“But you didn’t really need to do all this… Even if you didn’t give us anything, you’d still be my best…”
She couldn’t finish the last word, “friend”, because a big firework popped in the night sky, making it all
golden and bright.
Right when it started, one after another, families everywhere started lighting up fireworks. The fireworks
were so colorful and pretty, and they lit up Ethan’s face. He looked out the window at the fireworks, like
he was lost in thinking.
Madelyn turned around, holding the hangover soup in her hands. She remembered what George had
said and decided to wait until he felt better before talking about it. “Finish the hangover soup first, then
we can go see the fireworks?”
Ethan smiled. “Sure.” At the Jent residence, they sat on a swing under a tree in the backyard, watching
the fireworks light up the sky at night.
“During special times like this, my favorite thing is sitting here, swinging on this swing, and watching the
fireworks. I used to wish I could see them every night. Rosario used to be here with me…” Ethan’s
hand tightened around hers without him even realizing. “Actually, I noticed you a long time ago.”
“Long ago? When?” Madelyn asked, looking at him. Ethan’s mansion just outside the yard of the Jent
residence. There wasn’t a single light on.
Ethan looked at her. “Three years ago was my darkest time. I was so depressed I almost couldn’t take
it anymore. In my room, besides the darkness and the sound of water, I heard your laughter. Your
laughter sounded so incredibly joyful, and I was very curious about what could make you so happy.
So, I got up to see. I saw you holding a doll, talking to it all day. You said your mom had given it to you.
Every day, besides eating, sleeping, and going to school, I always heard you chatting to yourself in the
Three years ago, Ethan had tried to kill himself three times. On that day, he was preparing to end it all.
He cut his wrist with glass shards and, as he watched his blood slowly drying up, he laid in a pool of
blood, waiting for death.
But the sound of a little girl’s laughter seemed to have a magical healing power. When sadness takes
over, it feels really hard to breathe, and there was a strong wish to break free from it completely. It felt
like being alive just brought him pain. Ethan smiled. “Do you remember the song you used to sing?”
Madelyn felt a sort of sinking feeling in her chest. “What song?” She didn’t know that Ethan was her
neighbor back then. She always thought the house next door was empty; the curtains were never open
during the day, and the lights were never on at night.
“Try to think.” Madelyn thought really hard and then suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, got it! Is it this one,
‘Hush, little baby, don’t make a peep, Papa’s gonna get you a teddy bear so sweet. And if that teddy
bear’s not right, Papa’s gonna buy you a starry night.’? How do you even remember that? I almost
forgot everything from way back then.”
That was the only thing her mother left for her. But when her father found out, he burned her doll. Later,
Rosario told her that her mother had sewn the doll by hand, and it was one of a kind in the whole world.
“It’s alright, as long as I remember.”
Madelyn looked up at the night sky. ” Let’s not think about the old days anymore. If they hurt, let’s just
leave them behind. It’s good enough that you’re okay now. We all come into this world with our own
reasons for being here. We can’t keep living in the past, right?”
Ethan nodded. “You’re right, Madelyn. Thanks. You’re the one who brought me back to life. You helped
me see what life’s all about. You’re like the light that pulled me out of a really tough spot.”
Madelyn reached out to straighten his collar, a smile on her face. “Don’t worry, things will get better,
and you’ll keep getting stronger. Remember, you’re the awesome Ethan.”
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