(all the essays were kept intact as submitted by the authors)
Intermediate category (16-18 years of age)
SOŠ pro administrativu EU, Praha 9
The words you have given me were many, as were the deeds. Every touch of your hand, every sweet sounding word that came out from your mouth, every glance you gave me when I did something wrong. All of those have irrevocably bruised my heart, because you cannot be so easily forgotten.
You were the first love. The silly, utterly blind feeling that struck me like a huge wave strikes a paper boat afloat. At first I enjoyed the roller-coaster on currents of emotions - up and down, then soaring high again. I did everything you asked me to do. I didn't see I was hurting myself. As if under anaesthesia, I slowly stabbed my back with a long blade. But I did not notice. I heard protests from my friends, from my sister, but I did not want to listen. For me you were the only one. Every day I came to see you, I hugged you and spent time with You. But you just turned away to your books.
The ices started to melt and spring came. But I didn't get any fresh air. I started to suffocate in your presence. And so did my heart. The roller-coaster went downwards, descending into a very dark drop. The painkillers in my back stopped working and I realized the pain I was feeling. Then you went back to your hometown without warning. You said the reason was the foul air of the city, the mean people. You said you missed the mountains where you were born.
Then it came. Cowardice. A mere cell phone message, which told me you considered my love "over".
I expected it would cause pain, but all I experienced was total apathy.
The horrible storm was over and the tide threw my paper boat on the shore. Destroyed bits scattered on the coastline, some thrown far away into the grass at the end of the beach, some drying out in the sun, some helplessly lost in the water. The water was you. The pieces of paper are me, my personality. The beach is my life now and the grass is my life in the future. The bits of paper that ended up in the grass are the lessons You have taught me. Something I will think of as I live on.
Something that will serve as a warning: "Do not do it like this again". As I dry, stand up and walk forth into my life, I might collect some of the pieces lost in the grass and lose them in a different sea.
Some of the scraps will lie in there forever, testifying they are printed on quality paper.
And as for you - I have heard a fresh river now flows into your sea. I wish you well; I hope your common waters will not dry until the end of days. But please, don't soak my land ever again. You were my lesson, and I learned it. Now I must continue reading the book of life.