One Last Look This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   GingerlyI place my most cherished items in a box. I arrange themcarefully, making sure nothing is damaged. Struggling to closethe overflowing box, I reach for the packing tape and seal mymemories away. I look around the barren room that used to befull of magazine cutouts and mementos. Some things are leftbehind, but the most meaningful are in duffel bags. Images ofchildhood sleepovers, laughter and tears come rushing back. Ican almost hear Debbie Gibson singing as a little girl ofseven dances wildly around the room. That little girl was me,I think. That was me, ten years ago. There are still marks ofpaint on the floor and walls, left from one of my excitingartistic moments. A hole has been uncovered above my bed, areminder of my violent temper and arguments with my motherthat will forever echo in this little room.

I push allthat from my mind and turn around. I pull the door shut andlean against it for a moment. "I'm ready," I say. Ipick up my cat who has wandered over. They always seem to knowwhen you're leaving. I cuddle her for a moment as I head downthe hall to the kitchen. I take a little stroll through thedining and living rooms, gently running my hand overeverything in the room, making a mental picture of where Ispent my life. I return to the hall and pick up the bags.Outside the sun is shining and the air is hot. I breathedeeply, standing at the edge of the porch as if it were acliff I was about to jump off. I toss the bags in the back ofthe car and take another look around the yard. Here I go. I'mexcited to be leaving, but at the same time, terrified ofwalking away from everything I've always known. Before I openthe door to my mother's van, I take one last look at mychildhood and think, I'll be okay. As we pull out of thedriveway I look behind and think, I'll see you again atChristmas.




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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