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Pretending

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I open the box.
It’s not something you do in my house anymore. You don’t open boxes, or look at pictures or blow the dust off the covers of old photo albums. Instead you pretend not to see. In the kitchen you act like you don’t see his empty chair, when you walk into the living room you pretend not to notice the gaps on the mantel piece where his picture–our pictures–used to be.
You even pretend not to see the writing on the kitchen doorframe, where we used to mark our heights. Sometimes, when nobody else is home, I sit and look. You can see the heights going up, the traditional monthly measurements going from when I’m very small until I’m bigger, grade 3, 4, 5, 6. That’s where they stop, that’s where my family falls apart, my dad dies and my live changes forever. That’s where we start pretending.
I can’t pretend any longer. You try to act like it didn’t happen, but you can’t. Even though the pictures and birthday cards on gone, there are still little pieces of him everywhere. His clothes are still folded in his drawer, because as much as my mom pretends she’s alright she can’t get rid of them, his camping gear is in the garage, even his sunglasses are still at the back of the drawer under the microwave.
So I open the box. It’s because I’m tired of acting like my dad never died, that he never even existed.
On top is a photo album, it’s bound in blue leather and on it is the word memories, embossed in gold. For a moment I am scared. More scared then I’ve ever been, I think. I want to get up, run, leave the house, the memories, forget. I don’t. Something else overpowers that, and it’s a longing. I haven’t looked at pictures, seen his things, remembered him, in so long. He’s getting farther and farther away, I’m losing him even more.
I take a deep breathe, my head is spinning. I close my eyes tight, so afraid and so desperate, tears slide out from under my lashes. I let the album fall open, for a moment longer I am blinded by tears. Then I look, and I stop pretending.




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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

thepreechyteenagerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 11:33 am:

I think this is spectacular- and just the right size.  If it were any longer, it would take away form the story.  I think it's ggod that you made it obvious she embraced the past, but didn't show exaclty whay was there.  Derail- beautiful.  Emotion 11 out of ten- great job.

Can you comment and rate my story , "Encounter"?  I want to see what someone with your talent would say about it.

 
Aidyl replied...
Sept. 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm :
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment. I'd be happy to take a look at your work. :)
 
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AnneOnnimous said...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm:
wow- I love it!! I only wish it was longer.
 
Aidyl replied...
Mar. 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm :
Thanks Anne!
 
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