Escape This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     It was a smell I would never forget - alcohol. She came home every night with the smell of intoxication hovering around her. How she drove herself home was beyond me, but there she was, my mother, stumbling and trying to unlock the door. There was my mother, fallen into her own shame. And there I was, watching my childhood hero crumble before me. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to turn. I had my sister beside me, who sobbed as I did, as we stood before someone we didn’t know.

A childhood memory comes to my mind. I look at the young girl I once was. The young girl who was scared to sleep upstairs, and slept on the sofa bed with her sister. I heard violent whispers in the hallway and sat up, curious. Car keys jingled, and I knew someone was leaving. In the living room doorway stood the silhouettes of my arguing parents. Silhouettes I had never known to love each other. My mother reached for the front door, and I, the five-year-old, sprang to life.

“Mommy! Mommy!” I sobbed. “Please don’t leave! Please don’t leave, Mommy!”

My mother picked up my small body as I cried.

“Don’t worry,” she spoke lightly, rocking me side to side. “I’ll be right back. Go back to bed, baby.” With that, she placed me on the floor, glancing at her soon-to-be ex-husband as if all this were his fault.

I too looked up at my father. His lips were pursed and his body seemed rigid, obvious anger emanating from him. I stepped back with an instantaneous pang of guilt. I didn’t want to offend him, I just didn’t want my parents to part.

Nine years later, that memory is still embedded in my mind. I didn’t know that young girl I used to be. She was a foreigner. Yet every time I saw my father, I felt guilty. I had made a choice that night, nine years ago, a choice to stay with my mom that I now see was wrong.

Now, our mother was ranting at us again. Screaming from the hollow of her stomach, “Selfish bi----s! What’s wrong with you? You don’t care about me. You don’t care about your mother!” Every word she spoke promoted her drunken lisp.

My sister and I looked at each other. Through our heated faces and red eyes, we read each other’s minds. We have to get out of here. I stomped to the kitchen, not acknowledging my mother as I passed. I stopped at the counter and took a deep breath, trying to collect myself. I picked up the phone and dialed his number. I finally made the right choice.

The next few minutes seemed like an eternity. I don’t remember much about them. I felt like I was in another dimension. I remember screaming, and grabbing clothes at random. What words I screamed, and what words were bellowed back at me, are blocked from my memory.

Ten minutes passed, maybe less, when I saw the van’s headlights from the large window in the front of our townhouse’s living room. My sister and I walked out. I heard my mother yelling at the slammed front door, but I didn’t care. I did notice that the air outside had never seemed so fresh.

I don’t know if he wanted to see her or speak with her, I just climbed in the passenger seat and said, “Go.” And we went. We left for the place I was meant to live, the place that was always my true home, not just a house to stay in.

And that was the night ... that was the night I became a disowned daughter.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Christy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm
What can I even say? Your story is amazingly written- gripped me right to the end. But can me saying "I'm sorry so sorry" really explain how bad I feel for you? I had a friend who went through a similar situation...
 
Bethani said...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 6:22 pm
Oh my! I'm so sorry :(
 
sillyaardvarkabc said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 2:03 pm
Your mother disowned you? Oh my gosh... I hope you will have a better life, after all you've been through.
 
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