Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)
By Tammy McConnell
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As she put the key in the lock, that familiar feeling washed over her. She dreaded the night ahead. Tossing her cell phone on the coffee table, it took no time at all to cover the short span of living room and hallway to reach the bedroom. A hot shower and comfy pj’s would make her feel better. The absence of a frolicking feline made her tiny apartment seem big and empty. The heart-wrenching “good-bye” left her wanting to do something bad to the landlord who insisted that cats were not allowed. “You signed a lease,” he had said. She knew it wasn’t really the cat she missed.
As she settled under her favorite quilt with a microwaved bowl of macaroni and cheese, her fingers clicked remote buttons monotonously until the Discovery channel filled the screen. The droning voices coming from the television faded as she considered the coming week’s schedule; nothing out of the ordinary; a few hours at the daycare center, more at the bank, then school on Wednesday and Friday evening. ‘Better hit the books…got a test coming up on Friday,’ she thought.
Unable to really concentrate on anything, her thoughts wandered to the recent “holiday”. It sure didn’t measure up to her expectations this year. The once familiar din of Christmas morning had turned into a quick shower and short drive to her boyfriend’s family’s home. No one rushed into her parents’ room insisting they rise at 5:00 am sharp. No smell of turkey cooking; no hot cocoa waiting…just a flood of silence. Merry Christmas.
‘How could they consider adoption? They think they can take care of more kids? They don’t even take care of me! Don’t they understand that I need encouragement too? I’m out here all alone, on my own…by myself! They’re there, spending every minute together, sharing every meal, getting tucked in at night. Dad spends more time taking care of homeless people now that he has a job at the shelter. Wish he would spend as much time talking about me as he does those people when we talk on the phone. Mom’s always going on and on about the dogs this, the kids that. What about me?’
‘I know it’s not their intention to leave me out in the cold. This is what I wanted…independence. I proved it. I can do it. I have two jobs, and go to school. I am successful…well, I’m getting there. Still, it’s their responsibility to take care of me too. And how come every time she calls, all mom can say is, “Did you go to church this week?” She was my age once. Doesn’t she understand about priorities? Sometimes church doesn’t fit in. It’s my life; I can do what I want. Besides, who does it hurt when I don’t go? It’s my only real day off. I have laundry to do and grocery shopping.’
You can’t go home. It’s five hours away; you’re car won’t make it. They can’t come get you, they’re too busy. Things are different now.
“Hello? Oh, hi Mom. No, I wasn’t busy. Thanks for the giftcard. How was the Christmas party at Dad’s work? Did Hannah remember all of her lines for the play? I miss you too. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to email. I’ve had classes, work…Oh mom, can you hang on a minute? I have a call coming in on the other line.”
Story written by…Mom.
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