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The Diary of a Lost Girl
Don’t get me wrong. I love writing. It’s the most sufficient way that I can convey my thoughts clearly. But when the guidance counselor suggests that I get a diary so that I can quote-on-quote “cope with the difficult feelings of my parents’ divorce” I smirk bitterly at the preposterous thought. Diary. The word itself sounds crazy. I mean, I fifteen years old. That’s something little girls keep to write about their crushes or other trivial things. But my guidance counselor promises that it will “help me recover immensely”. So make to things absolutely clear: I’m only writing in this diary so that I can “recover”.
Today I walked into school late. Again. I took my precious time strolling to the attendance office. Mostly because I was sure that that same old woman Mrs. Blake would be positioned at her desk to give me that recognizable glare she gives me every time I come there. She doesn’t disappoint. As soon as I arrived at the desk, her sunken face twisted into its familiar glower. In return, I gave her tremendously large smile and asked her how her day was. Her already sullen face became even more distorted, which makes me smile even more so. I’ve learned in these couple of months that it’s easier to be polite to her instead of rude. Not because it’s the right thing to do. I just want to aggravate her more. She mumbles that her day is fine and thrusts my tardy slip, staring daggers at me while doing it. I give her a smile like I was Mr. Rogers and I was satisfied when she scowls in return. Then I had to face walking down to English and having all my classmates stare at me like I just killed someone. Just like I predicted, all my classmates gaped at me as I handed the teacher my late slip and sat down. I find myself sinking into my chair as all the students shake their heads at me or snicker. My English teacher asks me if I have my assignment done, and as usual, I don’t. She rolls her eyes and I bend my head in shame. I miss the days when I was every teacher’s favorite student. Those days are long gone. I hate my teachers. I hate everyone at this school. Matter of fact, I hate me.
On every Wednesday, I am excused from study hall to talk about my problems with the schools guidance counselor. She is aware of my parents’ separation and pending divorce, and forces me to express my “feelings” about it every time I come to her office. Honestly I don’t care. I don’t care about anything. She asks me a plethora of questions: “How do you feel about your dad abandoning you?”, “How did your dad leaving your mom really affect you?”, “Do you still think about your dad?”.The answers roll off my tongue without any emotion. “ I feel horrible, it affected me a lot, of course, and no I don’t think about my dad at all because he never thought of me when he left.” Her face sunk. I think that she is dissatisfied with my dry answers. She’s probably surprised that I’m not on the floor crying like all the other girls she met with in the past. She asks me why I don’t seem to care about school anymore and mentions that my GPA was always over a 3.0 last year. School doesn’t concern me anymore. I watched her mouth ramble until I came into a trance and could no longer hear nor understand what it was that she was saying. I observe the many diplomas on her wall and think about how long it probably took to get them. I imagine her at home telling her husband about how she felt she “got through” to someone and how she felt she was “helping them to the road of recovery”. I despise the way counselors assume that they have a cure to every problem they encounter. She’s constantly babbling off all this nonsense she acquired in her education, but I don’t need to know what she learned in school. I need her to listen.
I remember when I first became aware of my parents’ divorce. It was a sweltering hot day, which wasn’t bizarre since summer was only a few short days away. Fresh from graduating from middle school, I was just starting to envision how I would consume my summer, when my parents began to argue. Since that wasn’t unusual either, I choose to disregard the pesky arguing and continued relishing in my thoughts. Eventually, I couldn’t ignore it and took my brother and sister outside for some must-needed fresh air. My reverie was interrupted when my dad screamed “Well let’s get a divorce then!!!” and stormed out the front door, shoving past me in the process. I began to think of how funny it would have been to see him fall in his rush to get out of the house, but I refrained myself from laughing. Still not concerned with anything but my summer plans, I went inside to check on my mother. I sat near her shaking body and asked if she was ok. When her swollen, blood-shot eyes met mine, I began to realize that the life I was accustomed to was about to change drastically. Now I’m laying here, thinking of how naïve I was on that day, and wondering what we could have possibly done so horrible to make my dad want to leave.
My “father” paid us a visit today. I assume that the only reasonable explanation for his sudden appearance is because guilt was beginning to eat at him. I guess I would feel a little guilty too if I haven’t seen my kids in a month and a half. My brother and sister scream “DADDDDY!!!” in unison. It breaks my heart to see how much of a toll it’s token on them to see our father leave. He was more than a father. He was our hero. Now he’s a fallen hero, and all we’re left with are the painful remnants of his glory days. Instead of running to embrace him like my two younger siblings, I stand off by the wall, putting on an emotionless expression. He slowly makes his way to me to give me a hug, but I quickly brushed him off and retreated to my room to “start my homework”, knowing full well that I have no intention to complete it. I was lying on my bed, enjoying a book I picked up from the library, when I heard a light knock on my door. Assuming that it was one of my siblings, I beckoned them in. As soon as I saw that it was actually my dad, I rolled my eyes in disgust. He came and sat down on the edge of my bed. After sitting in silence for what seemed like eternity, I finally spoke up.
