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

April 2, 2009
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He is your world. He is the one you would live and die for. You love the color of his skin – different from yours – the perfect balance between light and dark, day and night. You love the way he tells you he loves you. He says he'll marry you someday.

But your mom does not approve. You wonder every day how anyone can be so bigoted. Has she not felt the way you do at some point in her life? She doesn't understand, just rants and raves about your “taste in men” in that nasally voice you hate – the one she only uses when she's angry.

Later you sit on your bed, and turn up the volume on your iPod. “All the Same” by the Sick Puppies blasts through the ear buds.

Wrong or right … black or white … if I close my eyes … it's all the same.

Your mom has forbidden you from seeing him again, and Dad's taken to keeping a shotgun in the living room.

In my life … the compromise … I'll close my eyes … it's all the same.

You remember telling him you were afraid but that you wouldn't stop seeing him. He asked you to run away with him, just drop everything and run, figure it out as you went. But you said you wanted to wait and see if it would blow over. The look in his eyes was sad, as if he knew your parents would never accept him.

You hop off your bed and start shoving clothes into an duffel bag, making a trip to the bathroom for your toothbrush. You head to your desk and stare blankly at a piece of paper, pencil in hand. You write a quote that has been in your heart from the minute your parents told you that you were making a big mistake. It's short, but it's all you need to say.

You head down the hall to the laundry room. Your mom has piles of clothes on the floor, organized by color. You grab bits from every pile and toss them to the middle, creating a mound no longer separated into lights and darks.

Green, yellow, red, blue, black, white – all heaped into one huge pile. You lay your message on the top. It doesn't say who you're with or where you're going, but it wouldn't be hard to figure out.

“Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.”

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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Jmh24This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 20 at 12:37 am
I absolutely love this! I love the comparison between skin color and the laundry. It's short and to the point, but it is clear of what the message is - which is something that everyone needs to hear and to understand. Beautiful job :)
Dakotamayy said...
Mar. 14, 2016 at 2:53 pm
Absolutely amazing story.Shed's light on what is still going on.
Ermie said...
Jan. 21, 2016 at 9:37 pm
This is absolutely wonderful! Short and sweet, but so-o deep :D Two thumbs up, all the way!!!!
falling4u said...
May 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm
AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it from top to bottom. I know how it feels for ur parents not to approve of a guy and not want u to see him bc of his color. (sooooooo deep):)
RobotPenn. said...
Apr. 29, 2015 at 7:01 pm
So Lovely. So, so, so beautiful. I love this story. :)
BeautyWhispers said...
Apr. 7, 2015 at 2:40 am
This is truly amazing!
Axela17 said...
Mar. 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm
I have a new appreciation for dirty laundry...
devotion77 said...
Jun. 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm
This story is so touching! I can totally relate to this.... totally! Write way more about whatever, you are an amazing writer!
XtinaLisa06 said...
Apr. 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm
 This was such a great short story. It's relatable to anyone, not just those having issues with racism still in this day of age, but also those feeling like getting a parents approval is hard.  Personally, bringing someone home is nerve racking, and it's disappointing when you do not get your parents/families approval. Great story, and I love the symoblism used.
Dancetron said...
Feb. 2, 2014 at 7:10 pm
This story is great and has a very strong message.Thank you.
dizzydreamer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 17, 2013 at 6:55 pm
I love the message and i especially like how you presented it. Great job (:
Nessa13 said...
May 22, 2013 at 10:08 am
I like it, but my thing is, I feel like this isnt really a story...more like a free verse poem maybe? Or at least a short story. If you added more, and went more in depth, I'm sure you caould make it into a story tho(: But it's good and has a good meaning behind it!
yourlove-mywings said...
May 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm
This story is to true, especially in today's society. people still judge others by their color! ugh!! i can see that doens't matter to you, and you display perfectly what should happen!! i love it.. absolutely love!!!
the_dreamer42 said...
Apr. 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm
wow. A-ma-ZING!!
ClaireBearB said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm
Whoa. Just whoa. That's pretty much all there is to say, because that was an absolutely amazing story and you are clearly and amazing writer. I guess I said more than just whoa, but, whatever! Please check out/rate/comment on my work! XXX-Claire
jetta.ckThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:22 pm
Perfect. Nothing else to say. (:
a.e.always said...
Nov. 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm
I really loved the last line...so powerful.
KaTie98 said...
Oct. 17, 2012 at 8:45 am
I really liked your story, especially the last sentence! This story actually made a point and left me thinking about it. The beginning did not catch my attention and it was a bit confusing so you might want to work on that. Your strong point is that you can end your stories very well.
Music-Maniac1498 said...
Oct. 10, 2012 at 10:22 am
I can relate. I'm going through the exact same thing with my boyfriend and my parents. We're thinking about running away. He's been working hard and we have about $5,000 saved up.  Think i should do it?
Nessa13 replied...
May 22, 2013 at 10:10 am
No!! Running away is never the right thing to do, because if you run now, thats all you'll be doing for the rest of your life. Is running away from your problems.. Just talk to your parents and your boyfriend.
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