What Happened to the Shell?

March 23, 2009
By Lauren Kim GOLD, Plano, Texas
Lauren Kim GOLD, Plano, Texas
12 articles 0 photos 0 comments

A snail has endless possibilities inside it’s shell. It can sleep, think, creep, and
feel safe, secured by the shell’s hominess. For me, my shell isn’t a swirled round object with muddy colors colliding together, but it’s my habitat, cocoon, and paradise that invites me into a world far from the cruel reality of school, grades, worries, and stress. My shell is a retreat that serves as an entrance to an acne-free island topped off with world peace, love, spirit, and mirth.

But here’s the key. A person with a soul that is pure, with no intention of ruining themselves or others, find their shell to be an imaginary fairytale land. Princes ride around on a tall white horse, whisking the damsel in distress away from the wicked ogre. Unfortunately, those who think of hatred, revenge, and only themselves find their shell to be a prison, with poisoned walls, shackles, chains, and steel bars sealing away any sign of freedom.

As a teenager, I was a complex one. I was very dramatic, yet I had no intention of joining theater club and act. I had an attitude, but I hated it when people gave me the same attitude back. I enjoyed a bit of teenage hormone-jokes, but I found the stupid banter the boys said, revolting and rude. Also, I was a girl that depended, no, needed my fairy daydream land. It was a sign to me that there were better situations than zits, proactive facial cleaners, parent viewer, break-ups, and slamming the door extra hard to tell off the parents. My imaginary world, or shell, was a necessity to me, because it provided happiness when reality didn’t.

Soon, things took a turn for the worst. My shell was a place that I started visiting more than seven hours of school, including dinner, interrupting homework, and whenever my parents spoke to me. This was because I was changing. Well, something was changing me, and that something was changing me drastically. I started hanging out with the wrong group in school, blowing off P.E., getting caught by janitors sneaking out the back door, and embarrassingly, I admit that I spent most of my time in the principal’s office with my parents. My shell was a place where I could get away from it all, because to be honest, the real world was frightening. The world that I was permanently stuck in just plainly scared me.

When you hang around the bad, you begin to turn into the same. My grades began to sink like an anchor from a ship, diving into the deep blue floor of the sea.
My appearance was covered in a black hue, which were not bruises, but an expression so dark on my face that it completely changed the way I was. School was horrible, which made home much worse. There was not a silent minute where my parents would stop yelling at me, not even during dinner. When I went to sleep at midnight, I would hear my parents in the next room arguing to each other about me. That would be the last thing I would here before I’d fall into a troubled sleep.

My shell was changing too. The flowers began to die, the ponds dried up, killing the fish, and the air was filled with the deafening sounds of dead trees falling to the ground, smashing bird nests and crushing squirrels along with them. Fires spread through the land, ruining the world that I had spent my entire life creating, killing every unicorn, centaur, and satyr thriving on the grassy plains, while the smoke rose to the sky, choking the wonderful horned eagles to their death. Their dead bodies fell from the sky and burned in the fire. Tears fell down my face as I witnessed this crumbling of both the real world and my imaginary one. I wanted to
change, turn back the clock, shield the sounds of my mother crying, and avoid watching my father sleep in the living room from a recent fight with my mom.

I cut off every single friend that had done me wrong and caused troubled, wiped the black hue off my face, replacing it with a smile, and soothed my mother
and father by telling them words that hadn’t come out of my mouth in a very long time. It was agonizingly hard, took a long time, forcing bad habits out of my life, but in the end, most of the stains in my life where gone. Unfortunately, the results were tragic. I spent most of school alone, where the bad friends smirked upon my face, and where the good friends that were lost during the change I went through gave up on me. Still, I knew that I had done all I could. Only love and time could change this around.

I visited my shell a couple days ago, where I found a glimmer of hope. I was walking, hearing the crunching of burnt leaves, feathers, and animal bones
beneath my feet. It was horribly hard seeing what had become of this place but I knew that the ashes on the ground would disappear. Sooner or later, the wind would blow them away. I walked a bit further where I saw a sight that stole my breath away. There, in front of me on the ground, grew a single rose, swaying gently in the wind. That single flower was like a flag, telling everyone that I was
alive. To me, it was a sign that help was on the way.

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