Submitted on 05/24/2020

Categories: General

Hanna:

I was in the school bathroom, sitting on the floor; crying. Curled up in a ball, sobbing quietly. I really hated being treated like a child; but I’m so much more than that. If only people could see who I am, beyond my age. I heard footsteps approaching. I could tell the footsteps, They were Kelly’s. She stood before me.

“Hey, are you alright?” 

She asked softly. 

“(sniffs) Y-yeah, I’m fine.” 


Kelly was my mom. We'd known each other for 4 years now. Step-mom, technically. She came. I knew she would. She'd always been there for me. She’d always been comfortable with me calling her by her name, rather than addressing her as Mom. Not because I wasn’t ready to let go of my real mom; the one who abandoned me. But because I respect her and she respects me; we respect each other. As equals. She sees who I really am.


“So, why’re you crying? What's got ya down?” 


“Well, it’s… it’s just--” 


She got closer, now sliding onto the floor; sitting next to me. I picked up my head, as I wiped snot off my nose with my shirt. I was still a little choked up from the tears running down my face. I struggled for a bit to conjure up a sentence, but eventually let it out.


“M-Ms. Owens was infantilizing my work.” 

I said, frustrated. Why wouldn't she give me her honest opinion on it? 


“What do you mean?” 

Kelly had a puzzled look on her face; She slightly tilted her head as she said this.


“What do I mean?”  

I said, a little standoffish,


“She was talking to me like I was a toddler! I spent SO hard working on my short story, but she just talked about it so childlike, that it was infuriating! I’m not a little kid! It’s like-- she didn’t even see my work as work! She just wanted to hurry up and give it a gold star; without even giving it a second thought!” 

I screamed. I could feel my face turning red. She faintly chuckled. I veered my face toward hers.


What’s so funny?” 

I said, now starting to smile; my eyebrows furrowed with confusion and a bit of anger. 


“Who cares if she doesn’t like it? What matters is if you like what you wrote.” 

She said motivational-like.


"Ok, I think I'm ready now."


“Good! Now, let’s get you cleaned up.” 


She said cheerfully, as she put both her hands on my face; using both her thumbs to wipe away the tears that had desiccated on my face. She went over twice, then gave me a hug. I suddenly felt happier; good about myself. She always knew how to cheer me up. We got up, and she told me to go wait in the car; she was gonna give Ms. Owens a piece of her mind. She gets me. She sees me for who I am. As an equal. 





Kelly: 


“Who does she think she is?!” 

I muttered to myself. Ms. Owens had no right to belittle my daughter’s work! I stormed over to Ms. Owens office. She was also a counselor; Great. Isn’t her job supposed to encourage people? I burst through the door, startling Ms. Owens. I interrupted her reading; she put the book down, and looked up.


“I just don’t get it! It seems all her life, as long as I've known her, people constantly do this to her every day! They fail to notice her as a person because she’s “just” a kid. And then I hear about you! that’s just low. Even for a school counselor.” 

I said to her.


Yikes, that was a little harsh. But she deserved it. People don’t talk to my daughter like that. I felt especially hurt by this; I used to be JUST like Hanna when I was a kid. Everyone always put my age first; never really taking how I act into account. They just chalked it up to being a kid. Overlooked oftentimes, only seen as well... just that. A kid. I guess that’s why we connected so well when I first met her and her father. I even felt comfortable calling her my own daughter. 


“What are you talking about?” 

Ms. Owens said. Yeah right. She knew exactly what I was talking about. 


“My daughter, Hanna. Why do you think it’s okay for you to baby her?” 


“What? She’s the one that’s acting like a child! She’s crying because I wouldn’t give a response she wanted to hear.” 

 

“I don’t appreciate it. Why not just read it for what it is? It might be better than,” 

I peered over to her desk. She was reading 50 Shades of Grey. 


“Actually, I hope she didn’t write anything like that.” 

I said. Ms. Owens took notice of my glance. She rushed to cover up the book; She leaned on her desk, now covering it. 


“Well, what makes you think I actually read their stories?” 

She said. 

What?”

I said in utter confusion. 

“Listen, Kelly,” 

I cut her off.


“Only my friends call me Kelly. Call me by my LAST name, Ms. Owens." 

I said to her, angrily. She paused in shock; her mouth opened a bit, squinting at me. She continued her thought. 


