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A Lifetime In A Car Ride This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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In the car again.
All so together ... yet sofar apart.
Daddy is driving. Mommy is sewing.
She occasionally peers overher shoulder
at my brother and me,
who spontaneously burst into horridarguments.
She ends the fighting with soft words
and gentle threats,
butwe continue to fight on the inside,
a battle to the end.
I stare out thewindow,
wondrous of the surroundings that pass before my eyes,
in awhirlpool of new sights.
My parents talk,
and occasionally I tune intotheir conversations,
agreeing with everything they say,
because they are myMommy and Daddy,
they are my world.
Every word out of their mouths is goodand true to me,
although sometimes I don't understand what they say.
I wantto be just like them when I grow up.
I whisper this to myself over and over asI fall asleep,
In the comfortable seats.
I ask my Mommy where we aregoing.
She has to stop her sewing to tell me,
but she does. She alwaysstops for me.

Dad is driving. Mom is sewing.
My brother and I no longerfight
with the same vehemence as before.
The sights outside still seem newto me in an old way.
My Mom and Dad talk.
Confusion wells inside ofme.
I understand most of what they say now,
and sometimes what they sayisn't what I believe.
But aren't Mom and Dad always supposed to beright?
My brother speaks up.
Shouting with all the soul he has, hisopinion.
No longer afraid of stating his beliefs.
I quiver inside, even atthe thought of disagreeing with
Mom and Dad.
My brother is smushing me intomy own space, and the seats
we have don't seem as big as they oncewere.

Father is driving. Mother is sewing.
My brother and I no longerfight.
We sing.
Our voices combine as if they always belongedtogether.
But just as I learn all the words to the song,
he opens the doorand gets into his own car.
Mother and Father act as though nothing iswrong.
But I shake,
and my sweat mingling with my tears runs down myface.
Even though his empty space now gives me freedom,
to move, and grow,a part of me is missing,
suddenly, like someone ripped a piece of me off.
Ilook at my Mother and Father,
intently listening to what they discuss.
Idon't agree with anything they say.
I tell them so.
My voice shaking andweak as I begin,
powerful and secure as I end.
My Mother and Father nodtheir heads knowingly and smile.
My head is spinning and in the clouds
andI just won an amazing battle.
I look out the window.
I am bored with thesights.
It is all so familiar,
that I long to see new things.
My fingersitch as I gaze at the handle of the door,
my gateway to freedom.
The desireis so strong I can hardly hold myself back.
I have long outgrown myseat
and I need my own car.
But I look at them.
My mommy anddaddy.
Never moving, never changing.
Always there for me.
I wonder whynow,
I no longer think every word they speak is perfect,
or why I mainlysee their faults,
not their strong points.
I can't leave them now.
Idraw my hand back from the handle,
the shininess still beckoning to me to openit.
But my mom turns around and says to me;
"Go. Go now. Now is yourtime."
So I do.
Slowly with great deliberation.
And as my soul triumphswith its newfound freedom,
I cannot overcome my desire to look behindme.
They have stopped.
Watching me,
smiling.
Tears stain theirfaces.
They have always stopped for me.
They always will.

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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