Saturn: The Center of My Universe | Teen Ink

Saturn: The Center of My Universe

October 11, 2018
By maddiezimmie3 BRONZE, Temperance, Michigan
maddiezimmie3 BRONZE, Temperance, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The car door hinge sweats under the immense pressure of the door frame. It lets out a loud moan as it is forced open. “Dad you seriously didn’t fix the door yet?” I roll my eyes as my sister releases me from the hot interior of the car. “I didn’t have time Madison,” he replies, his voice sounding like ocean waves crashing upon the shore, rough but calming. As my sister types in our garage code I glance towards my dad. Bruised purple crescent moon shaped bags under his eyes are prominent. “Dad did you sleep last night?” I ask, worried about how miserable he looks. “Yes I did, work was just long.” Not convinced enough with his answer, I quickly slide in a “are you sure?” He grins, “I’m okay Madison, don’t worry.” We duck under the garage door, rushing in to beat the summer heat. I enter the house, the cool breeze washing over my steaming body. However, even the coolness of the AC couldn’t wipe the sour look off of my face.

I remember yelling, “I’ll meet you in the car,” as I kiss my dog on her nose and set her in her cage. I slip on my sandals, trot down the cement garage stairs and slam the door behind me. I listen to the cold raindrops sizzle on my scorching hot driveway. The rain ultimately fails to cool down the cement. I gaze out into the open cul-de-sac that is filled with cars lining the middle circle. My eyes are immediately drawn to the hazy blue-gray sky with black storm clouds swirling above. I hear my dad’s keys clang together as he sets the house alarm. I race towards the Saturn, the rain dripping down my neck, the raindrops weighing down my eyelashes. I cry out in frustration as my dad takes his time slipping on and tying his tennis shoes. “Dad.” I groan as my hair begins to flatten to my head, strands kissing the sides of my face. My hands cling onto the door handles as I attempt to unlock the doors from the outside. I jump as I hear a loud and sudden honk. My hands rush to my ears as the ringing sensation fills my head, but it’s too late. My dad got me again.

Ruby throws a hissy fit at the headlights of a car racing through the cul-de-sac, just like every other night. Her barks and cries occupy the living room. “Ruby it’s just Dad, be quiet,” I groan as I finish up my last algebra equation. Ruby races towards the laundry room door as I hear the loud thump of my closing garage door. After dad sets down his bulky plastic lunch box, he wanders into the kitchen. “Hi Ruby girl.” He cooes at the dog, his normal voice now an octave higher. My dad scoops her up into his arms, holding her to his chest. His hands brush over my dogs hair. My dad’s dusty fingertips rub a grimy gray smudge onto her milky white body. His steps heavy on the wooden floor. I race up to him as my arms reach around his waist. My limbs wrapping around him squeezing his sides. I attempt to squeeze all of my love into one hug. “Hi Madison.” His voice sounds rocky like car tires colliding with a gravel road. A huge smile is now plastered across my face. His wrinkles caused from time and stress fold into a smile. His hands rough and calloused from overuse. His shirt is damp with sweat and reeks of oil. Just as soon as I think he’s finally here to stay he slips into his bedroom for the night. He’s already going to bed. He sleeps just to wake up and do it all over again.

Currently I sit in my room strumming my ukulele, ignoring my open faced algebra notebook staring at me from my desk. Soon I get annoyed with my unfinished homework and decide to finally pursue it. I carefully set my ukulele into its case and delicately pull the zipper along the edge of the zipper track until the ukulele is secure. A sigh slips from my lips as I turn on my desk lamp and plop carelessly into my desk chair. My eyes glance out of my window longing to be anywhere but here struggling with solving inequalities. I see a glimmer of light fall upon the silver exterior of the car parked in my cul-de-sac. All I want is my own car to park outside of my house. Not a 2005 Saturn that’s brakeless, stick shift, and old. Before my mind spits out anymore negative thoughts, I think of all the memories I made in the Saturn. The long talks with my dad about life after high school and college, him driving us to get food when my mom was on her girls weekend, singing rock music and head banging with the windows rolled down, not caring if we knew anyone. I remember how much my heart used to long for that car. Not because it was expensive and flashy like most cars most people my age wanted, but because it reminded me of my dad and the memories we made. Although the planet Saturn is nowhere near the center of the actual universe, my dad and his Saturn are the center of mine.

The author's comments:

My dad, who now has sleepless nights, never ending work hours, and no free time inspired me to write about my role model, the person I look up to the most: him. 

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