Mrs. Fuller,”  

She stretched out. 


“No offense, but I think ALL children’s writing is sub-par.” 


“Oh, really? Did you know E.L. James wrote that book when she was 12?” 

I said, lying. 


“Really?” 

She glanced at the book. 


“Gross.”  


“She didn’t actually, but you’d still read it? Right?” 


“Probably not.” 

 

“See? That’s your problem right there. You won’t even give a book a chance just because it was written by a kid. Just like how you’re not giving Hanna a chance. Bad book example, but you get my point.” 

I stated.


“Hey, girl. I’m on your team. It’s just-- I don’t have the time!” 


“Oh, but you have time to read about--” 


“Ok, Ok! I do have time!”

She cut me off mid-sentence. Probably to save herself the embarrassment of me saying it out loud


“Listen,” 

She perked up her glasses. I began to cross my arms. 


“Your daughter is great. She’s an exceptional writer. It’s just, isn’t she a little young to be taking this course?”  

She said nervously. 


“Too… Young? If anything, that should make you want to read it even more! Don’t you wanna know why this kid is taking college-level English at 15?!” 


“But, c’mon. I know my daughter writes and I don’t even read her work! And she’s 26! Not to mention an author herself.” 

I feel sorry for her kid.


“Listen, I’m not asking you to treat my daughter differently. I’m just saying treat her like a young adult; like the rest of the kids in her class. Just give her a chance, as an equal.” 


As an equal.


Hanna:


I waited in the car for what felt like forever. What was taking her so long? Did she beat her up? That would be cool. Was she hurt? Did she do enough damage to make me have to move schools? I stopped staring at the dashboard; as I felt a presence approaching the car. It was Kelly.

"Hey, Hanna."

She said to me, coming into the car.

"Hey, don't worry about her. She's a lost cause."

I didn't care anymore. All that mattered to me was that Kelly actually challenged my TEACHER. That takes some real guts. I admired her for that.


"Hey, thanks Kelly."


"For what?"


She said, slightly surprised.

For what? For being there for me for the past 4 years. For standing by my side in the face of adversity. For coming into my life, and instantly understanding what I was going through. I was going to tell her that, but she looked like she'd heard enough ranting for today. So I kept it brief.


"Just, going in there and confronting her. Most parents would've just coddled their kid; so thanks for going the extra mile. I appreciate it."

"Oh, yeah,"

She said, still in awe,


"No problem, Hanna. We're equals."

I like the sound of that. Equals.


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112 comments

Abigail Mitchell
01:51 Jun 03, 2020

Kelly is the mom we all wished for at fifteen *cries* I can really "see" this happening in my head as I am reading, thanks to your writing. It all flows nicely and quickly. That Mrs. Owens character is ALMOST unbelievable, but I do recall one teacher I had in high school... Overall, great story. I look forward to more in the future. :)

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Daryl Gravesande
02:47 Jun 03, 2020

Wow, thanks! I appreciate it! I'd love to read one of your stories! Thank you for being SO supportive! I love your comment!

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Pragya Rathore
17:01 Jun 01, 2020

I just LOVE the emotional development in your stories! Keep it going!!

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Daryl Gravesande
17:10 Jun 01, 2020

Thanks! That means a lot! I love your feedback.

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Pragya Rathore
17:18 Jun 01, 2020

The feeling's mutual...😄😄

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Daryl Gravesande
17:19 Jun 01, 2020

lol, glad to hear that! 😁

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Pragya Rathore
17:22 Jun 01, 2020

You are an amazing writer. You should expect it!

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Daryl Gravesande
17:29 Jun 01, 2020

I don't think so. You're a LOT better. I just started to get into writing, so I'm pretty bad.

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16:51 Jun 01, 2020

Great story! The dialogue is particularly good, it's realistic and it moves the story along (although I did think Hanna was younger than 15 at first). And I love how Hanna and Kelly have a good relationship as (step) daughter and mother, rather than the stereotypical "evil stepmother" You also asked for what you could do better :) I found the dialogue formatting to be a little unconventional. It's just a small thing but it made the story a little hard to read here and there. Thanks for sharing this story, and keep writing!

