Doing Nothing, Does Something This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Park Ridge, IL
I sat in the arm chair, staring at a blank piece of paper. I hadn’t yet realized that my pencil wasn’t even sharpened. All I did was sit there, staring at the table, like I had contract detailing the future of my life in front of me. That’s what that piece of paper may have well been. This contract was a detailed description of the twists and turns of my journey to come. If I signed that contract, things might have been different. If I had promised to step in, to change things--if that contract would have existed things would have been different. Things had to be different. While staring at this imaginary contract, the more literal one stood on both sides of me. My mom and my dad had been screaming about everything. Everything and anything had been a part of their ‘discussion’. They had been arguing about the distractions they caused me keeping me from doing my homework. All I could think about was the distractions keeping me from signing that damn contract.

School was great. School was a different place in which I could escape the trouble waiting for me at home. To some people receiving an education everyday was their worst enemy. To me, going to school every day was a godsend. It was an excuse to be quiet, or to not say a word. It was a place where a discussion involved talking, not yelling. I didn’t sleep much at home, so school was pretty much my bedroom. It was safe there, for the most part. That was until the guidance counselors came by. These “Teachers” strut the school grounds like they were angels, not teachers who don’t know what they want to do with their lives. I’m almost positive that anyone who wants help will go look for it. These counselors went around acting like they were helping kids with their problems and stress but all they did was cause more problems to arise. They had these interventions in classes filled with children where they asked basic questions. Do you want to talk to anyone? Are you bullied? Is your situation at home a problem? These classrooms filled with kids where probably twenty percent had a situation worth talking about. Their ideas of being secure with your problems—raise your hand in front of all your classmates to admit you have problems. Raise your hand to lose your separate school life and bring problems from home wherever you go. I treated these days like a glorified sleeping session.

Now coming home from school was the best. Arriving at home was a different story. You could hear screams down the block. If you were lucky a front door would be shattered as someone was on their way out. This event of destruction occurred at least once every couple of months. Then there’s the rare event of police being called to my house to respond to a disturbance report. Unlike my brother’s, I knew how to keep myself out of my parents issues day in and day out. Sometimes my brothers found it impossible to avoid the inevitable confrontation from my mom or dad that caused either the destruction to our house or the barrages of shouts that kept my neighbors on their tip toes and waiting by the phone. So walking to home to these occurrences isn’t nearly that bad as I first thought. I realized that while everyone’s caught up in the drama currently on their plate, I could quietly take fifteen or twenty minutes to myself and walk up and down the block.

“Why should I go home?” I asked myself, nearly on a daily basis. The answer was clear. I shouldn’t.

The turn taking method of my parents’ arguments in front of me was the cause of me to avoid getting involved. They would take turns yelling at each other, threatening to take me, money, the house, or all of the above, with them on their way out. I may emphasize on the screaming, yelling, shouting, or whatever it’s called, a lot, but anyone who’s been in this situation knows that once parents start fighting through shouts and screams, it’s the end.

How can they fight now after they’ve raised such a great child like me? I thought to myself. As a child in this situation it makes me think one thing. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have been here. I shouldn’t have been Involved in this. The yelling is the worst. It means that I put them under such friction that they snapped.

“Don’t you dare come home now and wake him up,” my mom shouted. “You’re drunk. I don’t know how you can expect me to just welcome you home with loving arms when you’ve spent all night with you bar fly buddies just avoiding all your problems.”

Was I that problem? I thought to myself, eyes closed but still awake in bed.

“I want a divorce.” She concluded.





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