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Age Twenty-one

My dad died today. He died in a hospital room surrounded by people who claimed to know him, to love him. It didn’t fit him very well. I was on the roof when it happened, smoking. I promised him I’d give it up. I promised that I wouldn’t be like him. Look how well that turned out for me. The worst part about it all was when the nurse finally came to get me, the last living relative of the man who raised me, all I could think about was how it was so unlike him.

He was supposed to smell like smoke, not lung cancer. He was supposed to be this man who I could always look up to, the man who told me stories about how he used to drag raise and took a different girl out even Saturday night. He wasn’t supposed to be this corpse in a bed. This spotty human being with sunken eyes. God, I hate myself for admitting this, but even dead I couldn’t bring myself to forgive him for the shit he put me through.

I didn’t cry in the hospital. I won’t cry at the funeral when everyone puts on black and lies about what a great person he was. I don’t know if I’ll ever cry about it. I just feel… relieved. That makes me awful doesn’t it? What’s worse is that I can only think about how I’m just like him and yet I take another drag on a cigarette and there’s a different woman in my bed every Sunday morning. There’s a heavy cross around my neck as I write this now.

Maybe one day, it’ll be easier. That’s what everyone tells me at least but I think they’ve just got so much smoke in their eyes they can’t see clearly anymore. So they close their eyes and smile with rotted teeth and gums and claim that they’ve lived a good life. I don’t even know what qualifies as a good life anymore.


Age Nineteen

My card bounced tonight when I was at the 7-eleven buying a cherry Slurpee and a pack of cigarettes. I had to pay in change, fish the nickels and dimes out of the dusty folds of my purse. Even then, I was twenty cents short and an old woman behind me had to cover. I was outside, lighting one of the cigarettes and she came and told me I was too pretty to be smoking those things. She said a young woman didn’t need to smoke.

I told her that it was a one-time thing. God, I lied to an old woman today. She nodded, but her eyes were filled with such sadness. She pitied me. She pitied me and my melting Slurpee and cigarette that was burning out because she was staring at me - making me feel like shit. Then she handed me a ten-dollar bill and walked away. She had red shoes, two-inch heels.

I cried about the money later. I guess I really am so desperate that old ladies are the ones who pity me. Who wrinkle their brows and hand over quarters and crumpled bills. I just stared at her, just stared, and stared. I guess I was thinking she was going to take it away from me again. No one’s ever this nice to me. Nothing this good ever happens. But she just smiled and walked away. I don’t think I’ll ever see her again, but I’ll remember her forever.

A person doesn’t forget the face of someone who saves their life. I have no money - all of my college funds have gone to treatment for my dad. My girlfriend broke up with me. I just got fired. I’m probably going to have to have to drop out of school. I thought I’d smoke these cigarettes, drink this Slurpee, and then drive off a bridge or some shit. But now I got ten dollars and I’m not one to waste money.

So I’m sitting in my dorm, listening to my roommate snore - God I don’t even know her name - and writing again in a fifty-cent spiral notebook. I haven’t done this since I was sixteen.

I used to want to be a writer. Once.


Age Sixteen

I did something bad today. Something really, really bad. I always thought it would come to this. One day. It doesn’t feel real now. I know why I did it though I don’t want to admit it. I want to scream and cry and tear myself apart. It hurts so bad. It hurts so, so bad, and it didn’t do anything but make me hate myself.

I pulled apart a razor. It felt so deliberate. It wasn’t some stupid frenzy of emotions. It was just me with a pair of scissors and a desire to self destruct and a razor. I made seven marks on my stomach and hip. I only snapped out of it when one cut so deep and the bleeding wouldn’t stop for such a long time and I was so, so scared. I think it’s going to scar. If my dad sees it he’s going to kill me. I’m such an idiot.

I’m not diagnosed with anything. Everyone tells me I’m smart and going place and my family life is decent enough. Sure my dad smokes too much and my mom lives on the other side of the country, but it’s not like I’m unhappy. I don’t think I’m unhappy. My girlfriend told me that her parents were abusive recently and that just makes me hate myself more. I have no reason to be doing this. No reason at all.

