Six Weeks This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   She told me the reason I was so depressed was because there wasn't enough light in my room. I thought I needed a positive male influence in my life, but I guess what I really needed were more windows.

I've never had a father I could count on. Mine left my mother and me at the hospital when I was born. After that there was a series of men who saw me as more of an obstacle than the cute little angel all my mother's friends said I was. Her name is Paige Doolan and I don't think she will ever be able to understand.

My mother could never hold together a relationship for more than six weeks. She was addicted to catalogue shopping. She would order a gift for one of her new boyfriends and by the time it arrived, no C.O.D.'s accepted, they would have broken up. I was the only kid in the George Washington Elementary School with a collection of razors and after-shave. They became memories of certain men. I cherished the Old Spice because it was my father's favorite. I only wanted something to serve as a connection between us. I didn't blame him for what had happened. He was just like everyone else, a six-week romance with a mistake thrown in.

Everyone knew my mother, and my mother knew everyone, being that she dated half of my teachers and often the fathers of my classmates. I never was popular in school, and I attribute that to the fact that my mother was commonly referred to as a home wrecker. I never really could seem to make friends with the kids who saw me as an extension of something evil and against one of the Ten Command-ments. Everyone in the George Washington Elementary School was a die-hard Christian. My mother didn't believe in religion. She thought that if there was a God, she would have dated him.

I believed it and waited for years to see if her next boyfriend would be a man with a halo around his head. I figured he would be able to buy us a house, and I would finally be able to get a pony. But all she ever got were grumpy old men who wanted to control us and parade my mother around. They all seemed dirty to me and I think that my mother knew that they were, but she was content to stay with the same type. I could never see my mother as something dirty. She was Paige Doolan, beautiful, soft, and always lost. Her eyes never seemed focused on the things right in front of her. She was always looking beyond for something more, and I looked with her. As I grew older I began to resent her vulnerability. I began to get angry with her for letting so many men take advantage of her, they never got their six-week gift, they always left too soon. I asked her why she always let this happen, she smiled and told me not to worry, it didn't concern me. She never understood that it affected my entire life. She never understood that it wasn't fair that she never had a stable relationship, she deserved more, and so did I.

When I got older and moved out of the house and on, I pulled away completely from my mother. I tried to forget her and make my life as different from hers as possible. But you cannot ignore the one way of life you know. I was ignorant of the skills necessary to make a relationship work. I had never been taught. I failed every time, as my mother had, so I decided to give up trying.

My mother came to see me and told me the reason I was so upset was because there wasn't enough light in my room. She will never understand that what I really need is a positive male influence I can learn from.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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