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Childish Games This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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My twin sister and I always made a game out of everything. We made games to clean our room, games to get ready quickly, games to determine who was the faster runner or the higher jumper, the better hula-hooper or basketball shooter. We had a game for everything. But there was one game neither of us ever won because we were destined to lose from the start.

One summer night, we were both excited to be going to the local fair. Our five-year-old minds were fixed on images of whirling merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels, bumper cars and arcade games, pink cotton candy and powdery funnel cake. Our mother dressed us in identical outfits, and we waited by the window for our father to pick us up.

We made a game of guessing how many cars would pass until our father’s burgundy van came cruising down the street to our gate. I guessed five, six, seven, next car. She guessed, three, four, five cars until he comes. An hour later, three cars until he comes. An hour and a half later, when darkness filled the empty street and 9 o’clock struck, we said, wearily, two cars until he comes.

We fell asleep on the couch by the window, forgetting our game and the whirling merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels, bumper cars and arcade games, cotton candy and funnel cake. We forgot about the passing cars – red, green, blue, but never burgundy.

We awoke to the sound of our mother’s voice. She said that our father was outside. My sister and I, in our identical outfits, with drowsy eyes, looked out to see a burgundy van with a man standing beside it. He seemed tall but not tall enough, responsible but not responsible enough, and sorry but never sorry enough.

He yelled into the window, his deep voice tinged with a slight Jamaican accent. He said that it was too late to go to the fair but that there was always next time. I heard next time and felt never. I must have stopped listening to, or rather hearing, what this man said because the next word I heard was good-bye.

And then he crept off in his burgundy van, maybe to his home, maybe to the fair to see the whirling merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels, bumper cars and arcade games, cotton candy and funnel cake. Wherever he went, I knew it did not involve me. Our game of passing cars was exhausting and disappointing, and I did not want to play anymore. I was looking for a car that didn’t exist. I was looking for a car that would never come to take me away. I could never win this game.

From that moment on, I resolved never to wait for anyone to come take me away. I would find my own 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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This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm
Excellently written. And very sad. I loved how you connected the games to dissapointment and abandonment. 5 stars
 
aTang said...
Jul. 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm
This article is so touching. I can imagine how you're waiting and waiting, until that person comes. Your writing style is very unique. I bet your next articles will be as fantastic as this.
 
Thunderfirst said...
Jul. 28, 2009 at 12:16 am
So sad, but well written.
It could have been a little more creative, but I like it.
 
Yessy(: said...
Jun. 29, 2009 at 5:06 am
Extremely good job! I love it.! (:
 
sallyloco said...
Jun. 22, 2009 at 2:12 am
same here 4everluvjc!
 
4everluvjc said...
Jun. 3, 2009 at 1:56 pm
Wow!...i'm just...speechless.
 
daisydee123 said...
May 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm
yes nana.riley said it very good you relly captured the emotions.
 
Theresa This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm
This was heart-wrenching, but wonderfully written.
 
nana.riley. said...
Apr. 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm
i like it ....its sad but you gave true...feeling.....
 
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