Saturday, September 27, 2014

Shut up: Unreliable Narrator (Test)

My mom and dad called me into the living room because they wanted to tell me something important. I don’t remember getting into trouble or failing a test lately so it couldn’t be that. Maybe it was good news? Would we finally be getting the dirt bikes I’d been asking for since forever ago? That has to be it! Wow now I’m kind of excited but I can’t let them see that I know, alright I need to keep a straight face and chill out. I walked in and they were standing side by side with big smiles on their faces, this had to be it! “Honey, for a while now we’ve been discussing a very important decisions we want to make….” I kind of drowned out most of the stuff they said after that because I was imagining all the sick gear I would save up for once I had my bike. All of a sudden I snapped out of it and I heard them say, “We want to adopt another kid!” Wait what? I admit that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting but I was actually kind of  excited. They went on and told me that they had already found a kid that we could adopt and they were going to meet her and bring her home next weekend. It was kind of awkward because I didn’t really know what to say, but I was really excited.       

Allie was my age and was going to start her sophomore year with me next week on the first day of school. She’s about five four and has blonde hair, but that’s where the normality ends. I was laying on the couch watching TV when my mom and dad walked in with her. When I heard them come in I got up and walked to the door to greet them and introduce myself. When I saw her it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. She had Down’s Syndrome. I just looked at her, said a quick, ”Hey, nice to meet you” and then looked in disbelief at my mom and dad. What the heck was wrong with them? They didn’t tell me about this. They didn’t even notice my shock.

I imagined what my life would be like now that I had a sister with a disability. Our whole life would revolve around making her feel comfortable, standing up for her and making sure nobody made fun of her without getting an intense, and very passionate lecture. I was right. She wasn’t even with us for one day before my mom began doing thorough research about her kind of people. By the end of week one she had already joined about a million clubs and organizations that supported Down’s Syndrome. My mom was constantly helping Allie with everything. Oh yeah, by the way they treated her like a queen and were so caught up in meeting her every need that they kind of forgot that they had another kid that was normal but also needed a little bit of attention too.             

It was considered a sin for me to want to get away from the house and every day they begged me to have some long, deep, and loving conversations with her. How could they expect me to be chill and treat her like she was normal and just another one of my friends, when she was the opposite? I never understood how the special education teachers could deal with that kind of kid. Yeah, I’ll smile at her when she says hey, and I say what’s up to the kids like her at school but I’m never going to be able to act like, let alone believe that, “They’re just another teenager.”

The first day of school was filled with questions I didn’t want to answer and conversations I didn’t want to be in. My dad told me I had to walk into school with her and take her to meet her teacher. That I could handle, but when people other than my parents started calling her my sister and congratulating me on the new addition to my family I really started to get mad. It wasn’t fair that I had to answer all the questions they wanted to ask her. They shouldn't punish me because she has issues.

Third period was the worst. Allie was in my class and guess who she wanted to sit next to? That would be me. The whole class thought it was adorable when she introduced herself and told them that I was her new brother and she loved me very much. When I told my friend Paul that it was embarrassing he replied by telling me I was a jerk and that I needed to chill out. Why does everyone defend her? I’m not being a jerk, I’m just saying the truth.

I told my mom and dad every day that I didn’t feel comfortable being in the same class with her and they needed to switch her out. They both got really mad and tried to tell me how wrong I was and that I should be happy that I have a chance to be her older brother and that I should think of it as learning experience. I just walked out and went into my room because I’d had enough of the lectures and being told I was wrong.

A few days later I put on a show to get my parents off my back and helped Allie with her homework. When I was done and she was happy with her success, she gave me a big hug, looked me in the eyes and told me that she was so lucky to have a brother that loved her as much as I did. I felt a little guilty and I had no idea what to say so I just smiled and said thank you. I walked away with tang of guilt. I've never even pretended that I loved her so why does she care so much about me? These feeling only affected me until the next morning but they faded instantly once my dad told me it was Down’s Syndrome awareness day in one of their clubs and my mom handed me a T- shirt that promoted the awareness. I was so angry at them. I looked at them both and then pointed towards the door of Allie’s room. “ Just because she has issues does not mean I’m going to revolve my life around telling the whole world!”

