Tonight we're listening to the soundtrack from "Big Night." The music suits our dinner: pasta marinara, salad and red wine for my parents. Mambo Italiana swells up in our dining room and floats lazily around the living room. It makes our yellow-and-blue-tiled kitchen warm and inviting. Mom is already flushed from the wine she's had. My dad laughs at the red staining her cheek, gets up from the table and takes her hands. They dance close together; my dad's slender, strong arms stroke her wavy hair. My brother, wearing a black Blood Brothers shirt, is embarrassed by this display of emotion; he slouches in his chair and practices his tortured-artist glare. When nobody comments on his angst, he stalks out of the room. My parents are still dancing. I clear the dinner dishes and walk back to my own room. I sit on my bed in the dark for a long time until everything in the world is silent. Then I turn on my own music and listen as Conor Oberst breaks my heart.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.