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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by len on July 18, 2009
"My head feels like a block of wood right now because of congestionm, so I'll probably have to edit this later."

Alphabet Soup - U[niversity]

My mother cries a lot more often these days. When I'm at home writing or working on a model, I can hear her sobbing quietly in the background. I'm unsure of the feeling that makes her weep, happiness at my going to University, or sadness at her inability to come with. I'm even less sure of how to console her.

I have to go to University. I'm not leaving the country or anything like that, and I will always be able to see her. But the guilt that it places within me weighs my spirits down to the point where I don't know what I should do.

There are days like today where I sit by the bay window and write. I write and write and write about my goals, and my regrets. I write about my dreams and things that I know could never really happen in this life. But on days like Saturday, when I go with my godmother to pick vegetables at the farmer's market, I go to the window and see pillows askew, tissues on the ledge, and the dark, moist circles of tear stains.

I know I will be missed. I know I am doing the right thing. I don't know why my heart feels so heavy. I can't stay home. I'm not accepted into any of the Uni's near my house. I have no choice if I plan to help my family in any way. But I know what to do and how to do it. It's just confusing when you have to think with your heart and not with your head.

I packed my things a long time ago. Well, not a long time ago really. For three weeks now my clothes and supplies have been packaged and taped and next week I'll be taking them away. But I can't escape her. I go to put another pair of shoes in my box or I decide to take my orange blanket instead of the blue and there she goes. First I'm standing there, in front of the box and slowly, her arms snake around my back and torso, her heads slips down my shoulder blades and I feel the gutteral jerks of her body as she lets her wails fall free of her throat. I'm sure I should turn and embrace her, but like a constrictor, her grip strengthens as I squirm to free myself. Soon, I can't move, I cannot breathe and I am helplessly at her whim-- reminding me why I have no choice but to leave.

My sister is only thirteen. But she sees and hears it all. She's heard arguments and fights. She's seen abuse firsthand. She knows the spoils of love and of war and she does not cry at my leaving. She screams into her pillow at night, I hear her in her room talking on the phone. She wants an older boyfriend so she can grow up quicker to be like me. She wants a cellphone so she can call whomever she likes. She wants to go to a private school so she can be rid of her family.

My sister is depressed. With a cellphone she can call me and talk about the pain. With an older boyfriend she can ride up to Uni to come and see me. By going to private school she can escape, and breath a sigh of relief at knowing no one is right over her shoulder.

What to do about my family is a difficult decision that I have to make on my own. I can stay at home for a year, but I risk not being admitted next year because of my decision. I can go away this year and ignore the calls of my past. Or I can do neither and sacrifice my sanity for the sake of others. Even if they don't deserve it.

I can't judge, though. Family is family and they've made me who I am today. Whether that's a good thing or not has yet to be seen. And regardless of what happens at University, I will always have family to fall back on. I'll only have family to rely on. Even if it hasn't been perfect, it hurts to see her cry because the day that you make your mother cry, is the day that you fully realize how it feels to be hated by someone you loved.

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