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I'm Not Okay
I was never the 'normal' kid. My mother was gone. She was killed when I was sixteen.
When she was alive, though, all of the other moms thought she was weird. Partly because she had dyed
red hair, and because she had me when she was fifteen. She didn't care, though, I was her baby,
and she would take good care of me.
The day of her funeral, I stared at her in the coffin. She looked asleep. I began to suspect it was
some sick joke.
'Mommy,' I said for the hundredth time. I knew she would wake up.
'She won't answer you, Lexington,' my neighbor, Payton, snapped. Maybe if he wasn't so mean
to me at school, I would like him. But, he had been nicer at home, lately. Or maybe I was lying to
I turned away quickly. She couldn't be dead. My mother was the strongest woman I knew. My
beautiful mother, the only person I had, gone. Why did God hate me so much?
The pastor stepped onto the podium. It signaled for me to sit down, and I did, ending up beside
Payton. I looked at him. He was Native American, just like me, which gave him the russet colored
skin. His eyes were brown, not an ugly, mud brown, but a warm, melted chocolate, that held concern
as he moved his head in my direction. I nearly laughed when his dull, black hair hit him in the
'You gonna be okay, Kentucky?' he whispered, using my childhood name.
I nodded, remembering when I got the name. It was when I was four, and he was five. We had been
playing together, and he had asked my name. I told him my name and he laughed.
'That's a stupid name!' he said. 'It's a place in Kentucky!'
Of course I had run away, crying. I was four, and it had hurt. I liked my name, Mommy always told me
that it was only for very special people. I had believed her.
I snapped back into reality when the pastor said my name. I looked up, forcing myself not to cry.
What a good daughter I was. Not crying at my mother's funeral, and not making a speech.
Before I knew it, we were watching her being covered with dirt. That was when it hit me. She really
was dead. A cry sprang from my throat as I tried to run forward. I was held back by strong, warm
arms, I felt everyone's eyes on me as the first tears rolled down my cheeks. The few tears turned
into sobs, turning the restricting arms into comforting cradles.
'It's okay, Kentucky, you can cry on me. I promise I won't say anything,' Payton whispered
in my ear. He was being so nice, it shocked me, which made me cry worse.
I don't know how long we stayed like that, but it felt nice. When I looked back over, there was a
mound of dirt where the hole was. It bothered me that I missed it, but it also helped me a little.
However, what bothered me worse were the lies that people said to one another.
'Oh, I was Antoinette's best friend,' Lie. My mother's best friend was Payton's mom, Beth.
'I'm Lexington's dad,' Big lie! My father was white, and this man was Native American.
'Well, we all knew this was coming. She was always hanging out in the worst places,' I
couldn't keep my mouth shut.
'Shut up!' I growled, 'She was never in places she shouldn't have been! She was always with
me, taking care of me!' Before I could cuss them out, Payton scooped me up, like I weighed 37
pounds instead of 137.
His arms were warm and strong. They were oddly comforting. That fact made me cry again. It confused
me so much. I guessed he was being so nice because my mom died, but when I told him, last year, that
my dad didn't want to see me anymore, he just shook his head. Why did life have to be so
Payton carried me to Beth's car, and put me in the back. He climbed in after me. Great. What did
he want now? I was quickly loosing my patience with him. He knew I hated people.
'Lexington,' he said softly, and I turned to look at him. The sweet tone he was using worried
me. 'Your eyes are too pretty to be crying.' It was true. I had pretty eyes. Royal blue against
caramel skin. He wiped a tear away, his face getting dangerously close.
'My mother is dead,' I choked out.
'I know, darling. My dad's dead. I know how bad it hurts,' he whispered, laying a hand on my
cheek. My God, he had big hands.
'No, you don't. Your dad loved you,' I was crying again. 'My dad told me he didn't want to
see me. He told me I didn't matter to him! Do you know how bad that hurts?'
'And you know what's even worse? Loosing the only person who loved you! She's gone. Gone
forever. I have no one!' I couldn't stop. 'I have to fend for myself.'
'That's not true. I love you, Lexington.' He kissed me. That completely shocked and scared me.
'I'll take care of you. Me and Mom will. Mom is your legal guardian now, anyway.'
For some reason, I believed him. Maybe it was because I was vulnerable, or maybe it was because deep
down, I knew he was telling the truth. Even now, I like to think the ladder.
Before I could say anything, Beth got in the car. She was such a nice woman. I should have known Mom
would have sent me to stay with her.
'We already have your stuff, kid,' she said, softly. 'I know it's rough, but me and Payton
are here for you.' She gave Payton an all knowing look, which made me laugh. She obviously knew he
Beth started to drive to her, well, my house. As she drove, Payton picked up my hand. I stared out
the window. Was it possible to love him? I didn't know at the time, because he was nice sometimes,
and mean others.
We arrived to my new home, right beside my old one. It was true, my things were there. Most already
set up in my room. It was upstairs, beside Payton's, Beth's being downstairs. This would be fun.
Time passed, and we became closer. We snuck into each other's rooms every night, normally falling
asleep. We had kissed several times a night. I knew that Beth knew, but she didn't mind. By the
time a year rolled around, I knew I loved him. I wasn't sure if he loved me, though. If he did, he
never said anything. He had never mentioned it since the day of the funeral. I began to suspect that
he had only said that to make me feel better.
One night, I was lying on his bed, my head on his knees. I intended to ask him if he loved me, but I
couldn't. My heart was hammering and I opened my mouth several times, chickening out every time. I
must have looked funny, probably like a fish.
'What's wrong, Kentucky?' Payton murmured, stroking my hair. I knew I had to ask.
'Do you love me?' I whispered, closing my eyes.
'No,' he stated, and I felt his eyes on me. My heart broke, and I went to get up. His arms held
me tighter as he continued. 'I'm in love with you. There's a difference.' He kissed me and
rested his cheek on the top of my head. I didn't say anything back, only smiled. I knew I didn't
need to say anything because he had to know that I loved him, too. We drifted off to sleep that way.
Now, five years later, I stand looking at him. We're in a church, saying our 'I do's.' I am
crying for two reasons. One, because I wish my mom was here. And two, because I'm happy. I should
be, it's my wedding.
As I look out at the people, I imagine my mom sitting there. It makes me cry more. I feel Payton's
hand on my face, right before we kiss. At this moment, I know everything will be okay.
I certify that it is an original work.