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

April 2, 2009
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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.

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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!
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!
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!
Dancing2222 said...
Oct. 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm
I love that quote at the end:)
irishlass317 said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 12:06 am
I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! this piece is amazing!! keep writing!!!!!!
Nellie21 said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm
This is amazing, I was crying the whole time. Beautfiul! 
fearless789 said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm
I love the second person viewpoint that you have. Great! Amazing lesson!
JulianneV said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm
This is amazing! I loved it so much!
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. 
. said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Wow. That's a really touching message. I love it!!! Great job :)

P.S. I love Sick Puppies too!

tomato face said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

it is great, u hav a lot of potential


Pumpkinscout said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm
WOW!!! You're amazing! I loved the last line, that was the clincher for me: "Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color"!!! Keep on writing! And the second person perspective, you really pulled it off, that must be hard! Great job!
mercebeinyata said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

This story was incredibly stupendous and contemperary! I loved the realistic tone!

I am starting this game that will help everyone to get their work more to the teenink world (and maybe the rest of the world). It is a game called Big Words. To play this game (this is going to sound dumb, but hear me out) you can start by reading my short story called "Purple-face Tom". After you finish the story, you comment on it, and within your comment, use a big and/or fancy word and ... (more »)

musicisthegoodlifeThis 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...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 7:04 am
Love the quote :) Nicely written.
d.l.breaux said...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 3:05 am

Good concept, needs some work. Take it out of the second person, you're not telling me what to do or predicting my future. That's what it sounds like you're trying to do. Take it into first person, and there you can add personal thoughts and feelings if you'd like, or put in third person limited. Also, in the beginning, make it more clear that this forbidden boyfriend/crush is of a different race. The wording is just a little odd, and it's not 100% obvious. Don't say it explicitly, just make ... (more »)

mercebeinyata replied...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 11:18 am
I actually kind of liked how the author wrote, "It doesn't say who you're with or where you're going, but it won't be hard to figure out." because some readers (like me) are a little slow to catch on that she is leaving with only a note in her wake. I don't mean to critisize you at all (I am so sorry if I have offended you in any way, shape or form). I just wanted to state that  everyone is different in their techniques of reading (that sentence doesn't sound right, but I hope that you unde... (more »)
d.l.breaux replied...
Sept. 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

No, of course not. You didn't offend me, I completely understand that different people have different ways of reading. I think part of taking that out though, would leave more for the reader to think about. You actually have to put the pieces together - the boyfriend talking about running away, packing the bag, getting the toothbrush, writing the note and leaaving it - and figure out what she's doing. 

"Show don't tell."

HollerGirl26 said...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 6:36 am
This is so amazing!! I love the point of view <33 and the quote is breath-taking!! :)
dia.dreamer said...
Sept. 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm

blown away.

-tags as favourite-

-rates 5 stars-

I loved this. It was just too good. Deserves to be published in the printed mag. Never stop writing. :)

and check out my work. :P

XxAriannaXx said...
Aug. 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm
This was amazing!!!
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