A Move, A Change, A Window That Won't Open This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I am from Somerville. I was torn from my home not long ago to attend the"Wildcat Band's" annual Band Camp. I knew no one ... a loner. Yes, Iattempted to be friendly with my Chuck Taylor's saying, "Hi there," butthat wasn't good enough. Mom said, "Now don't be upset, have fun!!!"But, with only three hours of sleep, fun was not on my vocab list.

MyAunty Bernie lives here in Wilmington, and when I came to her home a while back,I said, "Hey, nice place. Lots of trees. I'm never gonna live here."Dad said, "Now this is an ideal place. Lots of trees." Mom said,"Wow. There's a commuter rail. I can get to work easily. Plus, there arelots of trees." Big brother Alan grunted, "A lot of trees. When are wegoing home?"

Back to the story. I was a mallet player at band campalong with Alyson Beth. I felt very small under the huge trees of Camp Nokomisand in the band itself. I didn't like the breakfast there, nor did I like thetrillions of daddy longlegs in the shower stalls. I hated it. The only thing thatmade me feel happy was my daily affirmation book by Stuart Smalley, I'm GoodEnough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! Another thing thatboosted my self-esteem was that I was known before I arrived in the band. Iwasn't called Jen, I was "Hey you, the one that can make yarn mallets out ofyarn, one foot dowels, masking tape, and needles." The first day was thepits but I ended up having a good time.

I was happy to be "home"although I had an exasperating time finding my luggage among other garbagebag-wrapped parcels. I was at the foot of my new driveway when an ugly stenchnearly knocked me out. I wasn't familiar with the process of cleaning out septictanks.

I was really looking forward to cleaning out my new room. I plannedto put all of my wrestling posters on every wall so that I could feel at home. Iplanned to do so many things to my room, but no matter how many knick-knacks Idisplayed or how many pictures I put up, I didn't receive any warmth or comfortfrom my Somerville possessions. I was melancholy. I didn't like my newsurroundings nor the stench of human waste being pumped from my new backyard. Iwasn't used to this and it wasn't a lifestyle I could get used to.

Twodays later when the stench along with my sadness departed, I had this sudden urgeto open my bedroom window and let that cool country air calm down the humiditythat made men into monsters. I pulled. Nothing happened. No wonder, I thought tomyself as I observed this zany mechanism. It needed a key to open. I found thekey and inserted it in the proper position. It was jammed. Fury overtook me as Istarted to scream like a maniac at the window. I turned the key over and overagain when all of a sudden, it made a full one hundred and eighty degree turn. Alittle relief filled me as I opened that window with ease, but it wouldn't stayopen. I dropped onto my unmade bed with a feeling of grief, of unaccomplishment.I groaned and whined until the saints grew sick. Mom complained that if I didn'tstop complaining about everything wrong with the house, I would give her anulcer. I knew that I was unable to give her an ulcer because only she can giveherself an ulcer from frustration. I just lay there as Mom placed a stickunderneath the window that wouldn't open. 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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