Leave or meet at 18

Submitted into Contest #57 in response to: Write a story about someone breaking a long family tradition.... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction Drama Holiday

I could see her. Her posture, all tall from me and addition to it she was skinny, and slim. Her hair were thicker and longer from yesterday and her foot was too near to the deep lake I have been seeing since my birth.

I could clearly see her.

She was laughing, her straight big teeth were shown and she was insecure. She let the air brush her bare arms while she waved to me. Her silk red hair band shone on the behalf of sun which she tied on her head, parting her hair both ways.

I could see her standing.

I took step forward and realize how small I looked in front of her. Even though we were at a good distance but the positivity of her body diluted my sadness. I sniffed and took another step and stepped forward continously until I was in her arms.

"Emma," she whispered my name and it relieved me. It satisfied me that my elder sister was here and I was in her arms. She loves me more than anything. "Its gonna be alright."

The lake was calm as always and sun was reflected on the whole lake, blinding my eyes. The descendance of the intensity of the gleaming merigold furnace left me in a thought that if the uncountable amount of of teal droplets ever got a sunburn. 

We both stood there for over a minute and I started to worry because she was shaking lightly. I stepped backwards and saw that she was weeping but before I could ask what was the case she wiped her face and ran inside the house. 

I didn't want to go to our house because mom was in the kitchen. Mom is always in the kitchen. She never share her time with us. There is always a smile plastered on ber face and after making so many desserts she turned sweet, way too sweet. 

And on the other side of the coin there is my dad. My old dad. He grew old before his age.

My dad was coughing harshly in his bed and mom was making sweet, frosted, sprinkled cupcakes. I watched dad as he called out to mom but mom was busy in something important than him.

She was in the kitchen.

I saw tears in my dad's eyes as he called called and called for my mom but she never listened and that's why I cried all the way to the lake and found my sister.

Dad was never that vulnerable but he was grave at any cost. She never scolded us and loved us affectionately. But then one day Jacob disappeared.

It was the day of his birthday and mom was in the kitchen baking his birthday cake. I never thought his birthday was going to wholly different from the plan. 

I was little and my sister was 12 when he went away but I still remember him taking both of us to the backyard. He hugged both of us and cried silently. I never knew the reason he cried for. But we both helped him cry by hugging him back.

Now today things are being repeated at some point. The smell of cake and the tears of my elders are fresh. From sitting on the sandy area before the lake, my mom is seen in the kitchen by the cooking utensils. Her hands were the colour of a rainbow. 

My vision darkened as she licked her fingertips.


One year later.

According to my calculations, it has been 5 years, two months and five days since Jacob left. I was running to my room when I found her sitting on his bed and she scrutinized his photo with a new interest.

She never noticed my presence and gripped the frame more tightly until the frame was about to break and her knuckles became white. 

I never had the courage to enter in his room. It was locked the way it was as his all clothes are still in his cupboard, maybe. Or maybe he took them. No one knows. 

I didn't want to disturb her and went to my room and sat on my bed. My bed is located this way that if I face forward I can only see a bare cream wall and that's what I have been doing since two years.

I closed my eyes to listen to the voice of the water outside and it became clear that I was lonely. All the memories from my childhood hit me in my brain and I opened my eyes, wide awake now.

"Don't, Sara!" My mother's voice revertebrated in my ears as she shouted at her.

"I lost them all. Those years, I cried everytime I saw Emma, I cried everytime I saw dad! But what have happened to you, your blood has run cold? You are disgusting mom, you are extremely disgusting!" My sister tried her best to shout because she have never had the practice of shouting so loudly. She is as polite as mother but I think I heard my name in the conversation. And I cover my ears, so roughly that they warmed and reddened.

"Listen, Sara. It's not the way you think it is. Emma will forget everything. it will be like a good dream to her." Mom said it like everything is easy to forget.

"I don't want her to forget Noah. I don't want her to forget Josh. I don't want her to forget Jacob. I don't want her to forget ME. We are her siblings and it's our right to let her know about us."

Each new name opened a random, or a precious door for me in my brain and I am scared because I know all of them. I knew all of them before yesterday and every other day that was passed. 

A memory brushed it's outline near to my brain and i was lost in thoughts.


An empty bottle is lifted by strong hands and it was placed in the middle of the rectangular small coffee table. Five of us sat at a distance of one step.

"Ok so this is the time for truth and dare. Never dare to tell a lie and in truth the game has already begun." Noah said while making a random tune by tapping a spoon on the bottle and immediately span it.

As the bottle was rotating on its place I looked at the environment we were sitting in and realised that it seems like a dream to see dad cuddling mom's cheeks and all our relatives, who are older than anyone I know, are surrounding us. There is NO young personality except of us in the evening. 

The bottle finally stopped at some point and Josh moped a sweat.

"So Josh," everybody's eyes were stuck to Josh and Noah as they were the center of the attention now. The smiles widened with each second that passed, holding suspense. 

"Why did you come to my room yesterday when I was in the shower?"

Josh is nowhere calm because he is sweating. What could be the worst possibility, well?