I went to school mad and avoided Allie the whole day. For weeks I didn’t really talk to her or my parents. One day was a little different though. During math this kid Derrick said something to me about how annoying it was when we had to stop, and the teacher had to re-explain things  just because Allie needed more time. I looked at him and realized I was mad. In my mind I defended her and then I flat out told him to shut up. After I said it, he just looked at me surprised and didn’t say anything else. I was so confused with what I just did and felt but I didn’t really know if I should apologize to him or not. When I got home from school the first thing my mom did was smile and hand me a piece of paper. I looked at it and noticed that it was an essay that Allie had written. The title was, “My Brother” and the whole essay was about me. She mentioned all the times that I had done something nice for her. There weren’t very many, but she remembered everyone of them. After I’d read it I couldn’t help myself from smiling and feeling something I hadn’t felt for her before. I looked at her, “I love you too Allie.”


Friday, September 19, 2014

If I Remember: Short Short Story

      Oh hey how's it going" my name is-Was that a hawk? Sorry, those birds outside just caught my attention. Wait, what was I saying again? Oh yeah, I was telling you about my ADD. Sometimes it's hard for me to concentrate. Sometimes my mom will get mad at me because I can't stay on task. She's constantly on my case- Ughhh I still have that math homework to finish, but I keep on thinking about my baseball game. Anyway, I live with my mom and her boyfriend Paul who drives a yellow Corvette. Why yellow? Yellow is such a weird color and all it reminds me of is mustard. Mustard is disgusting. Honestly, who likes slimy yellow liquid that comes out watery at first and ruins your perfectly good piece of bread? Did you know that in the early 1700s the British middle colonies of America were called the Bread Basket Colonies? Yeah, that's about all I took out of History class yesterday. My teacher is always on my back about not getting my homework done and not putting enough effort into school. Blah blah blah this, blah blah blah that. Sorry, its not my fault I can't sit still and concentrate for more than twenty minutes. Twenty minutes goes by so fast but in just that short amount of time, I can think of about a hundred different things. People might think that kids with ADD struggle a lot, and they're right but there is one silver lining. It gives you a chance- even if it's just for a few minutes-to think deeply about things that most people don't even consider. So don't let people define you as some troubled, struggling kid. It's-"Are you getting your homework done?" Alright, well it was nice talking to you, wait what's your name again? Okay, haha my bad. I might call you later, if I remember ( I won't.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Electric Red: Self Depracation

          People say the first thing someone new notices about you is something like your smile or other facial features, and in my case nothing is more true. Oh yay, It’s the first day of school! Alright so I have English first, okay good I’m at the right room. I’d better go in now so I can find a seat, oh gosh who are these people? I don’t know anyone and everyone is looking at me! My face starts warming up and feeling weird, my heart is beating really fast now. Ugh great it’s happening; stupid face. I scan the room another time and this time I notice Abby. Walking over makes my face glow just a little brighter, which is fantastic because I love it when my face grabs all the attention in a room. “ Dude your face is so red!” Thanks Abby, I couldn’t tell.

            In case you didn’t catch what I was just trying to explain, I’ll sum it up for you. I blush. But don’t be fooled by that statement and picture something cute like my cheekbones turning a little pink when I’m flattered or flustered. No, my face does this thing where in different kinds of situations it decides against my will, that it’s going to turn the brightest shade of red on the color wheel (That would be electric red, I looked it up). At first people will just stare or laugh- but it doesn’t end there.

            Sometimes I’ll be in school and the teacher asks the class for an response and I’m so confident in my answer that I’ll do something stupid like raise my hand. Everything is fine up to that point, but if the teacher decides to call on me, that’s when it happens. “Yes Maggie?” Wait, me? Um why did I put my hand up again and why does everyone have to turn and look in my direction just to hear me talk? I’m just about give my explanation but my face gets this really weird feeling that kind of makes my head feel like it’s pumped up like a balloon and is just about to explode. After I’ve answered and everyone is thoroughly amused, some really considerate person decides to remind me, “Maggie, oh my goodness your face just turned bright red!” Thank you so much you sweet gift of a human, I had no idea what was going on with my own face. Thank goodness I have you to remind me! Some people are just so nice.

