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Honesty, Conforming, and all things involved

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Stepping onto the Pines’ impressive patio, I could feel it. And to think one whiff of Drew’s mother’s perfume was not enough to make me stop dead in my tracks. Rather, it was the “newness” of it all that startled me the most. Being different is not something any person takes too kindly too but this, I’m afraid, took more than the usual amount of effort to gently wean off. Needles to say, every bone in my body ached telling me “it’s time to go home.”



Everyone’s eyes appeared to be latched onto one person, the newbie of the clan, my sister, Savanna, with the wavy brown curls. How she trotted along as if it didn’t faze her. Whatever “it” is I am sure caused her blood to boil just as much as I, but she was far more graceful, far more poised, than I will ever be. And I envied her for it.

The tension subtly reappeared throughout the night but, through the stern glares and thoughtless remarks, I remained subdued, camouflaged by the brightly colored umbrella hunched over the wooden dining table. Feeling almost invisible was just how I had imagined it: lonely. Should I have to feel this way? I wondered. This party is, after all, for me.



A clank of a crystal wine glass startled me out of my own world. “I would like to propose a toast,” Drew’s father, Bill, exclaimed. It is hard to believe that a man with such bold mannerisms has stepped forward as my father-in-law. “To the happy couple…” And that was it. To my surprise, there was no applause. The small talk began and the bulk of the family get-together, consisting of a consortium of various cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents I have yet to meet, came to a close. I could breathe again.



After about an hour and a half of feeling nearly transparent, Drew walked into the scene. Everything about his appearance seemed tired, as if he had just come back from an excruciatingly long day at work. He must have just woken up. It is the weekend, I reminded myself. Try and fit in… for Drew’s sake. Conforming to the strangely specific mold that the Pines family desperately wanted me to maintain was close to impossible. As impossible as a million dollar check pelting from the sky, I chuckled.

Maybe that was the bitter side of me. Or maybe it was honesty lurking through the Pines’ window. It was then I knew I had to be strong, stand alone if necessary, and support Drew. I have never had such a reason to be thankful for an encounter with his family before.


When all the cars had departed from the driveway, Drew and I decided to pack up the leftovers, set them in the fridge, and head out. The ride home seemed to be an endless array of small highways and country roads. The darkness drowned out any conversation that might have come up. I sat still and, as the stars began to consume the night sky, my thoughts wandered.


“This was not quite what you imagined, am I right?” Drew broke the silence. I could see his father’s direct yet graceful gaze out of the corner of my eye. I let out a small laugh. “It was perfect.” There was nothing else I could say at the time. For the first time in a while, I was lost for words.

Looking back, I now understand why I was sent to Drew’s picturesque home that evening. In hindsight, I should have known all along. The uncomfortable stares and awkward hellos from Drew’s family finally served a purpose, a reason to remain just where I was. I was content and satisfied, a response I never expected.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Jade.I.AmThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 13, 2013 at 10:22 pm:
I'm a little confused, but I still liked this. 5/5
 
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FallenoutofgraceThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm:
really good you lossed me during the middle but caught it at the end.
 
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