Sometimes We All Want To Take Things Back This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I was born a flawless creature, as all newborn babies are. I could laugh, cry, whine, or smile. Whatever I did, everybody adored me, and nobody would hurt me. My life continued perfectly like this for quite a while, or until I grew a brain that knew more than the average five-year-old.

I'm not saying that I was gifted; I just knew more about life, the kind of stuff you don't tell your friends for fear of their calling you crazy. I knew how to drive my brother insane when he was in a bad mood or how to spy on my parents when they were talking privately. I grew into one of those kids who could say virtually anything to anybody. I would intentionally hurt people's feelings, and then, five minutes later, wonder why I did these things. Needless to say, this was just a phase in my childhood, but sometimes a child takes things too far, says the wrong things, and then lives to regret it forever.

My grandparents came up from Florida to visit the family for a week. You know how everybody has a secret desire for vengeance on her grandma? Grandmas are so annoying - the way that they squeeze your cheeks and force healthy food down your throat. But no matter how much she annoys you, you always act upon your best behavior. She's your grandma after all! So for that dreadful week, I dealt with all of this plus more, until the moment my grandparents were about to leave and head back home.

Out of nowhere, as I entered the living room where they were packing, I shouted at the top of my lungs, "I hate you, and I never want to see you again!" That was quite a mouthful for a five-year-old girl.

Everybody stood there shocked, staring at me blankly. I think that was the first time anybody had ever spoken to my grandma like that. And then to hear that coming from her own granddaughter - she must have been heartbroken. I stood there a bit confused as I watched my grandma gasp for breath and her eyes bug out.

Soon after that her accusations began. "What are you teaching these children anyway? Did you hear what she just said to me!?" said my grandma to my mother. She started to cry, along with my mom, while my dad and my grandpa tried to calm them both down. I think that's when I decided to go to my room and cry myself to sleep.

An hour later, I heard my grandparents shut the door in a rage. I never got off my bed for the rest of the night. I never wanted to leave my bed, my security, my hideaway. Oh, how I wished I could turn back time, just for a moment. I just wanted to at least apologize to everyone. I wanted to kiss my grandma and make everything the way it was before. Although I knew she never really stopped loving me, I wanted to remind her that I was just a stupid kid who knew nothing about proper manners.

Things never really got much better. Even at seven, I could still sense the tension between my grandma and my parents. My grandma blamed the entire incident on my mom and dad. She claimed that my parents had taught me poor manners, and that it was all their fault. In the meantime, despite the abuse my parents were receiving from her, I was treated exactly as always. I knew in my heart and mind who really should have been punished, but I didn't want to cause any more commotion than I already had.

At night after I had been loud and obnoxious that day, I would hear my parents talking. They spoke about what a difficult child I was. Never did I hear a word like that about my "perfect" brother or sister. I then began to consider myself a "mistake." I felt like I wasn't wanted anywhere anymore. And no matter how many times I confronted my mom, she of course told me that I was loved, and by no means was I a mistake. If it was bedtime, she'd give me a hug and a kiss, and tuck me in.

I sit here, sixteen years old, knowing that I am loved by my parents but still wishing that I could take back what I said. I sit here, hoping, as my grandma now lies sick in bed, that she has finally forgotten what I said to her eleven years ago. Sometimes I still want to remind her of all the grief she put my parents through. I want her to take everything she said back. Sometimes we all want to take things back, but unfortunately we can't. c


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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