Zoe came out of her apartment, zipping up her hoodie as she tried to locate her car keys in her large purse at the same time. She moved down the hallway to the stairs and quickly ran down to the lobby. She stopped to check their mailbox on the way through, and she squealed in excitement when she found the envelope she’d been waiting for. She kissed it for luck and tore it open.

A moment later, she dashed out the lobby doors and ran through the park, heading for the apartment building opposite hers. She was in mid-run when she screeched to a halt, seeing the very person she was running towards, working in the park gardens.

“Annelise!” she cried, waving the envelope, “Annelise, it came!”

The teenaged girl, working in the garden at the base of a fast-growing young tree, turned to stand up as she approached at a run.

“Well?” Annelise grinned, “Did you get in?”

“Yesssssss!!!!” Zoe cried, and the two young women hugged each other as they hopped up and down. “Now we’ll still be together! Four years of High School and soon two years of College!”

“This is wonderful!” Annelise laughed, “The dynamic duo rides again! Did you tell your Mom?”

“Not yet,” Zoe said,”I just grabbed the mail on my way out the door. I wanted to tell you first!”

“I’m glad you did,” Annelise said, “I was getting worried I’d have to attend State College by myself. I wasn’t looking forward to making new friends.”

“Aw, you’d have done great,” Zoe told her, “You’re a stellar student, you’re pretty, and you make friends easily. I would have had a harder time starting somewhere new.”

“You don’t give yourself enough credit,” Annelise said, wiping the sweat off of her brow with her forearm. She crouched back down to continue weeding the forget-me-nots at the base of the tree.

“Hey, why don’t we go out for a burger and a malted to celebrate?” Zoe asked.

“That sounds great,” Annelise said, “Let me finish up here. I wanted to weed and plant this pack of impatiens.”

“That tree has grown so much,” Zoe said, “The flowers look so pretty around it, too.”

“Yes, thanks,” Annelise said, “I think he’d like it, don’t you?”

“He sure would,” Zoe told her, “But you told me he liked everything you did. How long has he been gone now, Annelise?”

“Six years, “Annelise said, “We planted this tree in his honor the spring after he died. I wish he was still here to sit in its shade. He’d have liked that, too.”

“I wish I’d met him,” Zoe said, “It sounds like he was a great guy.”

“Barney was a sweet and wonderful old man,” Annelise said, “He liked the park, his store, the kids, the sunshine, the flowers and trees and chocolate ice cream cones.”

“He liked you, too, Annelise, and he would be proud of how you’ve grown, too,” Zoe said, patting her shoulder.

“Thanks, Zoe,” Annelise sniffed, “Go tell your Mom about your acceptance letter. I’ll finish here and go wash up and meet you in about a half an hour.”

“You got it,” Zoe said, turning to run back towards her apartment.

Zoe dashed back inside the building and didn’t see Annelise wipe away a tear as she continued planting flowers at the base of Barney’s tree.

Image courtesy of Pinterest


15 thoughts on “A to Z Blog Challenge – Z is for Zoe

  1. Lovely! Congratulations on getting to the end, Donna! Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com


    1. Thank you, Liz!!


  2. quiall says:

    Powerful ending! Yes I cried.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pam. I debated going for a happier ending, but this one seemed to fit. I actually wrote “Z” first this week (before W, X and Y). Thank you for reading them all. 😊


  3. vrein11 says:

    Such a sweet ending! So glad to see you published these stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I’m happy you enjoyed reading them. I loved writing them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I am crying here as well – thank you for all these stories. This has been a great A to Z Challenge. I’ve loved the whole thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sarah. I’m glad you liked my stories. This was my first challenge. I loved it, too! I’m so excited to have found you and Choppy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And the same for you – this really has been a wonderful challenge, if for no other reason than the great blogs I have discovered!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. raesquiggles says:

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge. Lovely ending.


  6. Candace says:

    That was a tearjerker 😦 but a lovely series, wrapped up nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What wonderful story, both happy and bittersweet. I’m on my Road Trip to catch up with all the blogs I missed last month. I particularly wanted to come back and read the end of this story. I’m so glad I did. Congratulations on finishing A to Z and for publishing the series! Very well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lori. I’m working now on continuing Annelise’s story. I’m adding detail and it’s HARD! I’m determined to do it, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you do. I look forward to reading it someday.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: