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My Only Regret
“Come on Jenna! It’s time to get up, you have thirty minutes till school starts!” my Dad hollered from downstairs.
“I’m going, I’m going” I said with a sigh at the thought of leaving my precious bed.
I rolled out of bed extending my feet toward the ground as I felt my feet touch my fuzzy carpet. I walked over to the bathroom to brush my teeth, brush my hair, and apply my makeup. Once I was finished I looked around my floor covered with piles of dirty laundry and I chose to wear my favorite pair of ripped jeans and a white v neck.
“Good morning,” my Dad said with a dull tone, “someone will finally be early to school today,” my Dad said in a petty manner.
“Alright, I get it, I won’t be late anymore.” I said.
“Mhm…” my Dad hummed smiling while rolling his eyes.
“Whatever stop getting on my butt about it, I am yet to get a detention.”
“Alright, are you coming home after school or what’s your plan?” my Dad asked concerned.
“I don’t know, why?” I asked curiously.
“I just would prefer you home earlier tonight you have been coming home late a lot.”
“I’ll do whatever I want, I’m seventeen now.” I stated angrily walking out the door.
“Jenna! Come here you’re not getting away like that,” he yelled as I ran out of the house. When I looked back, my Father looked discouraged.
My Father and I did not have a great relationship, my mother passed away when I was very young and my Father has been with me every since. Ever since my mother died, my Father relied heavily on drugs to bring him happiness, I hated it. Their had been multiple situations he overdosed and went to the hospital. My Dad has put me through unnecessary stress and has not been the best Dad he could of been, and I resented him for it.
As I made my way outside, I clicked the unlock button on my keys and hopped into my freezing car. I headed over to school, making sure to make a stop at Dunkin Donuts. As I pulled into the lot and ran into the store trying to avoid the cold.
“Usual?” A worker asked me as I walked in.
“Yes, but hot not iced please,” I requested.
I headed out of Dunks’ holding my drink, slowly sipping on the boiling hot pumpkin flavored coffee. I took the usual route to get to school getting their fifteen minutes before the first bell. I walked toward the cafeteria where I saw all my friends sitting around the table yelling through conversation. My friends and I were all very loud together, if something funny or exciting is occurring we lose it.
As I approached the table Sammy yelled, “Oh my gosh! Jenna you finally woke up early enough to come to the cafe!”
“Yeah,” I agreed laughing.
“Did you all hear about Shane and Rebecca?” Lucy asked in a serious tone.
“No, what happened?’ I asked.
“Well I guess they broke up, but he cheated on her with Isa.” Lucy said frustrated.
“Are you kidding me? They dated for over a year and he knows her and Isa never got along too. I wonder why he did that.” Sammy replied
“I know, but today we have to be really supportive for her, she needs us.” Lucy addressed to the group as we all nodded in agreement.
“Tonight should be fun though!” Sammy said in excitement.
“I’m surprised your parents agreed to this, how did that happen?” I asked.
“I am too, but it’s only fifteen of us and they assume nothing wrong of it,” Sammy remarked laughing.
“They should assume something if Jenna is there!” Lucy yelled laughing, as we all joined her laughing until suddenly the bell rung.
“Alright, I will see all you ladies tonight!” Sammy yelled in excitement.
“See you ladies later today and tonight,” I said walking toward the history hallway.
The last bell rung as I sit in my first period history class. As soon as we sat down my teacher started to hand out the tests we took a few weeks ago. As students received their tests one by one I admire the unique reactions everyone expressed once they saw their grades, it increased my nerves. Mrs. Horton started to walk toward my desk handing me my test. I flipped it over right away and I got a 96%.
“Nice job, best in the class,” Mrs Horton told me.
I could not help but smile, I was so proud of myself. I never perform well on my history tests.
“What did you get Jenna?” my friend Michael asked me.
“A 96! Can you believe it, the dumbest person in this class gets a 96! How about you?” I asked.
“Damn Jenna, that’s so good. I got a 78 but I’m satisfied.” Michael responded to me.
I heard my phone ding as the teacher continued to hand back the test, I received a text from my Dad asking me where I planned on going tonight. I knew I wouldn’t reply, it’s not any of his business I am almost an adult, so I put my phone down. The bell rang at 8: 05 and I was on my way to cooking class.
“Jenna!” Rebecca yelled, clearly in an upset mood.
“Hey girl, how are you doing?” I asked.
“I’ve been better, just a rough past couple of weeks, lots of stuff happening ya know,” Rebecca told me.
“If you ever need to talk about it let me know, you know I’m always here. But we got double cooking on a Friday, so that’s a plus.”
“Thank god! I did not want to go to precalc today, the last thing I want to look at is math.”
As the last bell rung, we all stood around our kitchens waiting for further instruction. Our teacher walked in looking like she was in a good mood.
“Hello class! Today we are gonna have a free day, so you guys can make anything you want, any recipes we have made you can make today. I have the recipes listed in the front of the room for your use. So, let’s get started!” Ms. Donovan said with excitement.
During cooking class we made homemade lasagna and chocolate lava cakes. Rebecca and my lasagna was the best in the class Ms. Donovan told us, however our chocolate lava cakes were more like burnt cakes with no guzzing chocolate in the center. After our class made our dishes the class enjoyed them as our teacher played “Cake Boss” on the projector in the background of the chatter throughout the class.
“I think my family is going on a European vacation this summer, but our parents are denying it even though I found the tickets. I am so excited!” Rebecca exclaimed.
“Wow, thats awesome. Where are you guys travelling to?” I asked engaged.
