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Never Wanted pt. 1
“How can you stand yourself?!” I shrieked at the suddenly old and aged woman. A gentle tear fell lovingly down her cheek.
Then she came to. Her features caught up with reality and her anger contorted her face hideously.
“HOW CAN YOU STAND YOURSELF! You cursed my life! You are a burden I can never, ever get rid of! I never asked or wanted you and yet you’re here? Why did God hate me so to make me pregnant with YOU?! I never wanted a child... You’re a monster, a curse, a burden! Kill yourself, you’ll save me the trouble!” she screamed back. It was a slap to the face. My eyes wide with shock, my mouth open but speechless, my brain blank yet filled with horror. How could she think this? She was like a child!
Three months before.
“So like.... You’re dating?” Amber asked, her voice blank. She sounded a little mad. I, however, couldn’t stop smiling. I nodded, then remembered I was on the phone.
“Yeah.... Why? Ya jealous?” I giggled. Picturing Amber mad at anything was hilarious. Amber was cool, funny and really nice. But when she got mad her nostrils flared, her eyes widen to a furious glare and she clenches her teeth. She would curse then stomp angrily away.
“No, it’s just that I have had a crush on Justin for three years, ever since he moved here.” she replied, and I could hear the neutral tone in her voice begin to dwindle away, anger and sadness almost tangibly in her words. I frowned. Amber was NOT a silent fumer. This was serious.
“I’m sorry Amber... I really am! I didn’t know...” I trailed off, unsure of what to say. True to her nature, Amber hung up. I sighed, hung up too, and continued staring at the blank wall. Frowning again, I got up, listening to loud arguing from downstairs. Nana and Pa never fight. This isn’t good, I thought. First Amber, now them.
I get off the bed, go to the door, open it and go down the stairs as quiet as I could. Their words were becoming clearer.
“She shouldn’t know about her, John. She would be... Everything would change, John!” Nana’s concern voice was the first one I heard. I peered over the white wooden railing and saw the empty living room, perfectly neat with little blankets on the sofa and a shiny new plasma TV (a gift from my apparent uncle).
Ripped paper and a folded note stuck out. There was never, ever trash in the living room. Never. I crept down the stairs, careful not to make a sound, tiptoed to the sofa and picked the note up from the sofa.
It said this:
A New Leaf
An organization aiming to help you find your long long relatives, parents, etc.
Your search for Davisson, Haley was successful. She lives near Los Angeles, California. We have not alerted her you know where she is. She is currently unmarried and has no children....
It continued on with things about this Haley Davisson woman. I was puzzled. Why were Nana and Pa looking for her? But then, at the bottom, I could see John Albboutte, which I knew was Pa’s last name. Why did he look for this woman? I tuned back into the argument.
Pa was, unlike Amber, quiet until he feels the right moment to talk comes up.
Nana had finally quieted, so he felt it was his turn, I suppose.
“I thought she would like to meet HER MOTHER.” he said and my heart stopped, my breath held and my mind blew up.
“The girl needs closure! She never knew her. That-” I cringed. I had never heard Pa curse before, “left her baby with us. She doesn’t deserve Abigail, but I just... I thought...” He trailed away and I could feel the tension and the grim acceptance from Nana. A thrill of adrenaline coursed through me. Me?! Meeting my mother? This is awesome! I thought excitedly. But what that other thing Pa said? Oh forget that! I have a mom!
Before I came to school I thought Nana was my mom. She tried her hardest not to be this, and acted a maid until I realized she wasn’t my mother. After that she loved me the way any mother probably would. I heard them begin to disperse and knew I shouldn’t be found with my ear pressed against the wall. I ran as quietly as I possibly could upstairs and then casually yawned as I walked down.
“Morning Nana. Morning Pa.” I said with a smile as I reached the last step. They stood side by side at the bottom of the steps. Pa had a deep, crinkled frown. Nana looked worried.
I acted a frown. “Something wrong?” I said innocently.
Nana made a face and suspicion was as deep as her tanned, dry wrinkles. Pa just closed her eyes and shook her head. I tilted my head a little. Just enough innocence. A lovely little touch. Perfect.
Nana rolled her pale blue eyes. “Don’t pretend like you didn’t hear any of that. And talk that stupid expression off your face!” she snapped, but a humorous smile was on her face softened her hardened words. I bit a grin back and pulled down a straight face. Pa looked serious.
