by Jack Sebring
(Clarkston, Michigan, USA)

I walked, alone, through the park near the center of town. The sun shone brightly above my head. Children’s laughter was everywhere around me as I walked. Kids were hanging on the monkey bars, playing in the dirt, swinging on the swings, crawling through tunnels made of tires, sliding down slides, and some hidden; playing Hide and Seek.

A long lost memory slowly crept into my mind. My cousins and I always played in this park when we were younger. I hadn’t seen them in a long time. I really missed spending time with them. But today I was alone.

A park isn’t fun without other people there. It’s only fun when you're there with friends and family. Those people put a smile on your face when you see them. The park became alive with laughter, friendship, and energy when we played. We ran, hid, jumped, climbed, and flew. Suddenly everything was quiet and all the color had been sucked out of life. I was alone in the empty park. All I could hear was the crunching of twigs under my feet. I walked, alone, through the park, kicking stones. When I looked up at the sky, color began to seep back into my life. Birds chirped and squirrels scurried through the leaves. Laughter and music got louder in the distance and children ran past me looking back at me. I was tapped on the shoulder and when I turned my cousin was running away yelling “YOU’RE IT!” I realized I was never really alone. Family is always there for me.

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