Elephant | Teen Ink


July 29, 2011
By xLauren SILVER, Virginia Beach, Virginia
xLauren SILVER, Virginia Beach, Virginia
8 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." ~Westley (The Princess Bride)

There’s an elephant in the room. Or, at least, Momma says there’s an elephant in here. I can’t see one, but, Momma’s hands aren’t shaking like they do when she lies, so I think she’s telling the truth. You’d think I’d be able to spot an elephant if it were in here; after all, elephants are pretty big, from what Diego tells me.

But despite all of my efforts, I can’t find anything that even remotely resembles an elephant. All I see is the cramped therapy roomed lined with bookshelves. There are two couches, one of which holds my family, the other of which holds the therapist himself. Maybe the elephant’s hiding behind the couch. I know it’s rude to turn and look while Momma’s talking, though, so I don’t check.

Beside me, Sarah has started to cry. I look up at her and want to ask why she’s crying. Momma says it’s wrong to interrupt, though, so I stay quiet. Instead, I reach for Sarah’s hand and squeeze it in my own. She smiles down at me and says nothing.

I look now at Max, sitting in my lap. He’s a tired looking thing, all torn at the seams and dirty from old age. Max is only as old as I am, but he looks like he’s been alive a million years. He talks to me, sometimes, but only to me. Momma says it’s pretend, but I’d be too sad if Max really was only pretend, so I tell him to keep talking to me, and he does.

He looks at me sadly and says “I don’t see an elephant, Lizzy. Where is it?”

I pat him on his head, between his two long bunny ears, and smile softly. This is my way of saying “It’s okay, Max. I don’t see it either.” I think he gets the message.

I look back at the therapist and think about why we’re here. Momma says she and Daddy are having a lot of issues, and that they come here to sort through them. I look at Sarah again and wonder how Momma can see a huge elephant that’s not there, but she can’t see how her and Daddy’s arguing is killing her own daughter.

Sarah tells me I shouldn’t worry about her, and that Momma and Daddy will be alright. She says adults argue about all sorts of things. According to her, that’s the only way adults know how to communicate with each other, and that’s why adults don’t like to play with us. They can only argue.

She’ll always be here for me, though, or so she says. That makes me happy. That makes Max happy most of all, though, because he secretly has a crush on Sarah, I think. I never talk much in these therapy things. Momma says that there’s not much I could have to contribute to the conversation, being only four and all.

I think I have a lot to say, though. If I didn’t keep my mouth shut, I could fill this rooms with all of the things Momma should’ve seen but hasn’t. And I could make everyone understand and listen. I could fix everything.

And I wouldn’t have to make up fake elephants to do it.

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