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Yellow Lines

Before my mom got remarried we would take road trips to North Carolina to see her fiancé. When the weekend came I grew ecstatic, knowing we would soon depart. In the backseat I would sit silently and look out the window. My eyes followed the trees as they flew past the window. Other cars zipping fast beside us also caught my eye. Even though the trees and the other cars entertained me, my favorite things were the yellow lines.

After peering at the cars and trees my eyes wandered downward. From that point on my eyes were glued to the two solid yellow lines. I would imagine a tiny motorcycle riding down the middle of the two lines. I would giggle to myself and my mother would give me a questioning look. My giggles stopped and I continued to imagine the tiny motorcycle. It would start doing flips and wheelies, and a grin grew upon my face. After awhile the tiny motorcycle got boring, so I thought up another image.

This time, I pictured little monsters scurrying down the middle. The monsters were all different shapes, sizes and colors. They jumped onto peoples tires and climbed up to the windows. I envisioned one monster with three eyes and red skin doing the hokie pokie on my window. I held in my giggles so my mom wouldn’t give me that serious grown up face again. I stopped imagining the monsters and by that time we were almost to our destination.

Thirty minutes had passed and we had arrived at my soon to be step-father’s house. Like every weekend, his house became ours for those three days. Finally we would go to bed on Sunday night and wake up at three in the morning on Monday and leave. Even though I was tired, my eyes found the yellow lines again. My imagination started running wild and the yellow lines became my artwork.

This time there were no tiny motorcycles or little monsters. Instead, there were lizards marching in between the lines. It was almost as if they were forming a lizard army. I looked harder at the lizards and all of a sudden I heard them saying in unison, “Left! Left! Left, right, left!” This time I could not control my giggles. My mother glanced in the rearview mirror and raised one eyebrow. I quickly stopped and just smiled as I turned my head back to the yellow lines.

The yellow line lizards made me lose track of time. We were turning into the driveway back home in Virginia. I was sad that I would have to wait a whole week to see the yellow lines again. Every day I waited patiently for Friday to roll around. When Thursday came I packed my clothes for the weekend and went to bed early. I thought going to bed early would make the next day come quicker. Of course, when I woke up the next morning it felt like it did.

I jumped into the backseat and threw my seatbelt on. My grin grew when mom turned the car on, and once we hit the interstate it grew bigger. The trees flew past and the other fast paced cars. Then, my yellow lines were in sight.
However, nothing happened this time. Well, nothing had been happening it was only my imagination. Except now even though I was trying, I couldn’t imagine anything in the lines. I got upset and closed my eyes and squeezed as hard as possible. When I opened them I hoped my imagination would turn back on. It didn’t turn back on or even flicker on a little bit. My eyes became tiny oceans with channels heading down to my chin. My mother asked what was wrong and I replied, “My imagination is broke.”
My mother must have not understood how serious this matter was. She laughed and shook her head with no reply. I peered out the window again towards the yellow lines. Now, they were just two ugly yellow lines that seemed to go on forever. The trees came into view and I hoped they would start to dance and not stay still. Indeed, all the trees stood still. The only movement the produced was when the wind hit them. My imagination was broken and there was nothing I could do. So I just sat in the backseat quietly. Without an imagination, road trips were boring and long. After about two hours we had made it to North Carolina. We got unpacked and ate some dinner, afterwards was bedtime. Before we all fell asleep, I went to my mom’s room.
“Why is my imagination broke mom?” I asked softly. Instead of laughing she actually gave me an answer and explained it to me. I thanked her and ran to bed excited yet again. I couldn’t wait until we left, for mom had given me the cure to my imagination. So at three on Monday morning we packed up and got in the car. I buckled myself up and grinned all the way to the interstate.
Finally we were on the interstate and I closed my eyes and just thought real hard about what my mom had told me. I opened my eyes and quickly looked at the yellow lines. I stared and started and stared, I did that until we got all the way home. After getting home and unpacking, mom came in and tucked me into bed. She asked if what she had told me worked and I nodded. Then as she was just about to leave the room, she turned and asked what I saw this time.
“I didn’t see anything mom. I did what you told me to do. I just thought, instead of imagining motorcycles or monsters or lizards, I thought. I thought of our new family and when we permanently move to North Carolina. I thought of the new friends I would make and the school I would be attending,” I announced.
She smiled and kissed me on the forehead. Before she left the room she told me that the wedding was the next weekend and we would permanently be moving afterwards.
Ever since my mom told me to just think of anything on my mind, that’s what I did. My brain was full of ideas and thoughts. Finally, I started writing a journal and every road trip we took I would write it all down, not just keep it in my head.





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