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On An Average Day... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I'm walking up my driveway and all I can hear is the sound of my shoes clicking on the stone. My feet ache and my body is a block of ice because it's so cold out here and I didn't bring my jacket to school today. I pull open the door and drop my heavy bookbag on the kitchen floor. THUD. As my bag hits the floor my father appears through the dining room door. He is eating a cheese sandwich and has mustard on his moustache. "Dad, you've got mustard on your moustache..." My father completely ignores my statement. In the three seconds since he has entered the room, he has developed a sour expression and I can just tell that he's about to launch into a complaining-spree. "You didn't feed the cat this morning, so I had to," he informs me in his you-are-such-a-disappointment voice. "And you should treat your bag better than that, it was ex..."

"Expensive, I'm aware. Did I get any mail?" Skillful changer of subjects that I am, I distract my father from his daily criticism-fest for the time being. I pick up my mail and hurry to my room.

I kick off my uncomfortable shoes and collapse on my waterbed. SPLOOSH! The impact creates waves and I am gently rocked back and forth. I close my eyes and imagine that I'm on a raft in the sun, floating on clear blue Jamaican water. Finally, I can relax. A sharp knock on the door brings me back to reality. "WHAT do you WANT?" I hate to be disturbed when I am relaxing after just coming home from a hard day. My father takes my response as an invitation to enter. He comes in and looks around, his beady eyes surveying the messy state of my room. "I just wanted to tell you about..." His speech trails off as that sour expression returns to his face. My father looks as if he has just eaten a lemon this time. "This room is a mess!" He sounds totally shocked and horrified, as if he has discovered a corpse in my closet.

"You have a knack for stating the obvious." I put a pillow over my face and hope that he will disappear. He doesn't.

My father continues, ignoring me again, "Look at these clothes all over the place...another wet towel! How many times have I told you not to leave wet towels hanging around your room..."

"About twenty-two thousand, seven-hundred and..."

"...and look at this desk! Don't plan on going anywhere until this room is clean."

My father walks out of my room, loudly shutting the door behind him. Ah, peace at last. My door swings open again. One of my father's effective tactics for irritating me is to enter my room as many times as he can in a given time period.

"What? What do you want this time. What did I do wrong now?"

My father looks offended. "Nothing. I just wanted to tell you that that was a fine story you wrote yesterday. Your mother gave it to me to read this morning."

"Thank you. Might I have some peace and quiet now, please?"

"Of course you can." My father leaves the room mumbling about how I always want peace and quiet. I lie on my bed and consider cleaning my room. I decide to put it off as long as is humanly possible. Right now, I think I'll just take a nap and hope that someone doesn't decide to bother me. n


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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