“I saw the letter,” I replied softly, keeping the promise I had made to myself to never keep out important details. Nana and Pa’s faces both went through the stages: surprise; They had left it? disappointment; I had gone through their things. Finally, a twinge of anger.
They must really hate this woman, I realized. A hand flew up to my mouth to cover my unattractive gasp. The thought was so sudden and it burned like coals in my mind. I immediately felt queasy and strange, like I had broken a forbidden taboo.
Nana’s gnarled hand flew to her hair, as it always did when she was upset. The gray-blonde hairs loosened immediately at her touch. She sat in the nearest chair. She had a worried hand to her stomach. Seeing her this way made me want to run and hide under my bed, like I did when I was five.
Pa went to her side, put a hand around her stomach and brushed the hair from her face. She looked up at him with a faltering smile and put an hand on his arm. The scene was so touching. It made me think of love that lasts forever. I felt as though I wasn’t in the room, like I was watching extremely talented actors. I wanted to chuckle and cry. Then I remembered that I caused all this sadness. The sick feeling crept coldly back and my other arm wrapped itself around my tummy.
Nana sighed, took a deep breath and turned back to me.
“Abigail...” she began, then paused, as if unsure of how to go on. Pa gave her this knowing look and I knew I was about to get story. Even though I’m fifteen, I enjoyed listening to the tales of brilliance whispered from Pa’s faded voice.
I sat on the couch and faced them. Pa and Nana shared one last glance. Then Pa went to the kitchen, pulled up a chair and sat in it, elbows to knees. He opened his mouth to speak, then furrowed his brows.
Nana pulled her chair and look at Pa, waiting for him to speak.
The silence was stinging me. I tried to be patient, but annoyance and being impatient was a bad thing about me. Pa and Nana shared one more look then Pa spoke.
“There was once a prince. His name was David Albboutte.” My eyes widened at this. Who was David Albboutte?
“He grew up loving art. He went to nature and painted the most phenomenal things...” Pa half smiled sentimentally. His eyes were glazed in memory.
“He would go to the beach just to paint the ‘perfection of Mother Nature’s hair’ as he said... He met a girl there. He told King Pa that he believed she to be the most beautiful princess in the world. Her name was...”
He paused. I held my breathe. The pieces fell together. I felt as though I’d explode.
“Haley Davisson.” he breathed the words out like a hiss. I gulped.
“She was from a kingdom far away, in Europe. She was, indeed, very pretty. But,” Pa’s voice suddenly twisted in hatred. “she didn’t deserve our prince. She was wicked on the inside. They got married. But every night they fought. She bought petty things, unnecessary things. She wasted her money like a fool. David didn’t understand it. She began to hate him. David still loved her though.
“Then, one day, they had a child. Haley was disgusted and hated children. She left them the moment she could. David was... heart broken.” Pa uttered the word. Then he strengthened his words.
“The child was beautiful, loving to David. But it wasn’t enough, nothing could save him. He... he...” Pa held his breath. Nana cried a single tear.
“He took his own life.” Nana cut in impatiently, with a shaky breath. It hit me. I froze. I felt heavy, as if made of stone.
“We never could find the ‘princess’. So we kept the precious babe and named her Abigail Anne Albboutte.” Nana finished.
I didn’t know what to say. I opened my mouth to speak but words just couldn’t come. I simply nodded. Pa reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. His took out a picture and gave it to me.
“That is King David.” he said, his voice proud and strong. I took it, nodded, and examined it.
It was old, from maybe twenty or thirty years ago. It was black and white. The man in the picture had laughing, smiling eyes and a nice smile. He had close-shaved hair and light-colored eyes. My eyes, I realized. And he had Pa’s strong chin and angular jaw, but Nana’s face. Tears welled up in my eyes. This was my Dad.
“‘When did he...?” I dared to ask, unable to complete the sentence. Pa looked to Nana, stood, shook his head remorsefully, and left the room. Nana watched him leave and turned to me.
“Fourteen years ago.” She whispered, not reaching my eyes. She got up and left, too.
I was left with a dropped jaw, an old picture and sadness in my heart.
I had to meet this woman.
I went to school the next day and I couldn’t find Amber. I asked my older friends (people I used to be very close to but now we don’t talk much.) if they’d seen her. They’d frown, think and shake their head. Where was she?
I saw Steven walking down the hall, looked for teachers and grabbed him by the shoulders when I found none, I took him behind the lockers. I gave him a hug, said ‘hey baby’ and asked him if he had seen Amber.
