By Nicole Itkin
What if someone took your place? How would they take over your world? Those were the two questions I had when I started this piece, questions I tried to answer.
Sweaty ski boots [empty ski boots], rock-torn sneakers [spotted skies], steam dried showers [fruitless smoothies], and carpet-lined [lazy beaches]. The road looms and twists, touching the horizon, layed out, splayed out. What if? What if the dirt had kept lying untouched? Or the trees had run from their shadows? What if the sky had told its rays to fade away? What if? What if— I'd never stepped foot there? What if the plane seat had been filled? With a different baby. Better baby. Mouth-filled baby. Silent baby. Appreciative-of-what-I-took-for-granted baby. Silent baby. Better baby. Plane seat filled. What if?
I started with a prompt asking about the concept of replacement. I soon found myself drawn to a place of “what if?” and made that the staple of the piece. As I kept writing, I was also drawn to my memories of traveling and felt compelled to discuss the notion of replacement in that sphere of my life.
Nicole Itkin is a high school junior in New York. She loves acting and writing, possibly because both allow her to fling words together in an attempt to tell a story and to tell it well. When she isn't staring at something with writing on it (whether it’s her own notebook, a published novel or a play), she is most likely thinking about new ways to incorporate tofu in her diet, learning other languages or traveling.