Smile

By , Polk City, IA
I remember the night, I remember the day, I remember the moment my life was swept away.

However, is it right to share a story, of worries and woes, when to some they are just meaningless prose. To wit, I do recognize that my life is not a tale to share, nor a fable to a portray, but it is collective memories, people, and experiences which make me who I am today. So as I share this major moment, which has so far proved to be the culmination of my brief existence, I ask you to be weary, be ware, keep a weather eye for what might be there.
***

One seemingly normal day, long ago, I was comforting my friend whose parents had gotten into a minuscule fight the prior night. When she had finally gotten to a point where she was composed enough to talk she asked me what I did when my parents fought. I responded in confidence with this, “My parents have the perfect marriage,” I declared, “they never fight, they're too in love.” We went on to laugh at this comment, for my parents had often teased us with their so called “displays of affection', as to make us squirm.

By the time we had gotten to school we had both forgotten about bus ride conversation, we were more worried about the math placement test that was to be taken at the beginning of third hour. However I never made it to third hour. At the very start of the day, my sisters and I had been called to the office. I was worried because my grandfather was in extremely poor health and I assumed this was the call I had been waiting for. Despite my assuredly accurate presumption, what I found was not my saddened sister holding a phone, but my mother teary-eyed and holding a suitcase. When I went up to her she gave no explanation for her appearance but told me to go outside and get the car. Once I reached the parking lot I saw an even larger suitcase in the trunk and my baby sister in the backseat looking truly afraid and lost. I got in and held her hand until my older sister and my mother came outside. As soon as we were all loaded up my mother quickly relayed to us that we were going to Creston to spend time with our aunt and cousins. She was mysteriously quiet the entire two hour drive, and did not say a word until my aunt,unaware that her sister had kept mum on why we were there, brutally informed us of our situation. “It's about time your mom left your dad, I never did like him.”, she said in the most arrogant tone she could manage. With our jaws almost reaching the floor, we stared at our mother. She began to cry, and unsuccessfully attempted to explain what our haughty aunt had just told us.

For the next week I were stranded in the less than glamorous town of Creston. My aunt enjoyed telling me stories of how terrible my father was,how he and my mom were never right for each other, and how they had been to o young to get married when they did anyway. My cousins got a kick at taking me,( the vegetarian), around to see all the dead deer hanging from the trees. Needless to say staying there was torture for little twelve-year-old-me, but my main concern was that I still did not fully know why we had been taken there in the first place. My mom finally worked up the courage to tell my sisters and I the truth of our current occupancy when my cousin tried to hold me down to make me eat spam( you can ask him how spam slap to the face feels anytime). As hard as she tried she could not verbalize our situation, so she brought in the big guns, a pastor. My family was Catholic by tradition, so to say that we were religious would be a stretch, so when a pastor told me, “I'm sorry dear but your parents are getting a divorce, they both have serious issues, and your family is falling apart.”, lets just say I was less than pleased. That man made me hate God, the way he said that putting my family through great suffering was just all of his plan.

After that encounter I was angry, angry at the pastor, angry at my aunt, angry at my mom, angry at my dad, but I was especially angry with God. Even though my family was not very religious, I had no doubt that God existed, and therefore, prayed every night. I was always praying for something interesting and exciting to happen to me, but if this was how he planned on answering my prayers than forget it. I lost any faith that I had and it was all filled with anger and determination. I was determined to see to my family making it through this rough patched, I didn't care what it might take.

Eventually we were able to go home, and when we got there we found three letters on the table, the letters were labeled Angel Baby, Precious,and Pumpkin. I reached for the second letter, but as soon as I touched it, I felt a slight sting in my hand. “You can't read these till I do!”, my aunt said after slapping my hand away, “We have to make sure your dad isn't trying to turn you against your mom.” Her irrational paranoia annoyed me so, and I rejoiced the minute she left our house. The moment her car pulled out of the driveway I took my letter and ran up to my room and read. The letter spoke of how we would all be back together soon and how he would try his hardest to make sure our family would not be torn apart. Sadly all his words were in vain, because from there on in things just kept getting worse and worse till two years later when my parents finally got a divorce.

This experience was an introduction into the world of heartache and disappointment for me, but it also taught me that everything is not always what meets the eye. It got me to look past by simply what I see and to read in between the lines. It also brought to place so low where I had to reexamine my faith, which is now stronger than ever. However the biggest change has been that it made me a stronger person. It showed my how to stand tall at all times, and to never back down, especially when it comes to family. My family ended up dealing with much more dramatic and serious situations that pushed me to become who I am today, but I will always see this as the one that started it all.
***

I remember the night, I remember the day, I remember the moment my life was swept away. So now that you have seen and heard it all, do you understand why I stand so tall? Do you understand why I am no one but me, the person who I was always supposed to be? Well if you do not then I am sorry for you, for that means that you do not know what it means to be you. I will attempt to explain so please keep an open ear, for this is something you desperately need to hear. I am you as you are me,we are ourselves, the only people we were ever meant to be.





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