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Winter Gardens

Ground Zero

It is a bright day, and it smells of fresh air. I pass two men who are talking about one of their friends. I stop and listen to the conversation. It sounds like this . . .

"You see Jimmy lately? I hear he has a new TV."

"No, I haven't seen him. I hear some rumors that he got some money from a 5000 dollar bet."

"Problably complete nonsense..."

I look at my watch, and find out that it's later than I thought. I scampered past some boys, talking about how many awards Lord of the Rings won on February the 29th. I walked down the path my father had named "The Golden Mile". It's sunset, and the trees give the air a serene feeling. The sun, the trees, and the color of the sky all remind me of a day in August. I sit on a bench under one of the trees and relax to imagine the blue skies, and the bright sun. A gust of wind tells me that my imagination isn't real, and I continue my walk. I go up some steps and find myself at Winter Garden.

I go into Winter Garden. There are more people here, but that does not disturb me at all. I walk up some more steps, to sit in the circular enclosure and rest. This reminds me of the time when I was 5. My Dad had taken me here to show me something. He said that if I shouted at the round wall, there would be an echo. I shouted and I heard the wall answer back to me. I feel happy and walk up some more steps. I look out from Winter Garden into the emptiness of Ground Zero. The bottom is like a void, being lit by many lights that seem to pour endlessly into the space of Ground Zero. I think back and remember when instead of the void, there were two humongous buildings towering over everything surrounding it. This gives me some feeling, which I can't label. I turn around and leave to go home, feeling whole inside.

The story was posted on 2004-03-27