“Yeah I heard someone crying outside near the Emvac,” Emvac is the tree a boy committed suicide on one day at school. It was mentally scaring to see him hanging, but now its the tradition that if you need to cry, vent or get something off your chest, you go there. It was called Emvac because people who go claimed all their sad emotions are sucked out of them.
“And she called to me when I passed. So I sat next to her, like you know, cool and whatever, “ he paused dramatically, “And she grabbed me and said she ‘missed’ me. What does that even mean?” He asked me, his face twisted in a mean type of confusion. I tried to swallow the bile that flooded my mouth but I couldn’t. My eyes were wide, I was certain. I bit back a sharp reply.
Me and Amber had been friends with Steven for three years, as Amber said, ever since he moved here. He never got Amber, with her wild and experimental make up hair streaks, and crazy wardrobe, but once confessed that he was into her. He asked me out a year later (last week) and I said yes. Amber didn’t find out ‘til yesterday.
This was serious. Amber had pledged to never step foot near ‘That emo infested place’. Ever.
I ran towards the place as fast as I could. The bell rang but I ignored it. I knew Amber would’ve done the same.
The blurred grass that sped by was a lush green. It was a little taller than usual. The willow tree’s leaves seemed darker, as if with intent. It seemed to sag, as if with sadness.
I could see Amber and hear her crying. I ran until I collapsed into a roll beside her. I dragged myself up and hugged her. I sobbed a little when she didn’t react.
That’s when it hit me. This had nothing to do with Steven.
With this sudden realization, I pulled the poofy hair from my face and, with eyes wide, I shook her, as if to shake the knowledge from her.
“Is your mother? Is it your mother?!” I kept shouting at her, faster, fast as I could and she began nodding, which brought forth another crazed wave of tears until we were both overwhelmed with insane despair.
Amber’s mother... Was... Well....
She was a drug dealer.
Amber and her sister have to ignore or deny her stoned offering of marijuana and coke. The have to try not to cry or punch her lights out when she burns holes in their arms. They wear long sleeves, always, to hide bruises, cuts and burn marks.
I know because I snuck into her house in the middle of the night once. She tried to shoo me out, but it was too late. Her drunk and aggressive-thanks-to-coke mother stumbled through the door, bottle and a bag of drugs in hand. I remember simple gaping at her in shock.
Frizzy, disgusting hair was in her pale, sickly face as she peered at me with bloodshot eyes. She gestured to me with the bottle and even though the world was lit only by moon light, I could see both Amber and her twelve year old sister, Jordan pale. I glanced at Amber and Jordan, wondered what was going on.
“Who is this fuzzy lookin’...” she trailed off with a sneeze and a wheezing laugh. I almost wanted to laugh but just one little look towards Amber and I knew this was serious. Her expression was pained and desperate and fearful and terrified all at this same time. Turning my head from Amber, I opened to my mouth to speak, but the Beast cackled and began to screech in a stumbling and slurred voice.
“Why are you robbing meeee?” she cackled once more and put her hands up.
“Ya gotz... me.. Doctor Offizaaa....” she made a weird little snort then, as if someone had snapped their fingers, she was a hateful monster, grabbing and tugging at Amber’s leg.
“WHERE IS HE?! WHAT’D YOU DO WITH HIM YOU STUPID...” she continued shrieking curses and laughing out awful things while I watched in horror. She began to beat Amber and Jordan.
I should’ve climbed out the window. I should’ve hid in the closet. But I didn’t.
Something inside me snapped. I remembered all the times Amber pushed me or punched my shoulder. I thought of the times I saw the rest of the little girls had circled Jordan and called her awful names. I felt the anger buzz within me. Me and my friends were always being beaten, always being neglected. Me by my own Nana, who seemed to love me not. I snapped. I could take no more. I picture this drunk and drugged up woman as all my enemies. The bullies, Nana, Amber, all of them, rolled up into this one horrid, abusive person.
I punched her lights out, just while she was hitting the butt of her palm on poor, bruised Jordan’s forehead and wringing her hair tight in the other. Amber had been trying to pull her away, but ended up catching her from a fall to the wooden floor.
Amber and Jordan gasped, hot tears already down their battered faces, gazing in horror at their unconscious mother. I hit her hard, but no punch could do that. I later came to the conclusion the drugs must’ve played a part. Their mouths were gaped in terror, and their stares finally rested to me.