Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Always on the Left and with a Five This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
We didn’t always live on Lua Street. Before that we lived on North Street. But there was nothing before that. Ten years we lived in that big house with the blue door. The door my dad promised he would paint red but never got around to it. The house was tarnished white and set back far from the street on a grassy hill that ate up the driveway when no one mowed it.

The night before the move I scratched my life into the back of my closet. ‘1997-2014’ looked like smudged charcoal against a pale wall. The morning we left I was not sad. My family had been created and destroyed under the roof of 35 North Street; I was ready to move on.

Lua Street is very different, though. The house is not consumed by a luscious garden or tall pines. The floors do not have dog nail scuffs. The kitchen table is not worn down from plate after plate of spaghetti. But the most unsettling is the wall that divides our side of the house from our neighbor. It seems too thin when he drinks and stumbles up the stairs. He is the kind of unpleasant man that doesn’t care if he keeps you up at night, even though you’re a student. Momma is strong though, and promises to keep him quiet.

My father doesn’t have a house. He lives in a small room at my uncle’s house in New Hampshire: content with being far from the old white house that is overgrown with memories, and well-kept by new owners. Lua Street burns his tongue. He wants a house for us kids again, he says. But I would rather live out in the boonies with the thousands of frogs and too slow internet than go back to that house.

We always buy houses on the left side of the street. My father says it brings the electricity to us faster, but I think he’s just scared of change. 35 North Street was on the left. Momma bought a house on the left side of our street, too. 105 Lua Street. Even when my father’s hold on Momma is gone, it keeps her in the cycle. I asked her why. When nothing goes right… She tells me and I smile. Maybe the left is where we belong for now. But the thing about lefts is that if you keep taking them, you end up right back where you started.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

thejoyofrediscovering This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 25, 2014 at 10:17 pm
This is phenomenal 
Site Feedback