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Beginning, Middle, End?
You see it evolve without realizing it. In the beginning, like always, there’s the kissing and hugging. You hear their laughter and see the smiles. They bicker sometimes over little things, who should take you to the doctor or whether or not you should stay home from school. But, truly you don’t understand any of it, you’re only six; how could you? Year after year you realize it more, yet think to yourself “Its okay, all parents argue.” The night comes when Daddy begins to sleep on the couch, Mommy explains, “Oh he just fell asleep watching TV.” As the couch sleeping progresses you ask again.
“Mom? Why is Dad still sleeping on the couch?”
She replies, “Daddy snores loud at night so I can’t sleep.” And you believe her because he does snore. All you care about is there is more room for you on the nights you have a bad dream.
Now, though, when you hear the arguments you yell back at them, “Stop fighting! It’s not nice.” Yet, they continue as you watch and listen with a pout on your face threatening to ignore them both, but they don’t stop.
Each year the fights become more important and you realize how different their opinions on raising a child really are. “Why would you buy those for her? They’re way to short.” He would rant.
“She’s a teenager, what do you expect? It’s not like the stores sell anything longer.”
“I expect my daughter to dress properly without her butt hanging out of her shorts!” Moving on to the fights about your make up, your friends, just your life in general, but then not only you, it becomes about your 11 year old brother too.
In a way he is right. You should be making it easier for them, not harder. Then that fateful day comes when you finally understand, Dad isn’t sleeping on the couch because he fell asleep watching TV, or his snoring was too loud for mom; it’s because they don’t agree on anything. To him, the house should be clean, the kids should do chores, you shouldn’t be wearing makeup, or getting your belly button pierced, and your brother shouldn’t be failing English, or wrestling second string, because life is just so dandy. To her, though, the house doesn’t need to be perfect, make-up lets you express yourself, and who cares it’s just a belly button ring. The only thing it seems they share in common is art. How nice, one little thing.
They don’t realize what this does to us kids. We wait around in fear that were going to be sat down and told those horrible words, that no child wants to hear, because at heart you are still just a child and this is supposed to be your happy family, and at some rare moments you can even believe it once was; but now, everything has to be a hassle. You can’t even get up in the morning without something going wrong, or upsetting someone. The small car trips to grandmas or even out to dinner bring up some little conflict.
“Why aren’t you ready?” your father asks.
“Who didn’t fill the gas yesterday?” and the antagonizing unimportant questions and accusations continue until no one in the car is speaking.
They’re all stupid things, but for some reason your family can’t seem to work around them. Now, you spend nights wondering if this is always how it’s going to be. Sitting watching TV and turning the volume up not to hear the yells, popping in your headphones as soon as you hear the first signs of a fight because you know what it soon to come. At 16 you can’t wait for the day to come when you’re shipped off to college. Yet, at 16 you should be dreading college, the work, the homesickness. Every day you think about college, it has consumed your life so much that you forget about everything else; and in way that’s what you’ve been looking for; something so over whelming that every other problem fades away. The only other possible thing you think about is what will happen to your brother. He’s more sensitive then you, easier to break. He seams like he has a tough shell but one crack and the yoke slides out, and we all know how hard that is to clean up. Who knows how he’ll handle it, and you might not even be there to help. You’ll have new problems in a new world, trying to forget your past. Sadly, you can’t and won’t forget, because one day he is going to need you and you better be there for him. So currently, you sit at your computer, writing this for people to know, because you haven’t told anyone. You probably should, it’s no good having all these twisting feeling inside you threatening to break loose. You know that one day the day will come, whether it’s now, or in five years. Either way, it’s going to be just as heart breaking as the day you realized it was true.