“Rome, Paris, Greece, and Barcelona. I think we are going for a month because our flights were scattered by about a week each, it’s gonna be so much fun. Except dealing my annoying twin brothers.”
“Brody and Brandon aren’t that bad, they are so cute!”
“I guess… Have you ever been out of the country or to Europe?”
“No, my Dad and I don’t travel much,” I said irritated by the realization.
“Well you can travel as much as you want when you’re an adult!” Rebecca said reassuring me knowing I seemed annoyed and upset by it.
Suddenly the phone in the classroom rang just as the period was coming to an end.
“Hello, Ms. Donovan,” Ms. Donovan answered and then listened for a while.
“Mhmm, alright I’ll send her down, thanks.” she replied.
“Jenna down to the office please,” Ms. Donovan announced.
“Ohhhhhhhhh,” the class hissed being very immature.
“Please take your things as well since the period is ending soon and have a lovely weekend!” Ms. Donovan said in delight.
“Thanks Ms. Donovan!” I said on my way out, as Rebecca glared at me curiously.
As I sped down the hallway to beat the bell before everyone crowded into the hallways, I pondered why I was being called down. I thought if I had done anything bad, owed any dues, anything, but nothing came to my mind. I started to get somewhat nervous, as I arrived the two ladies at the front desk looked at me in sorrow.
“Hi Jenna, please report to Mr. Callahan’s office,” one of them told me.
I opened the door of the principal’s office and was clearly nervous, I never go to the office.
“Hi Jenna welcome, its nice seeing you.” Mr. Callahan stated formally.
“Hello, nice seeing you to,” I said nervously.
“The conversation we are about to have is not easy, I have been overthinking how I would address you about this. Were you with your Father this morning?” Mr. Callahan asked.
“Yes, I was.” I answered without questioning it.
“Jenna I received a call from the police, your father passed away this morning around 9:30,” he paused, “from drug overdose.”
The light flashed before my eyes, as cliche and overdone as it sounds it was true. Not even tears would come out, it seemed unreal to me.
“Jenna, we are here for you if you need any assistance. Would you like to report it guidance or talk with me? Anything really.” Mr. Callahan said in a sympathetic tone.
I couldn’t process what he said into my brain. He died. Both my parents. They are gone. I am alone. He is gone and so is she, I will never see them again. As soon as that realization popped into my mind, I bursted into tears, I wanted to run away and get away from this school, this place. I stormed out flinching my backpack on my shoulder and slamming the door open.
“Jenna, where are you going?” Mr. Callahan asked me clearly concerned, but I needed to leave.
“I ww...aa..nn..tt…. to be alone,” I said unclearly as I sobbed so much I was unable to talk and breath.
Mr. Callahan walked forward toward me signaling me to come closer to him, “You’re gonna be okay, the school and I will be here for you in all of this.”
“Thank you,” I said with a faint smile as tears flowed out of my eyes even more. I quickly paced out of the school entrance running toward my car. I threw my bag in the back, turned on my car and immediately poured my face into my hands, letting out all my tears. I angrily slammed my hand against the dashboard of my car. I hated myself. He tried so hard with me, and I took him for granted because of his problems. I treated him so poorly, the only person I had left. I took that for granted and now its gone, he’s gone. I don't even know what I am gonna do. Who will I live with? How will I get through this? It didn’t seem doable, not right now at least.
I drove over to reservoir in between the school and my house. I was so angry, almost in denial. I couldn’t believe it the thought would not settle in my mind, I couldn’t grasp the idea and the fact that I was on my own from now on in life. I threw rocks into the lake with force, making sure they made a large splash. I took out all my anger from the regret I held toward my relationship with my Father and the anger of now longer having my parents both not in my lives. I was shaking non stop, tears no longer produced from my eye socket. My eyes felt dry with a burning sensation and my nose clogged. Life seemed meaningless, I felt like the biggest asshole for how I treated my Father and how I dealt with his drug issues. I wish I could have gotten him to change his ways, but it's too late. I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I truly hate myself, how much life would suck and how I would not recover from this experience easily. I did not want this life anymore, I didn’t want to have to live with this pain and regret I held for not doing anything. I probably made him hate life even more, I pushed him to overdose.
These horrific thoughts were all that was in my mind, I couldn’t help but blame myself. He wasn’t the best Dad, but I certainly was not a good daughter.
I drove past my house after the trip to the reservoir, I saw the line of cop cars from down my small suburban street. The feelings of regret and pain raced through my mind I felt a heavy weight in my chest seeing the lights flashing. That’s when it all hit me, he really did die. I will never see him, I will never be able to apologize to him or say anything really, and that hurt the most.
5 years later…
It was five years later, the anniversary of my Father’s death I was in my twenties living on my own. I spent the day reflecting on my life, the situation, and reflecting on my Father and his life. I no longer felt regret, I knew what I could of done and how I was instead toward my Father. After his death I lived with my Dad’s sister who took care of me until I went on my own way. She was like my own mom, a aspect of my life I never experienced. I missed my parents both dearly, but I became very independent and focused on myself. I never wanted to treat anyone like how I treated my Father. I never wanted my last experience or moments with someone to be negative because of my actions, I aspired to be a positive influence in everyone's lives that I encountered because you never know when it will be your last moment with someone. I never wanted to feel that regret and sorrow that I felt after my Father’s death. I understood life more, and I understood the hardships and struggles people went through and to be sympathetic toward those. As a teenager I was naive and nothing was good enough for me I always wanted and expected more from my Father, yet I didn't even acknowledge how much he was hurting. All I wish for my Father to know is that I am sorry and I loved him, even though I never really told him, I truly did.