            Now just picture becoming friends with someone that you find really cute, and really hilarious, so hilarious that every time he makes a joke you not only laugh, you also blush. In math he might say something really funny, and the first time I blush he’ll just forget about it, but the next time he asks me why. “Every time you laugh at me you get all red, why do you do that?” Oh I do? That’s really weird I don’t know why that happens? I just played it off and acted clueless (so smooth I know.) He thought that was a pretty stupid answer but whatever. Next time I blush he starts to get it, Maggie plus embarrassment/a joke equals a red face. Now he needs to test his theory. Next class he tries really hard to make me laugh and sometimes make me look dumb. Every time he is successful because my face turns hot as the sun and glows so bright that it’s kind of hard for him to look at. It’s time to take action. It’s F period English and everyone is quietly at work on a five paragraph essay, the prompt is A Good Friend. Mrs. Crandall stands up to give a little instruction, this is his opportunity. “Hey everybody look at Maggie she blushes!” All eyes on me and they get what they came for, my face is once again electric red and I stutter then turn my head toward the wall and hide it with my hand, just another smooth move by me.

            My weakness is now revealed. “Hey Maggie!” I laugh because the face he made was funny but my laughter comes at a price. “Haha see, look how red her face gets!” “Maggie your face just got so red!” “Oh my gosh Maggie do you like him? You just blushed so bad when he was talking to you!” Yes, not only does my face turn red when I’m embarrassed or I laugh, but you might also want to know that it’s the equivalent of a big alarm that goes off whenever I “like” someone, awesome right? “Uh wait so you’re saying that if I can get you to blush I’ll finally know if you like me or not?” It’s no secret anymore but oh well. You could ask me “Why does your face get so red” in a sassy tone and I’ll probably say it’s just this weird thing my face decides to do whenever it feels like it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

First RAFT essay

The animals barked louder and louder every time someone walked into the room full of cages. At one point the noise got so loud that you could hardly hear yourself talk. However, if you listened close enough, you could hear the soft gentle voice of Amy as she coaxed the animals into calming down. No one was gifted like she was; it took her voice alone to communicate to these crazy, seemingly vicious animals. Because of her soothing tone and perfect words, the whole room was suddenly silent and the animals were peacefully resting in their cages. The owner of this rescue center had tried countless companies and methods in order to calm the barking but none worked the magic Amy could. Walking out of the center, anyone could see that Amy was a very professional woman. You could hear her high heels click on the pavement and see a look in her eyes that seemed to display a classy pride. Money was something she would never have to worry about. She could buy anything she wanted and try all the latest products. Unfortunately these pleasures didn't seem to satisfy her. A few left turns and one right at an old side street. The BMW comes to a stop, the doors are slammed shut and locked. She's at her destination. Here Amy will pay a large sum for a small portion she desperately needs. Maybe this time it'll fill the empty void inside her? The engine starts and she's finally on her way home. Two days later Amy wakes up in reality again. The normally filled calendar says she has no appointments today. This means one day to pull herself together once again. Maybe she needs to clear her head first? She sets up the table and grips the paddle in her hand. With her other hand the small plastic ball is dropped and she begins to slowly hit the ball back and forth over the net. Twenty minutes later the game is still going on and the ball is almost impossible to see. A few times it's hit so hard and fast you hear a crack and Amy's picking up a new ball and starting over. There's nothing else to think about: no worries, no appointments, no guilt and no debt. It's just her with one focus- getting the ball over the net. When she finally stops, Amy realizes something. The feeling of emptiness is gone! She's happy and satisfied with what she's doing. This feeling is something that being the best at her job, or any drug she tried never gave her. The next thing she did was make a decision. It was Wednesday and three days from then was the annual tournament she had been waiting for. It was time to train because Amy was going to win. Power bars and Gatorade were the only things she lived off of for the next two and a half days. Pull-ups became a daily routine in order to increase her arm strength. By Friday the paddle and her arm had become a tool to send that ball flying to the other side of the table. She could sense the adrenaline that wouldn't allow her to stand still as she walked up to the table, gripped her paddle and got ready to begin her first match of the tournament. She served first and the ball flew across the table so fast the opponent couldn't hit it. The rest of her games went like this and by the end of the tournament, Amy was given the trophy and declared the winner. Nothing seemed better. Amy finally felt fulfillment. She walked across a long bridge that would lead her to the place where her car was parked. While she was walking you could see the pride in her steps and a happy smile on her face. Any one who passed her could be sure she was a very professional and successful woman Amy pulled her Beats up over her ears and turned her ipod to her favorite song, "Sweet Home Alabama". She closed her eyes, lifted her head up to the sun and began sing along. As she got into the song, Amy began to dance. She was dancing and singing so passionately that she lost sense of direction. One last twirl led her to tripping on the curb next to the railing, losing her balance and falling over the side. People rushed to the railing only quick enough to see her splash, but never come back up.