And that's how the whole game went. They all wanted to ask some THINGS from each other which concluded that Noah loved cooking, guess mom's genes were sent into him while Josh loves to serve things for people, he said he likes to do good, plus Jacob is all different from us and he wants to be an accountant, I stared at him for two seconds when he said that and eventually Sara's only wish is to make as many friends as she can before dying.


"Sara, you cannot not vocalize this," and then she whispered yelled something which I couldn't really make out.

My face was steaming and so do my tears which were undropped. The way Sara always takes my side and fight against anybody in the world for the sake of me, delights me.

Soon there voices were nowhere to be listened and I heard Sara closing her room door, loud enough for me to hear.


1 year later.

Mom is happy sad today and my dad is extra energetic. He had been helping mother in the kitchen and his eyes are dried. 

I finished wrapping the present for my sister's 18 birthday, which consist of a gold chain which my grandmother gifted me when I was young. But now mom gave it to me because I am old enough to wear it and keep it.

I legged to her door and knocked twice before I heard her mumble, "Come in." She was holding a pillow to her chest and her back was to me. 

"What do you want?" She said, still her back to me. 

"I brought you a pr-present." I was scared of my own choking voice. It seemed like the words from my mouth didn't want to come out and I forced them to be uttered.

She turned excitedly on my notes and looked me in the eyes. She had been changed because all her blood was circulated to her eyes and she was left bony on her bed like a four year old sobbing for not going to a park.

"Do you want to know something?" She offered me a seat beside her and I jumped to her bed.

She tugged a lock of hair behind my ear and said, "Do you remember Jacob?" And I nodded. Her eyes sparked at my expression and her mood elated. "Noah? Josh?" I knew it was coming and I prepared to nod again. Even if it is just a cloud of memory, talking about them can work as a rain. 

"Do you miss them all?" She rubbed her nose and then I know that she had been crying from hours, days, months and years of their absence. She miss them more than me.

"They all went away." I whispered the words to her, making a bird pattern on my leg and failed. I waited for her to reply until she said, "I am also going, mom told me to go so before cutting the cakes, I will be gone like all of our older brothers. I will not see the face of my parents, never again. But I will miss you."

"Please don't go. I will be alone. I will be alone a-again." I mewled like a baby and my tears shedded at the thought of leaving.

"No love. Don't cry. Take it as a good thing. If I will be here, you will always have a boss on your head. Now I am going so you can live freely."

"I don't want to live freely. Why do you have to go?" I said while spongeing my tears. "If you are going to cry then our last day will be sad, gloomy. Cant you just take it as a family tradition, where people have to go away when they are 18."

I couldn't believe the person who encouraged me the most when I was a kid is kneeling down in front of a stupid family tradition.

In front of me she packed everything and and hugged me but she was happy. Maybe she made her mind and was good to go. She waved me goodbye and ran away from her bedroom window. She was on the street when I last saw her.

I could barely see her.


5 years later.

The familiar smells of bakery filled my nose as I strided downstairs to see both Matt and Cath already awake. They both were adopted when I asked my mother how much lonely I felt in the absence of all the people, at least near to my age. 

And I knew what was to happen today. It was my birthday and mom already told me about leaving 2 years ago. It was not painful nor enrapturing but I had planned everything.

It was obvious that I had to go.

But where? It was not known to any of my parents.

That day i sneaked out and took a train to London. According to this 'tradition' all the money was on parents. I was well aware where I was heading to. 

London is a live city because even though I didn't talk to people but hey were talking to each other and they were so friendly to each other that it made me jealous, but my future awaits. 

The second day in London I decided to examine every cafe I could find. The number of people was alot so it made everything difficult and nerve racking for me. 

I started out at in the morning and it was about 12 am now, including all the meals of the day except for the dinner. I couldn't find the appropriate cafe so I found for any restaurants for food. 

I kicked a pebble all the way to the restaurant because I was tired and angry and emotional and teary and sad and a mixture of many more feelings.

My pebble stopped when two feet, wearing old shoes, stood in front of me and more feet behind. My blood ran cold seeing some strangers in my way at midnight. 

I glanced up to a familiar face and more familiar faces behind. And a face of a girl who was now a woman. Faces of three men. Three little children on the side who called "daddy, daddy!" Way too much. Two more woman which I couldn't place stood with all of them.

The woman, who was once called Sara, hugged me like she did before years ago. And one by one they all did. 

I wanted to find them and that "truth and dare" game made it all easier. Now taking them home, wouldn't be a big problem because we were turning into a giant family.

September 02, 2020 12:29

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


This was good! I enjoyed this story, and I like how it took place over a couple years. You did a really good job with these characters—their personalities, their backgrounds. Great job—keep writing! ~Aerin P. S. I just posted a new story! Would you mind checking it out?


S. Asad
18:03 Sep 02, 2020

Thank you so much for motivation. I love to read a great story, so I will never mind it...




Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Philip Ebuluofor
09:25 Sep 12, 2020

Keep writing, people like I learns from you. Find presentation.


S. Asad
10:51 Sep 12, 2020

Thanks. Your words literally mean alot for me.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
. .
23:05 Sep 08, 2020

I love the detail and depth! It was really creative and I loved the opening paragraph it really hooked me in. Keep up the great work


S. Asad
18:38 Sep 09, 2020

Thank you. Your words made my day


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply