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A Look In the Eye

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When I was a kid my dad used to teach me to look people in the eye. This wasn’t so common in Korea back when I lived there: looking adults in the eye meant disrespect: it meant you thought you were equal to your elders. Still he told me to look people in the eye when talking.

“It shows them you mean what you’re saying”

I could only believe in the dark sea of his pupils directly reflecting my own.

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The most vivid memories of my father lie on the white couch in front of the black table on the fourth floor of our villa in Seoul, Korea. I would always be holding tightly onto my brown, coffee colored cushion sitting in an upright fetal position.
From my father’s breath I smell the bitter scent of alcohol and I notice his face is red like a dying ember. His cold hands touch my face and quickly I pull back surprised. Slowly, he turns around and looks far out into the abyss of our living room. Then from his mouth he utters a few words: “Noah, you know you’re my only son, I really love you. Don’t forget that”.

I’m waiting for a look in the eye, maybe just a quick stare, but instead he seeks something from the empty space before him.

His words fall flat before me.

I feel a large weight on my chest and a strong ache begins to choke my lungs. The pang deepens as a weakness spreads through first my chest and then my limbs.

It feels like my body is about to break.

There’s a hole through my body. I need something to fill the void of my own emptiness. The air around me is sucked up into a vacuum: my lungs fall dry as they expand while my heart starts to pump blood rapidly. Adrenaline rushes through and I gasp again yearning for some air but there’s nothing left to breathe.

Quickly, my vision gets blurry as I turn to my dad and the last things I see are my father’s eyes reflecting nothing but the darkness before him.



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sakthi.vetrivelThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm
Wow, this memoir is so deep and personal. A lot of the time, when people try and put something like this down on paper, it sounds a little fake. But you did a great job keeping it real. I think you could maybe work on keeping your descriptions from being repetitive.
 
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