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Reading is Fundamental, Huh?

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My hands shook violently and the knot in my stomach was grew tighter and tighter. The last few minutes of my life replayed in my mind as I sat on the edge of my mom’s bed, fidgeting and shifting uncomfortably under my mom’s sharp, intense glare. “What in the hell was I thinking?” I ask myself silently. Honestly what did I think her reaction would be? Had I seriously hoped that I could waltz up to my mother, tell her that I had been sneaking the books from the hutch ( the ones she had specifically banned me from) and hope that she would not be upset. I must have been hitting that pipe too hard or I really needed to scale back on my television consumption.
“Meonna I can not believe you would defy me so blatantly this way. Does what I say not mean anything to you? Have I no authority or control? You must be in charge huh? You must pay all the bills huh? The way you act, you MUST. Nobody would behave this way if they didn’t.”

I had to inhale , hold for ten seconds, exhale, then repeat TWICE to keep from responding. But in my own defense, it was not my idea. I knew that I would get in trouble for reading these books that’s why I was sneaking them in the first place. However, I hadn’t been given much of a choice.

It all began when my mom finally let me read one of the thick, adult novels from the hutch that sat swallowing up the west wall in the living room. When she handed me Just My Luck, I frowned. I was hoping for one of the books her and my sister gossiped about like Cheaters or Milk in My Coffee, or All That and a Bag of Chips. “Take it or leave it.” She said, sensing my disappointment. I took it.

Now the first few chapters of this book was sooo boring, it took me a record setting 2 weeks just to get through them. However, when I ended grounded for staying out past dark, I picked it back up. Even after everything that happened, I still say it was the best decision of my life. It was soo good, way better then those boring kid books I had been reading previously, and I had it read AND RE-read in sixteen hours. After that I was addicted. My mom could not pick out the books out fast enough. Then my stupid self let one minor comment about a character’s daughter and sex slip and BOOM, just like that my miracle was over. At least according to my mother. However she wasn’t slick enough to lock the cabinets. So, I began to sneak and read the books. It became like a hobby, sneaking books. I was good at it too. I would take them in the bathroom with me and sit on the sink and read while running the shower to make everyone think that I was showering. Or I would stay up to 2 am and read in the light that the crack in my bedroom door allotted. During the school year. My appetite was that insatiable. Good Times.

“Meonna, when I tell you NOT to do something that’s because I have a reason. I don’t need one because I’m your mom and I can tell you what to do if I feel like it. However this time I have a reason and it’s that, at 11, you are far too young to be reading books of this nature. Its just not appropriate.”

But like all good things, it had to come to an end. Unfortunately for me, it was U-G-L-Y because I got straight busted. Alright so this is what happened. Miaca, my older sister, caught me while I was doing what I like to call a book-in-book. That’s when I take one of my mom’s romance novels, which I loved because they were ALWAYS juicy and were tiny enough to do a book in book, and put them in one of my age appropriate books., that way I could read outside my room. NO one ever knew that I was sneaking , at least until this time. Anyway, I was mortified at being caught. In my house defying my mother was unheard of and I had been caught doing that very thing. And my mortification was even further stressed because I knew my sister being the cruel, tyrant that she was, was going to do her very best to make me regret I had ever even learn to read in the first place. She definitely did not disappoint. “Meonna, was you did is really bad and being that I am in charge when mom’s not here, I have no choice but to let her know.” My heart stopped my. My life flashed before my eyes. She would have done better to tell me she would shoot me in ten minutes. “But since I’m good person-” You are? I think “I’m going to give you the option of telling her. I mean I could do it for you but you punishment might be less if you do.” Is she serious? Why couldn’t we just keep this between us, that’s what a really good person would do. I don’t say that out loud. I of course opted to tell her to spare myself from having to defend against Miaca’s dramatic‘.

That would turn out to be a not so good decision, however, because for the rest of the day I was nervous wreck. The mixture of fear, anxiety, and unadulterated misery completely washed over me. I lied in bed all day, torturing myself with all the possible responses of my mother to my disobedience. Finally she returned home. I watched quietly while she told my carefree sister about her awesome day. Finally she was alone, in her room lying down just before bed. I sat done and told the whole sordid tale.

My mother sighed and walked over to her dresser where she kept her belts. “You know that there has to be a punishment for you actions right?” Yeah I knew.





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