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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Week(s) (02/10/11)

TITLE: A Teenager's Mind: A Kaleidoscope of Mixed Emotions & Thoughts
By Lollie Hofer


Why does the rhythm of time change in direct proportion to the importance of the event? If one needs to have a tooth pulled, the week will fly by quickly until that inevitable day arrives. If one is to be married, the week creeps by while every second seems like an eternity. (Remember how messed up my older sis was when she got married?) If one is to graduate from high school and experience the deliciousness of new-found freedoms, the week seems to extend beyond a human being’s capacity to endure it.

Grabbing her stuffed zebra lying next to her on the bed, Halle squeezed hard. “Wow Stripes, I’m getting pretty good at this diary stuff. That sounded mature, don’t you think?”

Halle was graduating in one week from Calvary Christian School. Her parents told her if she kept up with her grades, they would let up on curfews and some of the other rules. She was going off to college in the fall so the summer would be a dry run of how responsible she could be with her new freedom.

Rapping on her bedroom door her mother yelled, “Halle, it’s time for you to set the table. Dinner will be ready in about fifteen minutes.”

“Oh, mother. Don’t you think I’m a little too old to set the table?” Halle yelled back. Giving Stripes one more squeeze she rolled back onto her stomach picking up her pen and smoothing the pages of her diary.

“Halle Lorraine, I said NOW,” her mother barked through the door.

“Lord, please let this week fly by. I can’t take it anymore. Families don’t eat together like they did in the dark ages. Sheesh. One more week and I’m done with family meals cuz it will be my choice.”

Will this week ever end? I have five more days until graduation. Five more days of being told what to do. Five more days of being in this prison. I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t…unconsciously, Halle petted Stripes while continuing to write out her discontent.

A guilty thought stabbed her heart.

“I know Lord, I’m being disrespectful but you don’t know my parents. Well actually, you do know my parents. What I mean is…okay, Lord, you’re right. I’m sorry. It’s just that I don’t think graduation day will ever get here.”

Three more days and counting. Mom told me to not to be in too big of a hurry to grow up. I laughed at her. “Too late, Mom, I’m already grown up,” is what I told her. Yay, 18 years old. Old enough to drive, to vote, to go to war, and to not be told what to do anymore. Oh diary, will Sunday afternoon ever get here?

Jerking the door open gave Halle a good indication that her father was an unhappy camper. “It’s 1:00 a.m., Halle. Where have you been? I tried calling your cell phone and you refused to answer. In this house, NOW.”

Two more days and counting. Sigh. I’ve been hearing the word NOW a lot lately. Good grief. Boy, were my parents hot under the collar last night. I thought my days of getting in trouble were over but I guess not. So I stayed out an hour past my curfew. I mean, in two more days I’m not going to have a curfew so what’s the big deal? My parents said they’re reconsidering some of the summer rules already.

“Lord, all of this is so confusing. I’m usually not a rebellious kid. Honest. What’s gotten into me lately? All I can say right now is, ‘Help.’ Am I going to make it, Lord? This growing up thing is harder than I thought it would be.”

Oh diary, how can 7 days drag out soooooooooo long? I still have one more day to go. Tomorrow afternoon I will be my own person, my own boss. Will it ever get here?

“Lord, what’s wrong with my expectations? You think they’re unrealistic? Really? I’m not going to go off and do anything goofy. I promise. It’s just that I want to be treated like an adult. I want my parents to treat me as an equal.”

Today’s the day, diary. In a couple hours I’m going to…what? What am I going to do? Yikes! I need to ask the Lord to slow things down. I can’t believe it’s time to go already.

“Halle, unlock this door. Quit dragging your feet in there. It’s time to go, NOW.”

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This article has been read 436 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 02/17/11
I loved that the teenager was fighting for her independance, yet she cried out to God. I also loved the stuffed animal, and how it never phased her that it was a symbol of her younger days.
Anita van der Elst02/18/11
Interesting way you’ve presented Halle’s diary entries, thoughts and actions. It was a bit unsettling to read it that way but I think that actually helped me feel what Halle was experiencing.
Henry Clemmons02/19/11
Very profound opening that held my attention to the end. Good story telling. I enjoyed it.
Kimberly Russell02/19/11
A good read- very realistic. I liked how you showed the ambivalence that comes with growing up...or at least wanting to. Good job.
Catrina Bradley 02/19/11
Awesome entry! The diary format really works here, and the count-down idea was creatively written.
Lizzy Ainsworth02/20/11
very interesting and can totally relate, as I'm 19
Glynis Becker02/20/11
Great piece. I like the mix of little girl/grown woman and how she sometimes betrays herself. And isn't this the eternal adolescent struggle? Distancing ourselves, but not wanting to at the same time? Well done.
Tracy Nunes 02/20/11
This tug of war could play out at many different ages and transitions. It makes this piece very relatable. At first I thought she might sound too mature in the way she talks and she probably is for most teenagers, but she sounds a lot like my youngest daughter. Old and young at the same time. Maybe a stretch for many girls this age but by my own experience not impossibly so. Great job!
Danielle King 02/21/11
Very creative entry. Well done.
Margaret Kearley 02/21/11
You entered a teenager's mind brilliantly - I think many of us will identify - either with our own experience, memories or as a parent! Well done. Great writing.
Noel Mitaxa 02/21/11
Was that "kaleidescope" or shoul it be 'Collide"-escope? I love how you have captured - or at least cornered - the everywhere at once nature of a teenage thought process. Loved the gentle humour as well.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/21/11
Your take on this was wonderful. I did a similar story about a boy not wanting to grow up. 18 is such a difficult age. It feels like you're hanging in limbo between child and adult. I love had you used the stuffed zebra, it was a great symbol.
Rachel Phelps02/21/11
I liked the view into Halle's mind here. There was a lot left unresolved in this story, which I both liked and disliked. As a not-so-long-ago college student myself, I relate to the grown-up but still a kid feeling. Nicely done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/24/11
Congratulations for placing 9th in level 3 and 27th overall!