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A Day in Home School Prison
“Should we read something?” my dad asked as he ran his fingers through is graying hair.
“Sure,” my little sister said from inside her room. She came out slowly, making sure that all traces of anger were out of dad. He wasn’t angry anymore, so she stepped out of her room. I heard them pad lightly down the carpeted stairs, slowly reaching their destination, the living room. I was shocked how quickly the two had gotten over the fight. Usually the fight goes on much longer and doesn’t completely settle until my mom comes home from work. She is an expert fight-stopper. But this was weird! One second the fight is at its peak, the next it’s over! Dad and Emily, sitting on the soft, velvety couch, reading The Secret Garden as if they had never fought in their life. Peculiar, strange, maybe even alien.
The room seemed to shrink rapidly as my dad’s anger grew. His deafening shout echoed throughout the room and rang in my head.
“HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU GUYS TO DO YOUR SCHOOLWORK!!” shouted Dad as he entered the room and saw Emily and me playing with stuffed animals. We were playing hide-and-seek with them and having a lot of fun. Dad can sometimes make your greatest dream turn into your worst nightmare in less than an instant. He is constantly yelling, day in and day out. I am starting to lose my hearing, and I am only 11 years old!! Dad can really get on your nerves sometimes. He took off his glasses and wiped them clean on his shirt. He put them back on to see if his words had their affect on us. Sure enough, Emily was crying quietly, burying her face in our dog’s fur. She still can’t get it into her head that dad yells a ton. If she keeps this up, I will be surprised if she doesn’t die of dehydration within the next couple years. Dad’s yelling doesn’t bother me so much. It’s an everyday type of thing, but I am starting to grow tired of it. I mean, how would you like it if your dad is a crazy maniac? He actually causes most of the trouble around here. When he gets mad, he is as savage as a lion. He rants and raves, flailing his arms about, then stomps off to seclude himself in his bedroom and calm down. I snuck off to my own room and wrote 856 in today’s date on my calendar. This was the number of days Emily and I had been cut off from the normal world.
I still remember the day that he took us out of Elementary School. He told me that the teachers were crazy, and that they had no idea about teaching at all. I begged him not to take us home and away from all my friends. It sometimes seems that he doesn’t care, and just wants us to be sad. When he went to Elementary school, the teachers still smashed children’s fingers with rulers. He just can’t get that memory out of his head. I can understand why he would want to protect us some 30 years ago, but not now. Someday I hope that he will let us go back to public school and have a life.
As I heard Emily’s footsteps down the hall, I hurried into my bed and started reading.
“What do you want?” I asked as she entered, making sure to show that I was very annoyed. She was red as a tomato all over, and her face was shriveled up like a raisin.
“I hate dad,” she said angrily.
“He is right, though,” I replied.
“He clearly said that you are not doing any schoolwork, and he has a point.”
“Well you weren’t either,” Emily said in her nastiest voice possible.
“I would be if you didn’t force me to play with your stupid stuffed animals!” I countered.
“THEY’RE NOT STUPID!” Emily screamed at the top of her lungs. She then erupted into a frenzy, her short brown hair swinging this way and that as she dashed out of my room. I heard her small feet pound vigorously up the stairs. Her harsh screams penetrated every last corner of the house even through her slammed door. If she isn’t whining, she’s crying. If she isn’t crying, she’s whining. She never gets in any trouble, and always gets her way. She is almost as horrible to me as dad is!
Dad came into my room, regaining his temper as quickly as he had lost it.
“What did you do to her?!?” he asked/yelled.
“Just showed her a small glimpse of reality.”
“Shut your smart mouth this second, or lose your computer privileges for this week,” he stated sharply. I swore under my breath. He is even more irritating than Emily! But if there is one thing I am sure of, that would be that he wouldn’t ban my computer privileges.
“I just did,” dad said, reading my mind. Gosh, that was weird. How did he do it? I wait all week for the weekends to come so that I can play computer, and now I have to wait a week longer?!?!? I just can’t see why I get in trouble every time dad and Emily fight. It stinks.
Dad turned around satisfied and walked out of the room. I heard and felt him stamping powerfully up the stairs, and pounding on Emily’s door. The entire house vibrated as there was an ear-splitting exchange between the two. Moments later, the entire house was silent.
I crept out of my room and slunk innocently towards the living room. I saw the blazing fire, welcoming me to a friendlier environment. I glanced at the couch, where Emily and dad were reading happily. Dad beckoned me to come join them by patting the couch lightly next to him. As we all sat comfortably on the couch, the words flowed smoothly from dad’s tongue, like a rushing river carrying us off to new worlds.