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The fire inside me grows bigger; I want to open my mouth and let the songs of rage tumble out and ignite on the leather seats that surround us. Words are being thrown at me, some occasionally hitting my anger filled self. The rest pile themselves up at my feet. They will wait for me to kick them over and then watch them tumble down when I decide to actually listen to them. “You’ll get used to it soon, just… just try to forget about it,” my father says calmly, glancing back at me from the front seat of his Audi. My sight is blurred by the salty tears that fill my eyes to the brim. The tears pour out and stomp down my face in defiance, burning my cheeks as they go. I stare out the car window. My tears distort my vision, stretching the traffic lights until they are nothing but red and green specs floating in a black abyss. I want to yell at him, question him. How can you do this? Why are you doing this? But, a saline taste sits in my mouth, drying my lips and making it hard to speak the bitter words that would normally roll off my tongue with ease. The words that sting your ears when you hear them, making you oblivious to anything else. “Ari, you will see her next weekend. You just need to try to make the best of this week,” he says in a pleading tone.

My mother told me the same thing before I left her. Her voice rings through my mind, “Go with your father, Ari, he’s doing the best he can. Next weekend will be here before you know it.” The small squeeze from her hands as she pushed me toward the car still sits menacingly on my shoulders. Questions, mixing and forming in my head. How could she do this? How could she let me go? The artificial air and overpowering aroma of my father’s cologne begins to suffocate me. It pulls me out of my reverie and reminds me of the place I am heading to: his giant mansion perched on the hill like a dragon ready to swoop down and devour me. “You’ll love the place, honey. It’s every girl’s dream house,” he had said in an effort to convince me that I’d love his soulless monstrosity just as much as I love my own home. I squeeze my eyes shut tight. The thought of his huge, fancy house with the fake lawns and chlorinated pools is revolting. I don’t care how much he tries to convince me--I will not play in them. They are no substitute for home. The natural pond with its teal water that swirls around you. The little fish that nibble on your toes as you dig them into the soft, sandy floor. The moss laden forest, where if you lie quietly, and long enough, the cotton-tailed rabbits and tree squirrels appear and peek out with curious eyes from behind the trees and bushes. And, mom and dad laughing and hugging with me right there with them.

“They’re not going to get back together. My parents never did.” That’s what all my friends tell me. I know it is the truth, but I don’t want to believe it. I want to believe that they were happier when they were together; I was happier when they were together.


The annoyed voice of my father faintly drifts back from the front of the Audi. I tune him out. My mind is elsewhere; it is glued to thoughts of the old musty cottage that my mother lives in, glued to the tall evergreens and the pond that is just down the road from her house. And most of all--glued to her. Her laugh that rings out at every joke I tell, like the wind chimes on the back porch. Her long silky hair that billows out behind her when she chases me through the trees. The tears are coming harder. I know it isn’t her fault, but still I want to blame her.

My father is quiet now and the memory of leaving my mom’s house pours into my mind, swirling around and blocking everything else out. My father’s words--meaningless--imploring me to get in the car. I try to block him out, then I am being pulled into my mother’s arms. “I’m sorry,” her smooth, calming voice swirls around me, her pleading eyes look directly at mine, “I just need some time to figure everything out. Spend some time with your father. He loves you,” she whispers more to my hair than to me. I pull away and let my dark brown curls fall in front of me, concealing my tear stained face. Her whole body is begging now, pleading with me to forgive her for something that is all her fault.

I watch my father reach over and turn the volume dial letting the music float out of the speaker. “I miss our family, too.” His words dance into my thoughts, twirling around the memory, twisting and distorting it until I begin to understand. We pull into the paved driveway of the white mansion, the music slowly flying back to the speaker and disappearing. Silently I get out of the car and make my way toward the house, the dragon. Now I know that only I can decide if I will let it eat me or I will learn to ride it.





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This article has 14 comments. Post your own now!

Christy said...
Aug. 20, 2010 at 10:49 am

Hannah,

Your words touched me deeply. I felt the emotional pain  of the young person in the story. You have a way of submerging the reader into the heart of the story. I enjoy the depth and description of your thoughts, and I look forward to reading many more of your wonderful stories. Thank you,

Love, Gramzie

 
Alison said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 5:40 am
Hannah, your writing is so very expressive and your images so vivid.  I found myself rooting for your protagonist and therefore especially loved your ending of hope. You should be so proud of your gift.  
 
calrenoma said...
Jul. 27, 2010 at 2:03 am
I really liked the sentence "her laugh that rings out at every joke I tell, like the wind chimes on the back porch.  However I thought some of the emotion was over the top.  I think one of your problems was lack of background.  One knew that your character's parents were going through a divorce and that you loved your mother, maybe if you explained why you did not feel the same about your father it might help the piece.   
 
Niki said...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 1:00 am

So proud to know the author! Hannah, I love your writing, you have so much talent in you - which shows even more in "Bree", I know there will be more to come from you - and I'll be reading them all!!! xo Niki

 

 
L.A. Hart said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm
This is such a well written piece.  Descriptive and empathic.  Impressive use of language and images.  Great !
 
GG Rho said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm
This is a very powerful piece from one so young.  She writes with lots of feeling and  her story has a very deep meaning.  Hannah, you have what it takes to make something for your future with your writing abiity.  *****
 
Jesse said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm
Hannah, You are truly gifted at such a young age. So much more to come from you. I look forward to reading more!
 
Hannah T. replied...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Thank You!!!

 

 
Neesy said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 11:21 am
Amazing insight from one so young.  She has a wonderful future ahead if she persues a writing career.
 
jessie said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 9:45 am

Powerful!  The reader is convinced that the author has lived through this experience - the emotion is captured so vividly.  And, if not, the author has amazing imagination and insight.

I started reading and couldn't stop.

It's surprising that this is written by a "teen".  The quality & depth seems to be of an older, experienced writer.

Loved the "heart" in this story.  Great descriptive narrative (ie: the cottage, the ... (more »)

 
Hannah T. replied...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm
Thank you! 
 
alice8 said...
Jul. 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Hey Hannah,

Its ama, I LOVED your piece! WOW your a great writer! I want to read more!

 

 
Hannah T. replied...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Hey Ama!

Thanks! 

 
alabama.arkansas. replied...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

HANNAH, 

 omg its amazing. i have read it before but still. i love it. 

 
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