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

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   Wispy whirls of smoke gently puff from the brick chimney. Two small lamps along the walkway lead to a door adorned with colored lights. Windows cover much of the house, but pine trees partly block them, appearing festive with powdery snow resting on their branches. The long driveway and step-adorned walkway is clear of ice and snow. Behind the roof light clouds dress themselves in a peach cloak from the rising sun.

The bitter winter wind's frosty body rushes upon me as I hesitantly open my car door and clumsily head to the massive house. As I reach the doorstep, I stomp my large feet, trying to trample off the wet snow from my worn black boots as best as I can. My shaking, stubby fingers tipped with worn nails reach for the tiny doorbell. With a sigh heavy with nervous fear, I make the house aware of my presence. Barely audible to my ear when competing with the unrelenting pounding of my heart, it sings its too-brief song.

Distinguishable noise comes from within; quick footsteps grow 1ouder upon reaching the door. I tug my old, cream-colored wool coat closer to my shivering body and quickly lick my cracked dry lips out of habit.

Suddenly the gold-covered door handle moves a little, and the huge door slowly opens to the warm world inside.

A woman stands in the doorway. Her plump body, covered with a warm purple sweater and a flowing black skirt, faces my own, and her short gray hair moves a little with the oncoming breeze. Wrinkles adorn her rosy-white face, most apparent next to her thin, pink lips. Deep green eyes stare into my plain brown ones, and their fixed gaze displays an expression of overwhelming pain and life-giving joy.

I painfully cry out an unfamiliar word, covered with dust in the chambers of my heart.

"Mom ..."

Her small, smooth hands reach for me, and a remembered embrace covers me with warmth and tears.

"Welcome home," she says. 1


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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