Home Sweet Home

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Another week has gone by, a week of humiliation and harassment. But I guess nothing’s new; this is the way it’s been for my whole three years in high school. Day by day, that’s how I take it. The feeling of loneliness filled my entire body from when I wake up, to when I fall asleep. At night, I dream of a place where I fit in; a place where big round glasses and mousy brown hair is considered “cool”. When I came home, there was no difference. Being an only child after my older sister died in a car accident, the feeling of isolation grew. My parents never really treated me the same since Dianna passed, like I had to make up for everything that was lost along with her. Straight A’s were expected and getting a good job was anticipated when I was old enough. I knew that both the grades and job were achievable, but the truth was, I just wasn’t motivated. The bullying that occurred at school and the too-high expectations back home put an enormous amount of stress on me, sometimes it felt unbearable. I wanted to escape. And that’s exactly what I did.
A month passed, a month of planning. During those seemingly endless thirty days, all I could think about were these three things: where am I going, how long will I be there, and the most important, will it finally make me happy? Within the first two weeks I had bought my train ticket, and mapped out my trip. I would end up in a city in central Georgia, only a few hundred miles south from my hometown, but a few hundred miles away from misery too. That next day, I was gone. Suitcase in hand, I stepped onto the train, looked around for my seat, finding it quickly. Once seated in the comfortable velvet chair, I sat down and closed my eyes. While I rested, I dreamt about my new life away from the people I thought I hated. My mom and dad looking down upon me, my peers constantly putting me down, everything bad in my life melted away more and more with every mile the train traveled. I awoke around ten fifteen, realizing my journey to what I considered my freedom was close to its end. With only another half hour to go, I began looking around and I saw so many strangers. The young college man dressed head to toe in business wear to my right, the petite woman holding her child sitting across the aisle from me, the grey-haired male scanning the sports section of yesterday’s paper. No one knew my name. I thought I had no friends back home, but this new environment had the same effect. I picked my head up a second time, now seeing familiar faces, the ones I passed by in the hallways at school that never said one mean thing to me, my grandparents that baked my birthday cake every sixteenth of April, and all of the loving pets I’ve owned. The ones that didn’t make me feel so alone. It took me only a few seconds to appreciate how good I had it there, the place I truly called home.
Feelings of guilt, sadness, and realization flooded through my brain, which suddenly seemed to turn on. Home was home, whether I liked or not, and it baffled me that it took so long for me to understand that. When the train stopped at the station, I immediately ran to the ticket office. I purchased a new one, one that would bring me home. A smile covered my face the whole ride back, confident that my choice to return to my hometown was the right one.
Back at home; I talked to my parents about the pressure of perfection that they put on me, and the bullying that went on at school. They heard my pain, and agreed to start fresh; I would be attending a different school for my senior year and they would no longer have such high expectations. It seemed that in the end, I got what I wanted: happiness.





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