Peer Review by Sarah D (Australia)

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Weight of the Past

By: ImpossibleGirlo1

    Casandra walked through the park one Sunday after church contemplating what the pastor had said about handling loss. It fit in well with what she was feeling. It had only been a month after her dad had left, but it still felt like it was yesterday and that made it hard to see him. Every other weekend, though, he would pick her and her sister Emily up and they would spend the day together. 
    Casandra sat on the swing and lazily kicked her legs back and forth as she looked around the empty park. Memories floated to her mind as she looked at the basketball hoop, the volleyball court, and the bike trail. Her father had always been an active person, and it was always more fun to be outdoors when he challenged her to something. At the thought of this, a feeling of loneliness gripped her heart and squeezed a small tear from her eyes. She quickly brushed it aside as she saw her neighbor David ride his bike into the park and walk toward her. She put on her almost perfect, falsified happy face and greeted him with a simple, "Hello."
    "Hey, how are you? You didn't stay at church long," David said, sitting in the swing next to her. 
    "I had some homework to finish up, and Mom had to get to work. How are you?"
    "I'm good. I have a big test on Tuesday." 
    "For what class?" Casandra asked, trying to make conversation, and distract her mind from the ever present thoughts.
    "Oh fun," she said sarcastically.
    "Not really."
    "Do you speak sarcasm even a little?" she teased.
    "Yes." He smiled at her and she smiled back. He was a good friend, but not close enough for her to feel comfortable spilling her guts to him. 
    "So, what brought you here?"
    "Well, it's a nice day out. I thought I'd go for a bike ride. Didn't know you were going to be here."
    "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" Casandra asked looking playfully offended.
    "It's a pleasant surprise. What are you doing here?"
    "Just sitting, I guess. Enjoying the fresh air." She turned her head away pretending to look at something in that general direction as she added, "Fresh air always makes me feel better."
    "Why do you need to feel better?"
    "No reason, in particular. Just got a little stuffy back at the house is all." She smiled to add to her lie. 
    "Alright. Want to walk with me?" David asked, gesturing toward the path.
    They stood up and slowly walked towards the paved bike trail as they continued their conversation. They talked about school, hobbies, and anything and everything else, and all of it made Casandra feel less and less lonely, and took a load off her heart. At least for a little while. He made her laugh and smile more than she had in awhile. He always had that effect on her, no matter what was going on, David could easily bring a genuine smile to her falsified one. 
    Before she knew it, the sun was beginning to hang low in the sky, and David had to leave. She regretfully said goodbye and began walking home. Desperately needing to continue feeling the beautiful bliss she felt now, she plugged in her headphones and turned on her happy playlist. Singing and dancing, she found herself back home in no time, and was in a better mood than when she had left. Grabbing a plate of pizza and a small glass of root beer, she escaped upstairs to watch an episode of Heartland before going to bed. Just as Casandra was turning out the lights her phone buzzed. As she climbed into bed, she responded to the regular sweet text saying, "Good night." 
    "Every night like clockwork," she whispered as she turned off her phone and fell asleep, slowly feeling the weight of the world disappear into a feeling of utter peace and calm.

Message to Readers

Okay, so I didn't know how to end it, but what do y'all think?

Peer Review

This piece was very intriguing, but fairly loosely related to the prompt. It seems that the main item which the character carries is her sadness. It reveals a lot about the context of the story, such as what she is doing wandering through the park.

Again, without much of a list, the metaphorical weight which the character is carrying reveals her fears. She obviously fears being lonely and not seeing her father as much as she used to.

Reviewer Comments

I enjoyed this piece and thought that it was a very interesting idea. There are perhaps a couple of sentences that could be adjusted to make the meaning clearer (like I have highlighted), but it was mostly clear. I would also recommend having a go at following the prompt a bit more closely. Maybe this could be a free piece of writing instead? The pacing of the piece was great, and I enjoyed reading it. Great job!