“What do you want?” I asked suspiciously. He sat in silence for a second longer then replied, “I want to talk to you about the situation going on between you and your mother.”
I nod and say, “Go on.” He takes a deep breath.
“I just want to say, that what’s going on between your mother and I doesn’t have anything to do with you, the kids, or anyone else.”
I give him a “Are you really that stupid?” look and he continues with, “So don’t worry about it. It won’t affect anything in your life.” I shake my head. I guess he really is that stupid.
“Dad, everything that is happening between you and mom has everything to do with us. You know how much it has affected us already?!” I questioned angrily.
He drops his head. “Deidra, please don’t give me that. I’m not happy with your mother, and I think it’s time that we moved on.”
"Move on?! How about the family that you leaving behind?!” I cried furiously.
“Deidra… I can’t do this anymore. Your mother and I are getting and a divorce, and that’s final!!!” He abruptly stands to his feet to walk out. He stops at my doorway and mumbles “Sorry.”
My dad has manipulated and abused the word “sorry” so much that it no longer holds a meaning to me. I’ve received so many apologies, that I’m practically drowning in them. I’m positive I’ve have enough apologies to last me a lifetime. So sorry dad, I don’t need yours.
Today I arrived home from school exhausted, glad that it’s finally the weekend. Now I’m settled on the couch, trying to attempt some of the many homework assignments I didn’t bother doing. I’m failing practically every class, which I’m not pleased about. Last year, it would frighten me just to get a C in a subject. Now, I actually get excited when I receive a D. Seriously. As you can see, my expectations for grades have greatly decreased. Instead of staying on task with my homework, I’m sitting on the couch, intently watching a new episode of Criminal Minds. Like this show is going to help me get through the rest of high school. My mom walks in the living room and tries to put on a smile, but instead, looks like she’s constipated. I feel a deep sorrow for my mother, as she tries to ask me how school was. Like always, I lie and tell her that school was great, even though every day of school is awful. I fail to recall the part that I’m failing every subject, don’t have any friends, and I’m miserable. She has enough troubles as it is, and I don’t want to include my own problems to that list. She says that she’s about to start getting ready for work, which is almost every night, and walks to the bathroom to get ready. My stomach twist in agony at all the obstacles my mother has to endure alone. My eye catches the family portrait that was taken only a year ago. I scrutinize the faces of my parents, eyes warm with happiness and love for each other. I gaze deeply into my parents’ eyes and wonder if they knew it was coming.
I’m depressed. It makes sense now that I think about it. Being extremely sad for a long period of time, becoming anti-social… and I’ve been having thoughts about dying… thoughts that linger around more than I’d like them to. Sometimes, when I’m all alone in my room, I consider different ways to die. It is becoming a regular thing that I’m beginning to enjoy… is something wrong with me?
I’m becoming obsessed with death. The idea has become part of my daily thoughts, haunting my dreams, attacking my mind at every moment. I surrender to my thoughts and find relief in my defeat. I am too weak to resist.
My goodbye letter is completed and put into an envelope on my bed. I’ve said my goodbyes and expressed my love to my family members. Part of me aches in remorse for giving in, but I’ve had enough. Today was the happiest day of my life, and I smiled a lot knowing that I won’t have to endure the anguish of life any longer.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t kill myself. As soon as I was about to do it, I thought of my mother finding her daughter lifeless on the floor. I thought about all the pain I would put my brother and sister through knowing that their big sister gave up. I thought about all the wonderful things I would miss later in life, because I couldn’t see past the problems I was facing now. As soon as I came to my senses, I threw books and furniture around my room, and screamed at the top of my lungs until I no longer had any momentum left to do anything but collapse on the floor and cry. Cry for all those nights I pretended to be strong. Cry for the innocence that I’ve lost. Cry for the agonizing memories imprinted in my mind. Cry for the family I was going to leave behind. Tears streamed down my damp face until there was not a single drop left in me. Sleep beckons me, and I give into it, drifting off into a deep, peaceful sleep on the floor.
Three Months Later...
Everyday since that day has gotten better. I finally sat my mother down and talked to her about the problems that I was facing. It was difficult for me to explain the extent of my problems, but those problems have given us a closer bond. I've gotten a new counselor who seems to actually listen to me. Life is looking brighter for me. No, life isn't perfect. I still have days when I become sad at the lost of my father and lose hope. There are still days when I yearn for the ultimate escape. But when I look at the faces of my family, I muster up any iota of strenghth to keep moving forward. I remember many years ago, I watched this facinating movie about a man who's plane crashed and he was abandoned on a deserted island for four years.I think that the movie was called Cast Away. Anyway, when the character finally got off the island, he said a line that I go by everytime I feel like giving up.
" I have to keep moving... and breathing... because you never know what the tide will bring."