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Tvisha Yerra
17:06 May 26, 2020

I loved Ms. Owens' attitude, I could totally visualize her in my mind! And the perspective switching was so smooth. The one thing that threw me off was that Hanna was 15. She seemed a bit more like a six-year-old at the start, no offense. Maybe change the dialogue a little bit so it seems more like anger, and not Hanna whining. Love this story though!

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Daryl Gravesande
17:09 May 26, 2020

Yeah, I know. I just needed to give her that description so that the reader could feel for her, though. But thanks for the feedback! Read the other stories, plz!

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08:52 May 26, 2020

Its not every time that we read stories where the step mom is supporting and loving i like that and i love the message you passed through your story

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Daryl Gravesande
10:50 May 26, 2020

Thanks! I love that you love it too!

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11:24 May 26, 2020

😊

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11:24 May 26, 2020

😊

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Daryl Gravesande
11:25 May 26, 2020

😊

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Daryl Gravesande
11:25 May 26, 2020

😊

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Rhondalise Mitza
22:15 May 26, 2020

Man, the positivity of this thread is IMMENSE! :)

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Blueberry Elf
00:27 May 26, 2020

Lovely message and you did a wonderful job getting the message across. Good work!

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Daryl Gravesande
00:37 May 26, 2020

Thank you!

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Maggie Deese
02:54 May 25, 2020

Great story and message about kids being smarter than they look! Keep up the good work, Daryl!

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Daryl Gravesande
03:00 May 25, 2020

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback! It hasn't really been done to death in literature yet, so I thought why not? I'd like to hear your stories too!

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Maggie Deese
03:13 May 25, 2020

Of course!

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Evelyn ⭐️
22:46 May 24, 2020

I really enjoyed your story! It was really unpredictable and cool! Can't wait to read more of your work! Stay safe! -Evelyn

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Daryl Gravesande
11:05 May 25, 2020

Thank you! I really LOVED your story, "The World Above". You're such a GREAT writer. What do you think I should do better next time?

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Rhondalise Mitza
21:35 May 24, 2020

Hey, great work! I know some others were saying the italics were excessive, but I wasn’t distracted by them so it would be up to you whether to keep them or not. I like the characters and the dialogue a lot. Hope you’re having a great Sunday!

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Daryl Gravesande
21:45 May 24, 2020

Thanks! I am! Sorry I haven't responded to any texts fast. My sister uses the phone most of the time!

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Rhondalise Mitza
21:58 May 24, 2020

Oh, no worries. 😁

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Daryl Gravesande
12:06 May 25, 2020

Hey, I fixed the Italics! Thanks for the tip! Tell me if the story flows better now!

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Rhondalise Mitza
12:41 May 25, 2020

I think it works great 👍! Good editing going on here.

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Daryl Gravesande
13:14 May 25, 2020

Thanks!

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Rhondalise Mitza
14:38 May 25, 2020

So I know you aren’t planning on using this weeks prompts, but I had a different idea for prompts to help out so remind me about those, yeah?

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Daryl Gravesande
14:46 May 25, 2020

Ok. When do you want me to remind you?

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James Offenha
20:49 May 24, 2020

I loved your story, too. A few recommendations. In the book by Stephen King, King says to cut out adjectives (words ending in ly). For example, instead of “She said to her angrily” just say, “She said.” Which is called a tag. You also could cut parts of sentences like, “I sat in there for what feels like forever” to “I sat there and waited”. Also, try writing down conversations and your own speech to get a better sense of how people talk. Great story! Liked the fairy tale Step-Mom (in most fairy tales in-Laws are evil).

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Daryl Gravesande
20:54 May 24, 2020

Wow, Thanks! I appreciate the tips! I hope to hear more comments from you soon!

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Lara Macgregor
19:57 May 24, 2020

I like the message of the story. Kids are smarter than some give them credit for, and age shouldn't matter when it comes to talent. I mean, Mozart was playing for kings when he was a small child. :) Good story.

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Daryl Gravesande
19:58 May 24, 2020

Thanks! I was going for that approach!

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Lara Macgregor
20:19 May 24, 2020

You're welcome. :)

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Daryl Gravesande
20:33 May 24, 2020

Thanks again!

