Changeling

August 6, 2009
By Yiwei Hu SILVER, Toronto, Other
Yiwei Hu SILVER, Toronto, Other
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

My mother—the biological mother, the glamorous and manipulative one—called last night. I had no choice but to answer to her inquiries, and commiserate with her mundane misfortunes. “He insists on carpet. That’s fertile breeding grounds for dust mites. He can vacuum it, because I didn’t want the carpet in the first place. Do you need curtains? Curtains are expensive here…”

My father—the biological father, the stoic and vengeful one—never calls. Since his discovery of my scandalous love affair, his displeasure at my published work, we have not spoken. Our curt emails, once in a blue moon, are all business. We talk RESPs, we talk money. He doesn’t want me back, and I’m good with that.


The first time I left him, I was five. He had divorced his wife, the biological mother, and was living with the new wife, the surrogate mother. A five-year-old is taxing. I guzzled energy like air conditioning. Perhaps I was too much for them.

The discussion was brief, and very lacklustre, not the least dramatic. “Go to your mother’s apartment,” he said. I said nothing. He opened the door. I stepped out. He locked the door.

It was dark. The apartment corridor had no functioning light. Underneath my father’s door was a bright white line. I stared at it. Then I put my hands in my pockets and ran down the stairs.

My biological mother was surprised. Her plucked eyebrows disappeared into her bangs, and her pink lipstick made an O-shape. She offered me a bowl of raisins. I loved raisins. She put on Looney Tunes. I loved Looney Tunes. We were happy that night.

The happiness quickly degenerated, at least on her part. “Go back to your father,” she shrieked, two weeks later. I cried a lot, but I had no fight. I let her open the door, I willingly walked out, and I let her lock the door behind me.

Since I wasn’t about to be evicted again, I begged my babysitter for shelter. Mrs. W. didn’t know what to make of this. The hairy mole in her left eyebrow jerked up and down. Was this a game between my mother and me? What sort of mother would play such a game with her daughter? She could not understand, and neither could I.

Just then a knock came on the door. “I’m not here,” I mouthed to Mrs. W. Expertly, rapidly, and spurred by panic, I slid under the bed. Please, please, please, don’t let her find me.

My mother drags me out from under the bed. She’s not pleased. I’m terrified. Locking my wrist in an iron grip, she leads me to my father’s apartment building. As I crawl up the stairs, a miserable little maggot, she does not follow. I do not look back.

I am back in the dark corridor again, back in front of the bright white line. The light sears my retinas, but I am transfixed. I do not knock, I do not cry. My mother’s heels click, click, and fade.

Why didn’t I push back? Why did I let them close doors in my face? Why didn’t I stand up for myself? Say something, d*** it. You’re five. They’re your parents. Lonely nocturnal trips and bright white lines, those shouldn’t happen. Stand up for yourself. Fight.

I wasn’t a fighter, but I am now. When no one is looking out for you, look out for yourself. Happiness doesn’t fall out of the sky. You have to work for it. Squeeze out every drop of sweetness, because a lemon doesn’t juice itself.

The second time I left home, I was sixteen. Perhaps I was too much for them; perhaps they were too much for me. But this time, it was my choice, and on my terms. No bright white lines, no closing doors, and no fading heels. Just snow, wind, and a breath of lemon-scented air.


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This article has 35 comments.


thall13 said...
on Sep. 24 2015 at 1:30 pm
thall13,
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
i loved this essay and i feel as if people don't write about real situations anymore. i want to read more of your material and learn more about you. I am 18 and a freshman in college and if you or anyone else would like to compare or even talk about poetry, reply to this post

on Jan. 11 2015 at 9:19 am
artparisone BRONZE, Noida, Other
2 articles 21 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only way to have a friend is to be one."

This is one of the most beautifully written essays I have come across. Well done!

Anna41 BRONZE said...
on Jun. 18 2013 at 3:49 pm
Anna41 BRONZE, Dumfries, Other
4 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you want to see in the world"

Define monster - A person who can't be loved

Really beautiful. I don't know what else to say.

on Oct. 28 2012 at 12:35 pm
XpurplemacaroniX GOLD, Hagerstown, Maryland
10 articles 1 photo 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

This left me speechless. I just, have no words for this. I genuinely wish I could I was the one who wrote this piece. Your style is beautiful, your vocabulary is fantastic, and your ability to move people with your words is truly admirable. Please keep writing! (Looks like I found some words after all.)

iJustu said...
on Sep. 14 2012 at 9:48 am
iJustu, Fort Pierre, South Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Mind going out to Hell for me? I am rather busy with this paper at the moment.

