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Rated: 13+ · Other · Contest · #1717369
Story written for a short shots writing contest inspired by the photograph of the month
Seemingly Oblivious Youth

         I am but a child in their eyes; a child with no capability of possessing any significance what –so-ever in my seemingly immature, underdeveloped mind. They see me as unimportant and not yet able to experience trauma because I am so young and naïve. They are wrong. Although my birth certificate states that I am merely thirteen years old and dependent upon these people, I am a human being too with thoughts and feelings and common sense. They don’t want to recognize that I do possess significant thoughts and ideas, and that I am just as important as they are, and that I have experienced trauma in my life… and as I sit in this chair and stare pensively through the dirty, water stained window into my backyard, I remember.

I think of all of the countless times I would go into the yard and swing on that homemade tire that – still today – hangs from the large oak tree. Throughout my life, I could not find any other solution in trying to escape my parents. They think that because I am young, I am oblivious to their evil doing. I am young, not stupid, and they don’t grasp this concept – they never have. My earliest childhood memory was when I was five years old, and I saw all of the needles, pipes, matches, lighters, and little baggies of foreign items scattered all around my mother and father’s bedroom floor. My five year old eyes seeing mommy and daddy scratching until they bled, injecting things into themselves with needles after turning their arms purple by tying belts around them absolutely devastated me. Mommy – with black circles under her eyes sitting before a pool of her own blood was no longer the most beautiful lady in the world. Daddy – with a glass pipe in his mouth, and pupils so large that they took away the blue in his eyes that I loved so much, was no longer my hero. They were drug addicts.

So I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me, stumbling and falling along the way, into my back yard. I struggled to shut the, at the time, epic sliding door, and I trudged towards the tire swing that I loved so much. I stayed on that swing from a few minutes after I looked into my parent’s bedroom that morning, until the day turned black as night fell that evening. For hours, I stared up to the sky making pictures out of the clouds as they migrated from West to East, and playing connect the dots with all of the stars after the sun had gone to sleep. It wasn’t until mom made her way towards me that evening and told me that it was time to come inside that I finally did. She smiled at me and kissed my forehead before taking my hand and walking me inside. I vividly remember my heart’s pounding rhythm as I walked with her, hand in hand. She had brushed my dirty, knotty red hair, helped me brush my teeth with my bubble gum toothpaste, dressed me into my Dragon Tails pajamas, and tucked me into bed that night. As I grew older I thought about that night over and over, and I came to the conclusion that mommy and daddy had not seen their little angel’s horrified eyes witnessing their terrible habit. I remember that night through a crack in the door, after all, and they seemed overly enthralled in what they were doing to notice the door slightly creak open. Still to this day they find me oblivious to what they do to themselves. I am in Junior High; I see all of the material things that the kids at school have that I do not. Mom and dad have steady jobs, and make decent amounts of money every 2 weeks, we could afford TiVo, Blackberries, iPhones, and iPods if every extra dime we had didn’t go directly to their meth, heroin, ecstasy, weed, acid, Vyvanse, Dextrostat, Oxycodone, and Percocet expences. Yes, I know exactly the drugs that they use… I’m not as oblivious as they choose to assume.

         My big brother, Matthew used to push me on this swing for hours after dinner. I smile at the thought of his beautiful face that resembled mine so much. I don’t look like my dark haired, dark eyed parents, but I look like my big brother. I have his face, I have his smile and his laugh, I have his glare – I’ve been told – and we have the exact same birth mark in the center of our backs. He was my very best friend, and I loved him with every bone in my body. Matthew was 11 years older than I. By the time I was 7 he was moving out, headed off to college. With only one exception, I cannot remember a time when I cried so hard, and for so long than the day he moved away– the exception being the days… weeks… and months that followed his death.

I curl up into a ball on this old, worn out chair, and rest my head on top of my knees. I begin to cry for the first time in what seems like centuries, but in fact has only been a few hours. The lump in my throat proves the agony that fills me thinking of my brother’s tragic death. The fact that my stomach is in knots and how I feel as if this pain may one day kill me proves that I am genuinely, truly, without a reasonable doubt conscience-stricken. I miss him so much – and it kills me because I know that I could’ve saved him. I could’ve stopped my parents from killing my best friend but I didn’t because I was raised to believe that what my parents did to themselves could not be changed. I didn’t think that I could do anything about it. He had thought the same thing, and did not know, by nature, that what he saw his parents doing was wrong. He was surrounded by it ever since he was a baby. He didn’t know any better – but If I had told someone; a teacher, a friend, a complete and total stranger, or even a cop, then I would still have my brother.

         Mom and dad are not creditable people, let alone parents. I love them, but they killed my brother. How do you get over something like that? I know the story that molded the facade in which I live: Matthew became friends with the wrong people and died overdosing on meth, hereon, and ecstasy, purchased from a dealer at school. Despite all of the lies that I reinstated out of pure fear, I knew the truth. After all, I was the one who found him lying on the bathroom floor with his eyes rolled into the back of his head. I was the one who was directed to be the “lookout” at two o’clock in the morning while my parents disposed all of the rest of their drugs into an imperceptible lake. I was the one too terrified to do anything in opposition to my orders to go along with the false words my parents’ inhumanly had told the police after we returned from the lake. There was no remorse, and still today looking at my mother and father, I see no trace of guilt in their evil, murderous eyes. I’ve never understood how anyone with the blood of their child forever stained on their hands, could do and say whatever they had to in order to prevent prosecution.          

I begin to shake in this chair overlooking the yard, but decide to ignore the tremors and stand up. I walk towards the back door, open it, and walk out to that tire swing as I have so many times throughout my life. I stand before it, and simply stare at the simplicity of it. A tire, a rope, and a tree; all put together to create the escape that I have turned to my entire life – my haven. I stand on top of the beloved tire; my feet on either side of the large knot and start to swing back and forth. I get the caprice to do a strange thing that I haven’t done in a while… laugh. I throw my head back and embrace the earthquake that my body is experiencing. This feeling is foreign to me: laughter. I like it, I don’t want to stop. I am happy, another foreign concept to me after all of the things I have seen. “So why am I happy? Why am I experiencing this sheer euphoria; this worth-wile experience after thinking about the painful memories that my life consists of?” I ask myself silently in the back of my mind until the answer is finally disclosed.

         Everything I have overcome in my mere 13 years has only made my mind and soul stronger. I know now that God would not throw anything at me that I couldn’t handle; He does not look to destroy me, only to make me into the vision that He saw me being when I was created. If it takes pain to make me who I am destined to be, than with every gust of wind that inevitably knocks me down, I will stand back up, brush myself off, live, and learn. I dream of my parents burning in hell after one final puff or line of meth finishes them. I also dream of my big brother… my hero… my best friend, walking through the gates of heaven, hand in hand with God, after repenting his sins and embracing the Lord. Mattie was given a new, flawless body, a pair of wings, and a pat on the back from our Father – I just know it. As much as I would like to tie my neck around the rope that holds my favorite tire, and end my cruel life right now, I know that I must endure 5 more years of life with murderous monsters so that I can get out of here and become a strong, independent, person as well as a valuable member of society. I will be good. This swing on which I stand, laughing hysterically, will help me get there, as it has already gotten me to this realization of what lies ahead. Whoever said an object cannot be a blessing in disguise obviously has not had an inevitably wonderful tire, rope, and tree branch all put together in their back yard.

The End

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