But for some reason, I just want to be a tragedy.


Age Fifteen

I smoked my first cigarette today. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Just stealing one from dad after he passed out one night and then going up onto the roof and smoking it. I never had the guts to do it. My girlfriend was actually the one to give it to me. She’s older than me - a Junior and she’s friends with a lot of the Seniors so she can get all sorts of things like cigarettes and beer.

We went to the skatepark after it closed and smoked. It was like lighting a fire to my lungs. I breathed in and all I could taste was ash. I was choking, choking, burning up. I hated the taste. I hated everything about it. I told my girlfriend I didn’t like smoking very much.

She laughed at me.

I don’t think she thinks I’m a proper lesbian. She says I have to have sex with a girl before I am. I don’t tell her but she kind of makes me sad? I dunno, maybe it’s just what love is? I mean I think she’s so great at everything and that just makes me feel so bad about myself. I think it might be my problem. I wish dad would take me a therapist but he says that those are for liberals who can’t handle being sad on their own.


Age Fourteen

When I grow up I’m going to be a writer. I already wrote my first book on Wattpad and I think it’s pretty good. I just need to edit it a bit more and then I think I’ll send it to a publisher. I can’t wait for Dad to read it. I think he’s going to like it. There’s a character in there that I based off of him (it’s the dad lol).

Anyway, my book has already gotten two hundred views! Isn’t that so crazy! That means two hundred people have seen my book. I don’t think there are very many fourteen-year-olds (oh yeah, I’m fourteen lol) can say that much. I think it’s because I practically grew up writing. 

My friend (she’s a Sophomore and super, super cool and also a lesbian too! I think I might have a little crush on her but it’s too soon to tell lololol) says that I’m really good at writing. I’m going to show my dad as soon as I get done writing this. I’m sure that he’s going to love it! Wish me luck :)


Age Twelve

I told my dad I was a lesbian today. He didn’t say for a long time then he smoked a cigarette and we talked about women for half an hour. I… was surprised. I always thought that he’d resent me for it or something.

I guess that makes him better than mom at least. 


Age Nine

Mommy and Daddy decided that it would be best to not like togeter any more. Mommy is gonna go to Califournya to get a new job with someone named Ted. Daddy yelled a lot about Ted.

I get to stay with Daddy thoh. This is good cause Mommy is mean and drinks a lot of groon up joose. Then she yells. Daddy smells like smoke but he gives good hugs. Don’t tell Mommy but I think I am more like Daddy than her.

That’s all for now. I’m gonna go work on my book. I think it will cheer Daddy up. He cries a lot now.


Age Six

Der Diarie,

I am six. I love my Dady veerie much. He’s like Superman!


Age Forty-two,

Today I visited Dad’s grave for the first time since he died. I brought him a pack of cigarettes - the last pack I’ll ever buy - my new book, and my wife. I’d like to think he’d laugh, take a drag and tell me I had his taste in women. She kisses my scars and I swear I’ve never been in love with a woman like her. We’ve been talking about a kid recently. I didn’t cry today just as I didn’t cry back then.

Instead, I smiled. I think I’m going to take up journaling again.

May 23, 2020 04:36

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6 comments

Pragya Rathore
09:11 Jun 02, 2020

Wow!!! This was such a poignant story about a very special bond... written straight from the heart... I especially loved the entry at age six... Beautiful! Please review my stories too!

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Verda H
03:39 May 31, 2020

This was great. I love the use of the ages to add those time skips

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Adam Wright
18:38 Jun 04, 2020

Amazing story! I love the time backwards flow of it and then the flash to present at the end. Such deep emotions in here. Love the story!

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Adam Wright
18:38 Jun 04, 2020

Amazing story! I love the time backwards flow of it and then the flash to present at the end. Such deep emotions in here. Love the story!

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Adam Wright
18:38 Jun 04, 2020

Amazing story! I love the time backwards flow of it and then the flash to present at the end. Such deep emotions in here. Love the story!

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Adam Wright
18:38 Jun 04, 2020

Amazing story! I love the time backwards flow of it and then the flash to present at the end. Such deep emotions in here. Love the story!

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