Oh my heart aches while hanging on the words itself! It was beautfully done, most brilliant sad story I ever read. Keep up with it!

iJustu said...
on Sep. 14 2012 at 9:48 am
iJustu, Fort Pierre, South Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Mind going out to Hell for me? I am rather busy with this paper at the moment.

Oh my heart aches while hanging on the words itself! It was beautfully done, most brilliant sad story I ever read. Keep up with it!

on May. 18 2012 at 7:22 pm
Neonpanda17 SILVER, Digby, Other
9 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I haven't seen anything that ridiculous since ridiculous day at the Deli, when prices were so low, it was ridiculous." -Cleveland Brown-

I believe you're incapable of a lot of things :)

FULLSTOP GOLD said...
on May. 9 2012 at 3:29 am
FULLSTOP GOLD, Skipton, North Yorkshire, Other
13 articles 7 photos 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
forever and ever and ever and ever will never be enough

I'm sorry, but are you saying i am incapable of watching a show and getting a quote from there? If you are suggesting that i copied from YOUR profile, you are emerging onto a certain level of self absorbancy

on May. 4 2012 at 11:39 pm
Neonpanda17 SILVER, Digby, Other
9 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I haven't seen anything that ridiculous since ridiculous day at the Deli, when prices were so low, it was ridiculous." -Cleveland Brown-

Yes, it is... It is also my quote on my profile... -.-

FULLSTOP GOLD said...
on May. 4 2012 at 8:50 am
FULLSTOP GOLD, Skipton, North Yorkshire, Other
13 articles 7 photos 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
forever and ever and ever and ever will never be enough

and yes, that IS a quote from family guy 

FULLSTOP GOLD said...
on May. 4 2012 at 8:44 am
FULLSTOP GOLD, Skipton, North Yorkshire, Other
13 articles 7 photos 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
forever and ever and ever and ever will never be enough

I haven't heard anything that ridiculous since ridiculous day at the Deli, when prices were so low, it was ridiculous.

on May. 4 2012 at 5:12 am
Neonpanda17 SILVER, Digby, Other
9 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I haven't seen anything that ridiculous since ridiculous day at the Deli, when prices were so low, it was ridiculous." -Cleveland Brown-

Look who's talking... You made a rude comment TWO months after that other guy did... I only replied a day later...

FULLSTOP GOLD said...
on May. 4 2012 at 3:50 am
FULLSTOP GOLD, Skipton, North Yorkshire, Other
13 articles 7 photos 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
forever and ever and ever and ever will never be enough

'm sorry, but  when did YOU join this conversation? 

on May. 3 2012 at 4:44 pm
Neonpanda17 SILVER, Digby, Other
9 articles 2 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I haven't seen anything that ridiculous since ridiculous day at the Deli, when prices were so low, it was ridiculous." -Cleveland Brown-

Actually, if you're saying she shouldn't make it shorter, then your stating an opinion yourself. I don't see how Dark is being bias if he's making an obvious statement, and commenting on Jonna's opinion... -.-

irishlass317 said...
on May. 1 2012 at 10:55 pm
irishlass317, Jefferson City, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 137 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I asked Jesus 'How much do you love me?' He answered 'This much.' And He streched out His arms and died."

Wow. Your essay is amazing! It inspires me!!! <3

FULLSTOP GOLD said...
on May. 1 2012 at 2:58 am
FULLSTOP GOLD, Skipton, North Yorkshire, Other
13 articles 7 photos 103 comments

Favorite Quote:
forever and ever and ever and ever will never be enough

you only say that because you're biased

on Apr. 30 2012 at 8:38 am
DarkIsThyThought BRONZE, Shishpipkabibble, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 57 comments

Favorite Quote:
I think I know enough of hate- to say that for destruction ice- is also great- and would suffice.

Nice Jonathang. FULLSTOP,everyone has an opinion.

on Apr. 30 2012 at 8:34 am
DarkIsThyThought BRONZE, Shishpipkabibble, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 57 comments

Favorite Quote:
I think I know enough of hate- to say that for destruction ice- is also great- and would suffice.

I really like how you used proper speech. I am sick of the whole text talk thing. It was a really good description of this incident, with lots of allusions and figurative language. Nice work!

on Apr. 27 2012 at 2:43 am
TheDoubtMachine BRONZE, Mumbai, Other
4 articles 1 photo 10 comments
Wow! Its amazing to read about your struggle which you have emerged as a victor! Makes me rethink the times I've avoided this fight and how I should face my struggles with courage! Thanks for that! :)

on Apr. 26 2012 at 9:17 pm
nikki214 BRONZE, Gettysburg, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
This is a great piece! Your vocabulary is awesome and not overused at all, you're super descriptive, and you use all these comparisons and I love especially have you described what you were thinking so well. Awesome job!


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