woman sitting on wooden planks

( Intermediate Level )

Melissa has taken full blame for what happened to her younger brother Frank. He, as any younger brother would do, bugged her to let him tag along with her and her friend to the lake to swim.

She should’ve said no. She should have told him he was too young and she didn’t have time to watch over him. She should have but she didn’t. Now she lives with the guilt.

The guilt that would eat her up inside. The guilt that her parents separated shortly after her brother, Frank, drowned.

Nothing will change what happened but maybe she could make a difference . Somehow. Some way.

Melissa would sit hours ,at the lake, talking to her brother, as if he could hear her. “Frank, I miss you. I miss you annoying me to watch something on TV fully knowing I was deeply interested in what I was watching.”

Mom and Dad aren’t together anymore. Dad is having a terrible time dealing with the fact he lost you. Mom stays to herself and barely talks to me. I only have you ,kiddo. Are you upset with me too?”

She knew she wouldn’t hear an answer. It made her feel better just being there. Her schoolwork suffered and her friends gave up trying to talk or come over.

That day keeps playing in her head over and over again. “Melissa….help…help….” Each scream she had ignored him thinking he was goofing around.

Little did she know he had gone into the water while her and her friends were up by the car listening to music. He went out a little too far where he couldn’t touch the bottom. He panicked.

He was told not to go into the water when she wasn’t there to watch him. Like usual he hadn’t listened. She should have been more responsible.

Years had passed and Melissa moved away to attend college. Somehow, she managed to get through school. Her high school years were a big blur.

Once a year she returns home on the anniversary of her little brother’s death. She sits on the docks and fills her brother in on all she had done over the past year.

The hurt she felt has subsided to a dull pang in her heart now. Her mother has forgiven her for not being more responsible that day.

Her dad, also, had moved back home after a year. Each needed their time and way to heal. Melissa, too, had chosen to volunteer at the local YMCA giving swimming lessons to the youth.

She told her brother once at one of her visits, “See Frank, good things can come out of bad. Mom and dad are closer than they have ever been.

“I am getting stronger as the years pass. I tell the kids that little brothers or sisters can be a pain but you are lucky to have them. I miss you Frank. “

Written By: Angel

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Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Guilt will consume every ounce of your being. To heal you must forgive yourself. Forgiving is not forgetting, it is just a vessel to move forward.

If you appreciate what I do:


tag along – verb: to follow another

eat her up – idiom: to bother or be obsessed

goofing– verb: spend time idly or foolishly

responsible – adjective: obligation

blur – noun: unclear

anniversary – noun: the date on which an event took place

subsided – verb: become less intense

pang – noun: painful emotion

volunteer – verb: freely offer to do something

Question ( s ):

Was Melissa responsible for her younger brother’s death?

Do you believe time heals all wounds?

Should Melissa forgive herself?

Sarah’s Story

( Intermediate level )

As Sarah lay in her bed, in the dark of night, listening to the clock on the wall she wondered why she was such a failure. Her heart was in the right place, just her choices were not always the best.

She had one failed marriage and, now, is unhappy with her current husband. You see, he was a wonderful man, in the beginning. Always there for her. Sharing the same interests and doing things together.

As the years went by, his drinking became incessive. Starting early in the morning until he passed out at the end of the day. This was, usually, around four or five in the evening . Sarah usually tried to avoid him during the day so the arguments wouldn’t begin.

She thought many times that she was the cause of his drinking. He used to tell her so. He never laid his hands on her but the emotional abuse was real.

Her friends would ask her why she was with such a man. They would tell her she deserved better. She knew if she left him he would surely die. He would drink himself to death. This is why she felt she had to stay.

Many times she would try to talk with him, regarding his drinking. He would just nod his head and tune out. Agreeing with her just to shut her up.

Now, as she lay listening to the clock she felt she could not continue on. Can she make it on her own? Can she move on without guilt? Her days were consumed with misery . Her work was suffering. Something had to change with her situation and it was only her who could make this change.

She saved as much money as she could in the course of the following months. It took about nine months and she, finally, felt she had enough to get away and have a new start.

Sarah kept swaying with her decision, until the very last minute. Should she go or should she stay? She knew if she stayed nothing would change.

While her husband lay passed out on the sofa, Sarah quietly packed one simple suitcase with the barest of necessities to get her by. She quietly took off her wedding ring and laid it on the table.

She chose not to say good-bye but to leave. No arguments or drama. She took one last look at him on the sofa and walked out the door, closing it as softly as she could.

Sarah has not looked back since that day and has made a secluded life for herself. She is content and now has to heal from years of emotional abuse.

She now can lay in bed at night, listening to the clock and her thoughts can wander to what new and exciting things tomorrow will bring.

Written by: Angel

It is never too late to turn the page and start the next chapter in your life.

If you appreciate what I do:

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Vocabulary :

Incessive: intense , a lot

arguments: opposite views, usually in heated discussion

emotional abuse: a way to control another person by using emotions to criticize, embarrass, shame, blame, or otherwise manipulate another person.

guilt: feeling of doing something wrong

consumed: used up

misery: feeling discomfort of mind or body

decision: making a choice, deciding something

secluded: private, quiet


If you were Sarah, what would you have done differently?