Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Dirty Laundry This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
He is your world. He is the one you would live and die for. You love the color of his skin – different from yours – the perfect balance between light and dark, day and night. You love the way he tells you he loves you. He says he'll marry you someday.

But your mom does not approve. You wonder every day how anyone can be so bigoted. Has she not felt the way you do at some point in her life? She doesn't understand, just rants and raves about your “taste in men” in that nasally voice you hate – the one she only uses when she's angry.

Later you sit on your bed, and turn up the volume on your iPod. “All the Same” by the Sick Puppies blasts through the ear buds.

Wrong or right … black or white … if I close my eyes … it's all the same.

Your mom has forbidden you from seeing him again, and Dad's taken to keeping a shotgun in the living room.

In my life … the compromise … I'll close my eyes … it's all the same.

You remember telling him you were afraid but that you wouldn't stop seeing him. He asked you to run away with him, just drop everything and run, figure it out as you went. But you said you wanted to wait and see if it would blow over. The look in his eyes was sad, as if he knew your parents would never accept him.

You hop off your bed and start shoving clothes into an duffel bag, making a trip to the bathroom for your toothbrush. You head to your desk and stare blankly at a piece of paper, pencil in hand. You write a quote that has been in your heart from the minute your parents told you that you were making a big mistake. It's short, but it's all you need to say.

You head down the hall to the laundry room. Your mom has piles of clothes on the floor, organized by color. You grab bits from every pile and toss them to the middle, creating a mound no longer separated into lights and darks.

Green, yellow, red, blue, black, white – all heaped into one huge pile. You lay your message on the top. It doesn't say who you're with or where you're going, but it wouldn't be hard to figure out.

“Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





Join the Discussion


This article has 442 comments. Post your own!

JamieNicole said...
Nov. 14, 2011 at 8:51 am:
Amazing. I may only be 13 but I can tell you have a future ahead of you I just wanted to read more and more.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
emma_hollaThis 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...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm:
That took my breath away.
 
emma_hollaThis 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. replied...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm :
(In the best way possible.)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
TheGirlWhoDancesWithSnowflakes said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm:
Wow. This made me a bit emotional. This is a personal matter for me, because this perfectly describes my mother and my father. My dad is black and my mom is white. My mom's dad actually told my mother that if she married my dad, he would never associate with her or her family ever. Hence why I don't know my only living grandfather. Good job. I'm so adding this to my favorites.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
loveylol said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm:
nice story i love it alot
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
sunriseusnset said...
Oct. 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm:
romeo & juliet? but, i really liked it. i love the whole dirty laundry comparison.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Bryce said...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 9:51 am:
I think this is very kinky how your laundry and the shotgun is involved
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
kait94 said...
Oct. 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm:
wow just wow! loved it sooo amazing how that one quote can have soo much impact.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Lundyn said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm:
This is amazing.!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Zantesha said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm:
this reminds me of the time i was with someone that was of a different race, && it touched my heart...especially the ending line <3 :]
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
iluvrockandroll2 said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm:
love it!!!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
rachelwilson said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 11:51 am:
If this is a true story played into this. I'm actually in that boat right now. You have me in tears! Thank you. This is beautiful. Continue to write!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
hobo12321 said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 10:06 am:
Wow... Just... Wow, the emotion that the character feels is so clear, and the moral is so true!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Gingersnap777 said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 9:39 am:
I think second person was really the right feel for this piece,  it brought dimension to your story.  That quote--awesome--really tied everything together to end with a bang.  Great message, great story!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Dancing2222 said...
Oct. 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm:
I love that quote at the end:)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
irishlass317 said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 12:06 am:
I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! this piece is amazing!! keep writing!!!!!!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Nellie21 said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm:
This is amazing, I was crying the whole time. Beautfiul! 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
fearless789 said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm:
I love the second person viewpoint that you have. Great! Amazing lesson!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
JulianneV said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm:
This is amazing! I loved it so much!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
juliam This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm:
I read this about a year ago, and loved it then. I just wanted to say that now, reading it back, it's no less wonderful. This truly has a great message but, more than that in some sense (and less in others), the writing is unbelievable. Truly utterly superb. 
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback