The Long Way This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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On the way home
This car hears my confessions.
I think tonight I’ll take the long way.

The CD in my car blared out the familiar words of a song I’d heard at least a million times. My attention was drawn to it, like my brain had been magnetized. It was my escape song, and that’s what I needed – escape.

My hands gripped the squishy skin of the steering wheel, and I watched as the beauty of the starry night sky was bombarded by raindrops striking the windshield. The light roar of my Sunfire startled my already edgy nerves.

The wind outside is biting
It has left me feeling tired and ­exposed.

The car seemed to accelerate on its own, like it could feel my pain and frustration. I drove on what felt like a never-ending road, unsure of where to go, whom to run to. An eternity of tears, falling seemingly as hard as the rain, wet my cheeks and poured into the sides of my mouth. The saltiness stung my tongue, and I reached up to wipe them from my drowning eyes.

It’s clouded
And so is my head.

I turned the music up louder, hoping to mask the anger that had initiated this drive. My thoughts raced, and my heart tried to keep up. The acoustics rang clearly. I mentally grasped each lyric with my temper-tainted mind and hung on the choreographed ballet of words. I yelled at my dashboard and then took a deep breath as if to give my car time to reassure me or give me advice. The ­inside of my car took abuse from my fists and even more from my painful, angry words.

The hint of these new tears are sharp.

I try to choke them back
But it’s useless.
I am useless against them.
They are beating me with ease.

My two-door seemed to be my backbone, the support necessary for my soul. It was the only thing keeping me sane. It was my shoulder to cry on and a companion to whom I vented my feelings. It always listened.

Eyes swollen, I pulled over to breathe and question whether anyone had even noticed I was gone. I turned on my flashers, their incessant blinking seeking help, not from a passerby, but from God. My car acted as an interpreter. I pleaded for help and relief from this mess.

After my conversation with The Big Guy, I turned off my flashers and seized my place on the road – calmer, but still in a shaky state of mind.

The song seemed like it had been written just for me, just for nights like this. Every word was sung for me. The singer knew everything, and now, so did my car.

I pressed repeat, knowing that the melody of both the song and my life must repeat ceaselessly until I finally understood their message as well as my car understood me.

On the way home
This car hears my confessions.
I think tonight I’ll take the long way.

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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