Pearls and Diamonds: Fresno girl shares her feelings after the Newtown shooting through a story

Mar 16, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Teens, Terrific Tales

by Miranda Lara

Miranda is 12 years old and she wrote this short story after hearing about the Newtown shooting as a way of expressing her feelings over the horrible incident. This story is fiction.

I do not think that he is just any boy. I do not think that he is just any musician. Even from across the country, or even across the river, I feel the need to peck him right on the cheek. I feel that he is much more than what people credit him. Even in death and grief. I am sure Tara wanted the best and so did mother.

“Evil visited this community today”-Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

My hand was trembling in a spasm. My pencil was shaking side to side and my eyes focused on the lined piece of paper. “One Day,” it read. One day, what? One day I could become a hot pop star singing in New York Square on New Year’s Eve, paparazzi crying to get a shot of me and fans bursting with tears when they find out my concert is sold out from the last bar ticket. Or, One day, I can be a homeless bum living on the street with not one penny to spare and not one helpful hand around my waist for a shoulder to lean on.

Miranda and her father

Anything can happen nowadays.

I keep feeling the urge to look behind me and see his deep blue eyes. Maybe if he sees my hard green eyes, he will feel sympathy. But, as always, if I sneak a peek at his tall structure, I might reveal myself and spend another day suffering from constant punches and spitballs being thrown at me. As if any of that is new to me. Therefore, my eyes stayed glued to the paper.

He is not even there, not even in school today. Why am I suffering so much just to be disappointed after I look at his empty seat? My paper was dead blank and my partner was staring at me with his owl black eyes. I smirked at Tommy to let him know to mind his own beeswax.

I turned my newly-forced attention to the empty paper.
I started to write and write until the bell rang. Now that English is over, maybe Art will not be just as long. I failed to believe. Our new assignment was to paint a mural of our saddest day of our life, much worse than that free-write essay we had to do. The problem was that this teacher was much stricter than Mrs. Olivira.

What I drew was a funeral. Black roses were filling the painting and once brown eyes turned into blue, hopped in to join them. Accompanying the eyes were hair, arms, necks and fingernails. Then the legs came fourth. To welcome the tear stricken characters were rows of seats. Followed by a Coffin. A large black rectangular one, almost as wide as
Carlos Rivera and as long as Mrs. Marigold’s. Something was missing. Ah yes, the child of the murder.

Rosie Cynthia was carefully painted in as though the world counted on it. I remembered to draw in the small legs of the 12 year old, as well as the long brown hair. The long black dress flew up revealing a small fraction of her legs. Her green eyes were solemn back then before they turned hard.

Now final touches were to be made. I slowly opened the coffin afraid of what the little girl was to say, for back then was not even a week ago. After gently lifting the black coffin with her dirty fingernails, revealed something terrifying. My mother’s hair was just as long and golden brown as her brown eyes were not visible. Her face was pale and her favorite deep, ocean blue dress was wrinkled and layered over her chipped skin.

A tear fell onto my paintbrush causing a smudge on the only red rose painted in the drawing. I looked around to see who was crying. It was I, and everybody was looking at me. A cold hand sent a chill down my spine from my shoulder blade. Mrs. Marlin was looking at me with unusual understanding gray eyes. Then the bell rang, signaling the end of the period, the end of the day.

I stormed, out ditching the funeral and leaving the people cursing out the wind for the death and murder of Dylan Cynthia. That was how the real funeral ended.

The entire school and the entire city of Newtown, Connecticut is suffering grief for those of us who had lost relatives in the historic shooting of 2012. My cousin was among the fice year olds. She was darling. Tara was her name and she was my favorite. I miss her more than anything. My mother was one of the teachers in school. Mom and cousin, what closure counts for that?

I ran towards my bicycle and threw my backpack aside, yet I didn’t hop on. The school’s USA flag had been brought up half-pole length. I stood staring at one of the empty spots meant for little kids. If she hadn’t refused to skip school because of her flu, then she would have been all good and free spirited as usual. She would have been staring at me for help, urging me onto my blue bike while she stays as the strongest little girl I had ever met, and laughed while the wind blew against her cheeks and her long, beautiful brown hair. I will be crying. She will be riding with me, comforting me. She isn’t. After all, James Sunburn and Tara got along so well that it made me jealous. I threw my thoughts away to let them fly with the cool breeze. Evil is coming back to the community once more.

I rode corners and blocks and reached the community hospital. Another tragedy was set today. James Sunburn was the only injured one and right now in his deathbed. If only I can make it in time. If only. If only he knew. If only he knew that I loved him and Tara wishes that, he will only….

I ran straight pass the front desk and ignored the woman’s comments calling me little girl. I heard “Little girl, have you the right mind to go up there?” and “Get your skinny butt down here, young girl or you can say hi to my new electric-razor.”

I ran up the stairs and ignoring the welcoming elevator to let me think of what I am about to do. But I know what I am going to do. It’s my last chance.

There was a white door blocked by doctors, but I was running too fast to even see that they were trying to stop me. “Let loves keen eye stab me.” I stop near a bed where a tall boy isn’t functionally properly. I stopped near a bed; I wasn’t too sure that this was where he was.

Tara said, “Yes it is him!” I listened to her soft singing voice in my subconscious. She was reaching out to me. I raised my nervous hand and stopped. I know I am hallucinating and I know I am not dreaming. Tara was holding my hand to keep it from shaking. Tears were in my eyes and she was urging me on. She was just as small, delicate and comforting, too much for a 5 year old. She was smiling her wide smile and twinkling her blue eyes at me. She was on her Tippy-toes to steady my unstable hand. My black cloud was larger than it had ever been.

My cold hand was not shaking anymore and I felt more confidence. I felt his cool skin and he awoke to see me as his last thought and sight. “I love you,” was all I managed to say, and “Happy birthday, James,” I kissed him right on the mouth. His last action meant real love came from him before he died, and Tara disappeared in a heartbeat.

That was the end of James Sunburn.

I could still remember the day he gave me a bag of wood chips and rocks and then told me to think of them as Pearls and Diamonds. “With that, you and I will always be together,” he said. I sat there holding his hand and my other hand rubbing his forehead. Tears were flowing out of my eyes and I was holding the Pearls and Diamonds of James heart.

He took mine with him.

Miranda Lara was born here in Fresno and is 12 years old. Miranda attends Tenaya Middle School as a 7th grader. After finishing high school, she wants to move to London, England and attend Royal Holloway as an over-seas student and study literature and music. She wishes to pursue her dream of being the worlds youngest writer, and a music teacher.


  1. it made me cry why why i will take all your chocolate now forever i will stalk you to london and kidnapp you and take all your candy beware

  2. I have a lot of chocolate meet me in the library tomorow

  3. Great story Miranda!!!
    Sad, but very good.


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