"Eclipse" by Rachel Schreiber is one of the February Writing Challenge entries that was chosen  to be a featured story.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Kertz
Photo courtesy of Rachel Kertz


I grabbed his hand in my own, guiding him towards the little house we called our own.

“Bex, slow down, I can’t handle all this running.” He huffed and puffed, tugging on my hand, pulling me to a stop. He placed his hands on his knees and heaved his chest up and down heavily. I knew he was only putting on a show and I was eager to get to the house.

“Come on, it’s almost time!”

I let him stand there in my wake as I ran down the dirt path, my jacket flowing behind me, my long blonde hair getting caught in my teeth. The old door swung on its hinges, squeaking slightly. I ran up the ancient stairs and down to the last room in the hall. We hadn’t dared open any of the doors to the other rooms, for it would’ve been prying into the house’s privacy.

“Rebeca, I swear if you eat all the Oreos before I get there, I’ll…”

I quickly grabbed his hand and pulled him into the dark room. He grinned at me before attacking the drapes and cloths, pulling them down from the windows. The room was instantly transformed. Light and color filled the air, the peeling yellow wallpaper coming to life.

We laid the cloths down on the floor and grabbed our bags. I looked down at the watch on my wrist. 9:36. We had about three hours until we had to leave.

When everything was set up, I jumped into the air and said, “Daniel, we have exactly two minutes until the sun is in the perfect position. We have to go now!”

He chuckled at me but grabbed my hand, dragging me out of the room. We bounded down the stairs, his much too large Converse flapping beneath him. It was much cooler downstairs, where the windows were cracked and there was a large open space where a back door should be. We not so gracefully ran out to the backyard, a place surrounded by overgrown bushes and evergreens.

We quickly set up the chairs and grabbed our glasses and paper, given to us by Daniel’s dad. The morning sky stood in front of us, the moon and sun straight ahead.

“Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down,” he whispered into my ear. I smiled bright, grabbing his hand again. “Hey, that sounds like a pretty good idea.”

I chuckled slightly, shifting my gaze from the sky to my best friend. He must have felt my glance for he looked to me with a radiant smile on his face. I swear, his smile could outshine any sun. He tugged on my hand, forcing me to look at the sky again. Our eyes were protected by special eclipse glasses and we had the white paper ready in our hands.

“Now remember, don’t look at it for too long and take a break when you need. It will last for almost two hours so you have time to look away.”

“I know, I know. My dad told us a million times,” Daniel groaned, squeezing my hand. His dad was an astronomer, who spent most of his life traveling to different space observatories.

We watched as the moon slowly moved across the sky. As the moon and the sun crossed paths, it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. I watched in amazement, my mouth hanging wide open. I blinked hard and looked away, only to look up again, just to see the beauty of it all.

“Make a wish,” Daniel said when he looked away from the sight.

“Why? I didn’t know you did that with eclipses.”

“Maybe other people don’t. But we can.” He shut his eyes tight and spoke silent words to the sky. I mimicked his actions silently shouting my wish, I wish we didn’t have to leave.

I opened my eyes again and looked out to the sky. I wondered if my parents were watching the eclipse from the comfort of our backyard, or if they were at the lab with Daniel’s parents.

The sky was almost totally dark for a moment before the moon began to shift again. I couldn’t recall how much time had passed, but I honestly didn’t care. Watching the eclipse from our own little house was the best thing I could’ve asked for.

When the show was almost done, Daniel looked over at me and tugged me out of my chair. He pulled me through the comforting place we found felt like a second home. There were years of laughter and even some tears etched into the walls of our special place, ones that had been there long before we came and would stay long after.

I shook my head at my thoughts of leaving and departure. I didn’t want to think of that until absolutely necessary.

When we reached the last room at the end of the hall, Daniel grabbed my hand again.

“Bex, you know that once we leave we won’t…”

“I know.” I cut him off. The sad look in his eyes was reminder enough.

We spent the next few minutes packing up our bags, sneaking a few Oreos while we did.  We placed the cloths back onto the windows and headed downstairs.

“I feel like this year is going to feel even longer.”

“I know, I wish we could just stay here together forever,” Daniel whispered. I looked over at my best friend, watching small tears form in his gray eyes.

The timer on my watch finally went off, signaling the end of our trip. We solemnly left the house, closing the door on the way out.

If felt like seconds as we walked back to the place our parents would be waiting. When their cars came into view, I felt the urge to turn around and run away. But not without taking Daniel with me, of course.

“Hey, kids, how was it?” My dad asked.

“First of all, we’re not kids. We’re in high school. And second of all, it was absolutely amazing. It was so beautiful, I never wanted to leave.” My dad pulled me into a hug and patted my back. “I’m glad, Rebeca.”

I turned to see Daniel’s parents hugging their son. I almost laughed considering we had just seen our parents only a few hours ago. But when they nodded their heads and he turned around, I remembered the reason we met up today.

I slowly began walking towards Daniel, as he started walking towards me. I wrapped my arms around his torso, squeezing him tightly. “I’m going to miss you, Danny.”

“You too, Bex.”

“Text me every day?” I stifled a cry and blinked away the tears.

”Of course.” He placed something into the pocket of my denim jacket and kissed my forehead before turning around and walking back to his car.

As he drove off with his parents, I thought about the long year ahead of us. With him in London and me here in our hometown, it would be hard to maintain our friendship through another year apart. But we’d done it the last four years; we could do it a fifth.

I was sitting in the car, cradling my legs when I remembered the note in my pocket. I quickly pulled it out and read the words on the cover. Rebeca Winters.

I tore open the letter and began reading.

Hey Bex, I didn’t want to tell you this earlier because I was worried you’d get too excited and not want to even hang out with me. But guess what! I’ll be seeing you this summer. Our parents said you could come to London for a month. So really, we don’t have to wait long at all.

I can’t wait to see you 🙂

Love you, Danny.

My head snapped up, and I stared at my dad, who sat next to me.


My dad nodded with a mischievous smile on his face. I smiled brightly and folded up the note. As we drove home I tried to do the math in my head of how long it would be until summer.





rachel schreiberRachel Schreiber, 14
United States

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