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

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   The sounds and meanings of his words danced in her head. She could feel the swaying and pounding they created within her. "Why do I let him get to me?" she wondered silently. "I am strong and independent. I am a successful and happy woman. I don't need anyone. I have myself." She reminded herself of these things, trying to silence the rapid dance that entertained her thoughts. Yet the hateful and disapproving sound of his raised voice still rang in her ears. The pain and sting of his words could not be erased.

She lowered herself into the nearest chair, allowing the cool, dark fabric to protect and enclose her. The thoughts swirling within her head weakened her. Her limbs felt heavy and lifeless. She could only allow herself to survey the casualties that lay below her. The shattered vase clung to the soft carpet. The sunflowers, once nestled safely within the vase, were scattered about the lonely room. The pieces of the broken mirror reflected the small tear that traveled down her cheek. Yet, it was the shattered picture frame that was the object of her stare and thoughts. Her obscured eyes concentrated on the black and white images that lay beneath the broken glass. The three figures she observed were laughing and smiling, the three embraced people were hauntingly familiar, frozen in a time she could only remember. This photograph illustrated a world and time she wished she could return to. But she knew it was a distant memory, a place she could never go again. Nothing would ever again be as it was in this photograph, she realized, because her mother was dead.

"Your mother is dead" were words he had repeatedly spoken. Yet she was not sure how much of those words he let himself hear. She did know, however, he believed her mother's death was her fault. He had not tried to mask these feelings as he stormed through the tiny room, breaking whatever stood in his path, including her. She had stood, motionless, talking silently to herself, trying desperately to silence his harsh accusations.

"I am not responsible for Mother's death," she had said, reassuring herself quietly. "Mother was sad and lonely. I tried to help her. I reached out to her, she didn't want me - she didn't want anyone. She did not want to be saved." These thoughts had washed over her, trying desperately to protect her from her father's piercing words. "You should've stopped her! Why didn't you?" he had asked. "I will never forgive you! You could've stopped her. Maybe you just didn't love her. You did not love your mother."

His last words had forced her to close her eyes. She had to find a place where his loud accusations and the whiskey on his breath could not touch her. All she had wanted at that moment were her mother's arms encircling her, reassuring her. She wished she could tell her mother how much she loved her, how much she ached for her, how guilty she felt. Why didn't you let me help you? she had wondered. I should've taken the gun, Mother. I should've hidden it from you, she had said to herself. I should have saved you from yourself, Mother.

These last words had consumed her thoughts, yet their presence had been shattered by the slamming door. Her father had left, leaving his hurtful words and shattered whiskey bottle. Then she had stood silently, mourning the loss of yet another piece of glass, a piece of her life. Dad will never be the same again. I will never be the same, she had thought. Everything is gone. Everything is broken, damaged, hurt. Life is altered, it will never be what it once was ...

The loud honk of horns and commotion of the world outside her window forced her into the present. The broken glass still lay beneath her. She saw her tear-stained reflection in the shattered mirror. Her hands felt cold against her cheek. She was shivering despite the damp, muggy heat that surrounded her. She slowly breathed in and forced herself to move. She knelt quietly next to her broken objects. She was still for a moment, but gradually she began to remove the broken glass from the soft floor. 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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baller5 said...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 7:35 pm
i love this story. it is like my favorite. you should keep writing. id like to read more.
 
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