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Trying To Let The Sunshine In

I’m in a dark alley completely alone. All the sudden, I spy something out of the corner of my eye: the sun. It seems like I haven’t seen it in a while. Trying to get used to the bright light that is bringing tears to my eyes, I squint, hoping that will relieve the pain. “Sara! Sara!” Someone is screaming for me. As the voice continues to scream I realize that it’s getting closer and I suddenly awaken.

“Just a dream...” I say to myself, calming down, but the yelling wasn’t a dream. “I’ll be right there mom,” replying to her when it finally registers in my mind that it was her voice that I was hearing; without remembering that she wouldn’t even hear my reply. I begin walking down the creaking staircase. Then, all of a sudden, it’s so loud that I can’t even hear the pitter patter of my own thoughts inside my mind. Too many people are around me; from my family to random people that just happened to be in the hotel lobby at the time.

My name, as you probably already figured out, is Sara. My family and I have been living at the Sunshine Inn in Sacramento, California for three months now; but just like in my dream, I haven’t seen the sun in a while. Kind of ironic isn’t it? I just turned fifteen and for as long as I can remember my mom has always stayed home, relying on my dad to support the family. Just recently he lost his job at a local law firm, leaving us with no money. That’s when we moved to the Sunshine Inn. There is never any sunshine around this place, so I don’t know how the name came about, but we can afford it, and that’s what matters. This means my mom, dad, brother Dylan, and I are all crammed into one tiny hotel room.

By now I’m used to the noise in the lobby. I weave my way in and out of the crowd until I find my mom. “Sara! You missed the bus again!” She starts screaming, prompting everyone in the lobby to stop what they are doing, and stare at the scene stirring in the middle of the hotel. “Mom, I haven’t gone to school in three weeks! When are you finally going to get that my life as a sophomore in high school is over? There is no point in going,” I reply back hastily. With that, I storm off, pushing people out of my way in the process and ignoring their stares and thundering whispers that are now filling my ears. My mom, on the other hand, just stands there, speechless. She doesn’t even bother to chase after me.

I start stomping my way toward the staircase I walked down just minutes earlier. I get to my room and quickly grab my cell phone and start dialing. “What’s up Sara?” my friend Cole answers. “Where are you? I need a ride to school. I’ve decided I want to go today,” I reply. “Seriously Sara?” he asks surprised, “Anything to get my mom off my back,” I explain. “Okay, I’ll be there in ten minutes. We will be late for first period but I’ll do anything for you,” Cole announced sweetly, and with that he hung up. I spent the next ten minutes getting ready.

Then I walked outside, when it hit me. Literally, the December air felt like a slap in the face. Mind you, I haven’t been outside that hotel at all in the three weeks I haven’t gone to school. Just like Cole said, exactly ten minutes had passed and his car was right in front of the hotel waiting patiently for me. I climb into the passenger seat and as soon as my seatbelt buckle clicks Cole slams on the gas. I look at him and he just smiles at me. We spend the twenty minute car ride in silence. That’s the thing about Cole and I, we could be saying absolutely nothing and we know how the other is feeling. Cole probably sensed the fact that I had nothing to say anyway.

We find a spot in the school parking lot and walk into school right as the late bell rings. I walk into my homeroom and whispers start filling my ears, giving me a headache, just as the whispers did in the hotel lobby earlier. “How nice of you to join us again, Sara. I was beginning to wonder if you fell of the Earth. Then I realized that you couldn’t possibly do that; the Earth isn’t flat, it’s round,” my social studies teacher said, trying to make a joke. No one in the room laughed. Actually, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. “Speaking of that, we will be learning all about who first proved the Earth was round today,” he said, trying to break the silence.

My whole day turned out fine, just fine. The whispers continued and so did the teacher’s comments to me about my absence. They didn’t even bothering to ask why I was gone. To be honest I don’t even know why I didn’t go to school. It started when my grandmother died. I cried for days, but when that was over, I just didn’t go to school. I did want to go, I mean, who would want to be stuck in a hotel all day with nothing to do? I couldn’t call any of my friends, they were all at school, and we had no internet. That left walking around the city as my only option, but it’s too cold outside now to do that.

My first day back wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I have to make up almost a month’s worth of work, but besides that, it was fine. When my senior brother, Dylan, saw me in the hall, he stopped in his tracks. After a couple of seconds though, he slowly walked toward me and just gave me a hug. It was actually kind of odd; he just stood there and hugged me while everyone continued their whispers around us. I guess he was just proud of me for getting back on my feet and back to school.

When we got back our hotel and up to our room, we stopped as soon as we saw our parents just standing there in the middle of the room smiling at me. Then, yet again, just like Dylan did in the hallway at school, everyone crowded around me and hugged me, not saying anything. That’s what I didn’t get. No one bothered to talk about it, or even ask why I went back to school. They were just happy I did. I sat on my bed and got working on the homework I had to make up. Dylan sat down next to me and asked “Why Sara, why did you decide to go back now?” Finally, someone who actually asked me that question! “To be honest... I have no idea,” I said, surprised at myself that I really had no answer. I spent the next week ignoring the whispers.





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Whylime said...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm
): i thought the smiling parents would say they got a new job. very good
 
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