Where’s Pob’s chair?” Linda rolls her eyes, and then drags a chair over from the kitchen.
“Sorry, Kade! It slipped my mind tonight.” She said. He pats the seat and looks up at me. I look back at him and grin, and he smiles - but it’s sort of half-heartedly. I sit down, slowly, still looking at him. Is it just me, or does his gaze wander slightly when he looks into my eyes…?
“Kade! Wait for me!” I say, running to keep up. He doesn’t seem to hear me. He’s busy talking to his friends, I think. They are pedalling very fast. Last night, he forgot all about me. I wonder what’s wrong.
“Kade!” I shout again. This time he looks behind, but not at me.
“Guys, slow down a bit yeah?” He tells his friends. I am running beside him now, but I feel tired. I’m not as strong as I used to be. I look across at him, and I can see the sweat running down his face as he propels himself forwards on his bicycle. I reach out to give him a push, but my hand sinks through his back.
“Kade?” I say, but he’s not listening.
I am weak. I can see through my own hands. Kade hardly ever talks to me anymore. He used to talk to me at night when he couldn’t sleep, but it seems that now he’s forgotten. I’m sitting on the end of his bed now, watching him silently breathe in his sleep. He grew up so quickly. I wonder if he’ll ever talk to me again?
I am invisible. I can talk, but Kade can’t hear me. I follow him everywhere. All that’s left for me is to watch him, now. I have no influence on his decisions, on what he can and can’t do. But I will still be here, Kade. Maybe one day you will remember me. Maybe one day, you’ll talk to me again. I’ll be here.
I’m humming to myself, absentmindedly. I notice something and start. I can see my hands, for the first time in decades. I look at Kade. He’s looking at me. Into my eyes.