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Arthur Tiberio
18:49 May 24, 2020

I definitely enjoy your style; simple, direct, and it gets your message across to the reader. That said, I'm going to have too agree with Kendra's comment: the italics do become a little excessive. In terms of advice, reading the dialogue out loud may help with that -- let it just flow! besides that, though, dialogue stays snappy and true to the characters, and that's always a joy to read.

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Daryl Gravesande
18:54 May 24, 2020

Thanks for the feedback! I just edited it! Hopefully it flows better this time around, lol. I appreciate your comment though. I look forward to hearing more feedback from you!

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16:57 May 24, 2020

Wow Daryl! I loved this story! My favorite part is when Kelly explodes on Mrs. Owens. It was really good, and I haven't caught any mistakes. Maybe you could make it a bit longer to see what happens after? Up to you. I loved it!! 🤩

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Daryl Gravesande
16:59 May 24, 2020

Thanks! I'm really glad you love it! I was trying a different approach. I'm glad to hear I didn't butcher it!

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18:32 Oct 18, 2020

Wow... That was amazing! One thing, after someone finishes saying something, you put that after the dialogue, not under it. Example: "I'm going to do it!" she says. "I don't care what you say." Apart from that, it was amazing!!!

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Brooke D. ❤
17:16 Jun 05, 2020

This was an amazing, heart-felt story, and I loved it! I feel the same way with my "other" mom (I don't like the word "step"). Even though my real mom didn't abandon me, I still feel super close to Stacy. Because of this, you made your story very relatable. You explained it perfectly, and I applaud you for it. I can't wait to read more of your works! Keep writing and stay safe! -Brooke

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Daryl Gravesande
22:43 Jun 05, 2020

Wow, thanks Brooke. Also, I get the "step" mom thing, lol. I'm glad you were able to connect with the character. That's what it's all about, right? Can't wait to hear more from you. Stay safe as well! -Daryl

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Brooke D. ❤
14:23 Jun 07, 2020

You're welcome! :) -Brooke

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Daryl Gravesande
19:28 Jun 07, 2020

Thank you!

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Alka Sharma
11:37 Jun 05, 2020

Nice

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16:51 Jun 01, 2020

Great story! The dialogue is particularly good, it's realistic and it moves the story along (although I did think Hanna was younger than 15 at first). And I love how Hanna and Kelly have a good relationship as (step) daughter and mother, rather than the stereotypical "evil stepmother" You also asked for what you could do better :) I found the dialogue formatting to be a little unconventional. It's just a small thing but it made the story a little hard to read here and there. Thanks for sharing this story, and keep writing!

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Daryl Gravesande
16:52 Jun 01, 2020

Oh, thank you for the feedback! I love that you like it! I know about the dialogue format. But I can't go back and edit it anymore. Thanks again though!

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Verda H
03:25 May 31, 2020

I'm a fan of the italics actually :) This was nice

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Daryl Gravesande
10:22 May 31, 2020

Glad to hear, Verda! I'm kinda obsessed with them ever since someone suggested I use italics. Now I can't stop, lol.

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Verda H
09:10 Jun 03, 2020

Ever heard of Jacqueline Wilson? I obsessed over her books in middle-school. She used italics like a madwoman but it wall all part of her style.

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Daryl Gravesande
10:37 Jun 03, 2020

No, I haven't, but she sounds like a nice lady, lol. Why? Do I use a lot of italics?

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Ishika Kataria
16:58 May 29, 2020

Just read your story and I love the idea behind it, Amazing!

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Daryl Gravesande
17:44 May 29, 2020

Thank you, Ishika!

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Laiba M
13:19 May 29, 2020

Hi, Daryl!! I don't know if you know Avery Mason here, but she told me to check out your stories so I decided to see what they were like! I absolutely loved this story: the message of equals, the situation, and the relationship between Kelly and Hanna. It was written really nicely! I completely agree that a lot of young writers' works get infantilized and it's really frustrating, considering that I am a very young writer myself. Overall, I think the story was great, keep writing!! If it's not too much trouble though, could you check out my l...

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Daryl Gravesande
13:24 May 29, 2020

Yes, I'll be glad to check out your story! And I'm glad you enjoyed mine! I'll tell you what I think of your work!

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Laiba M
14:35 May 29, 2020

Thank you!!

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Daryl Gravesande
14:35 May 29, 2020

No prob!

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Laiba M
18:32 May 29, 2020

I read the story and left feedback :)

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