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Updated: Jul 10, 2022

A short story by Allen Mincemoyer

Daniel’s black, glossy guitar lay propped up against the wall, reflecting the early morning light. The clock tells him that the school day has long since started, so he figures he’ll just stay home and pretend to have a cold instead of adding another tardy to the attendance sheet. Daniel stares at the guitar, not moving an inch to get out of bed. His eyes start to sting, “Ugh, no.” He wipes at them angrily. He wants to play but he just…can’t. What’s the point if Eli isn’t here anymore?

“Hey! That was so good, Dan!” Eli laughs. They had just finished playing their first song all the way through. Daniel blushes and lowers his eyes, smiling faintly. He’s not used to taking such enthusiastic compliments. Eli continues, “Seriously! You could definitely be a professional musician one day!”

Back then, Eli was such a big presence in Daniel’s life. He was always calling, texting, and stopping by Daniel’s house unannounced. It was Daniel’s love for Eli that made the accident so devastating. The loss of the only person Daniel loved, left him with nothing. Everything Daniel does reminds him of Eli – listening to music, going to the beach, watching movies. None of it’s fun anymore. He feels so empty, like something is missing. Eli is missing.

Daniel has been trying so hard to block out the traumatic event that happened just last summer. He closes his eyes, thinking back. It was dark. They were just running around, exploring the abandoned buildings. Then, the headlights flashed. Daniel jerks back to his room. It’s no use trying to wipe away the tears already soaking his cheeks.

Eli would be disappointed if he knew that Daniel stopped playing. Daniel flicks his eyes away from his guitar and spots the pick with a little smiley face carved in it that Eli gave him. Daniel sits up, rubs his eyes, takes a deep breath, and grabs the guitar.

Art Academy of Milton will be featuring short stories written by the students of Michael Rash's Prose Writers' Workshop. To learn more about the next workshop and other events, visit our classes page!


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