Marshall and Lily This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 22, 2013
You've snapped this house into two rooms. Covered in frilly lace that hides the hairline fractures, held together by flimsy family photos, the collars of the beloved family dog, memories of vacations to Italy and Disneyworld. All the magic I once looked to, that mystical rope that once held four people together was but a frayed piece of string. Not even that – it was cut cleanly in many spots, purposely. What am I to look to now?

I am barely even able to mouth a silent “I love you” to my brother. I know the pain he must be feeling, but my own pain is blinding. I cannot bear to think about the extent to which you've ruined it all. His jokes make light of it, but all I can feel is the heavy press of the heat from the vents. But the room is cooling down again.

Just a moment before he was dead silent, caught in the crossfire of a broken household.

I never knew, before this, the pain that others felt. I once saw my friend crying over her parents' divorce and thought, Why is she so upset? Can't she suck it up? Now I know, and I wish I didn't.

Somehow I think that I'm worse off. There's that generalization of divorce, but what about the subgeneras of that pain? I don't really know if I'm better or worse off. Am I even special, or is this normal? Once, I wasn't special because my parents weren't divorced, yet now that it has happened, there are so many others who are divorced too.

Now I'm just an object of pity. I used to wish for something to give me life experience, to make me jaded and scarred and attractive. I used to want that. It was cool. I'd read about damaged people who were saved by their true love ten years in the future. But what if that doesn't happen?

I could be left all alone like everyone seems to be in real life. What if marriage is not like Marshall and Lily on “How I Met Your Mother”? What if couples like them don't even exist? At least before my parents divorced I wasn't so doubtful. I was always speculative, but now … now I feel afraid for the future. And I've already spent so much time being afraid.

Afraid of the dark, of talking to strangers, even of automatic toilets. It seems as if half my life has been just fear and apprehension. I want to know something for once, and be confident in it. I want to be able to say: I know that Marshall and Lily exist somewhere. I know that if I really think about it, the dark isn't all that bad and strangers are just friends I haven't met yet.

I guess it doesn't help that my own romantic ­endeavors haven't ended well. High school's just ­awkward, I guess. Nothing I can do about that.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

ShagunThis 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 3, 2013 at 8:45 am
I read your article in the print magazine and thought "I have to comment and rate that !" I simply loved it. Your piece is so simple yet so poignant. I especially love the begining and the ending. Feel free to check out my work :) Keep writing  
Site Feedback