A Night in the Study

October 21, 2008
By Devon Norris, Benton, AR

I would dread those few moments in my life where my parents would bring us aside to tell us the important decision. They told us to come to the study. Normally this isn’t unusual because Carlton and I would go there to play chess with our father. We walked in expecting an ordinary request or information of some sort. However, we received a different atmosphere.

I can recall the picture perfectly. Harrogate, England. Evening. The room’s inside wall was plastered with books, obscuring all white space with research on topics that I couldn’t spell, let alone say. And heat. Always heat. Not an oppressive heat though. A welcoming one. The mammoth heater radiated warmth throughout the room. It spoke of comfort and relaxation. But not this night. There was a painfully clear awkwardness. It was apparent once I had entered in with my siblings. My parents stood together looking at us. Then my dad raised the fatal question. How do you feel about moving back to America?

We had lived in England for 3 years by then. For my family, that is a long time. And it didn’t help that I was right in the middle of primary school. Nine year olds don’t normally have to deal with this. But of course I was fated to a life of restless wandering before I even reached my teens. A child who should have been eagerly seeking out the latest Pokemon card was forced to cope with the harsh reality of a different life. What would I say to Sean, my partner in crime? No more sleepovers on a floor littered with glass bottles of Coke, long ago emptied. No more afternoons spent exercising our fingers on the most recent video games. Is this fair? The thought of starting over seemed monumentally impossible. New friends. New school. New life. Why does this always happen to me? I couldn’t even fathom starting a clean slate in a new, intimidating town. Just my luck that my dad chose the job that kept him mobile. What would it be like? Having new friends in a new school in a new life. Made more alien by the fact it was in a new country! This would not be fun. I could just imagine all of the possible scenarios that could end up wrong. Could I do it? I mean really? Did I have it in me to start over?

I wasn’t sure what to say. Our mom and dad studied our reactions. What did it matter? We were still going to move. I guess it wouldn’t be impossible. We’ve been through it before. I just wished we could have stayed longer. I liked it here. I had good friends. However, I had an even better family and I knew that would help me through it. Wow… Illinois. Wonder what it would be like. Will the weather be the same? Do they talk like me? Questions. I had a lot of them. They would be answered in time, though. In time. How much time? How long until we leave the place I have called home for these past years? How long until I had to start over? How long until I stood in a bare room in a bare hallway in a bare house? What kind of house would it be? I wonder if the neighbors will be our age. Will they like what I like? I wonder if I will be able to play football over there. Is the food good?

I can’t contain the flood of questions raging through my brain. A torrent of thoughts that desired answers. What do Carlton and Audra want to do? Will I be in the same schools as them? What will school be like from now on? Overload! Too many things to think about. It’s going to be hard to fall asleep tonight. All these thoughts exploded into my head once my dad spoke that one sentence. That one sentence that flipped my life upside-down. I couldn’t control it so I had to accept it. Go with the flow. The strong, forceful flow that takes me to places I’ve never contemplated. How? Why? When?

Oh well. It’s like talking to a wall. A one-way conversation. No feedback. Answers would come… eventually. For now, I just had to live life in today and not in tomorrow.

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This article has 1 comment.

JesusFreak said...
on Oct. 17 2009 at 2:51 pm
I loved it. I could definetly feel the tension of the situation. Very nice, and keep writing :)

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