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Creative Nonfiction Sad Coming of Age

This story contains themes or mentions of suicide or self harm.

I opened the wood door and closed it again, taking off my shoes and making my way to the stairs. “I’m home”, I pointlessly yelled to the empty house as I proceeded to make my way up the staircase and to my room. I entered the rectangular box and sat at my desk and opened my backpack. I took out my school work and mulled over it for a bit before deciding that this was useless and I had zero motivation to complete any of the assignments, so I, once again, closed my textbooks and computer that I would leave until it was far too late for any reasonable person to be up. I opened my phone to look for something mildly entertaining to do and came across a memory from years ago. I remembered that time of my life, I was in 5th grade. I hated myself then and I still do but now I’m working on it. I didn’t have any real friends and I smile at the fact that I have an amazing best friend that loves me now. I was being bullied back then and had been for years, I still am, but it no longer makes me want to hide and cry as much. I think about about it for a moment before I grabbed a blank page and a pen. 

“Dear me, 

Hi… It’s me, you, and whoever we were in between. I’m who you’ll become. You know me, at least you will, but I know you and I know me and sappy, is not our thing. I’m not gonna try and avoid sitting here and write that “Life gets better” “Everything gets uphill from there” and stuff like that, you get the point. I’m not going to sit here and write that because, well… it’s probably a lie, a partial truth, those words are covered in sugar and I’m not one to sugar coat things. I’m here to say that life doesn’t necessarily get better, it gets different. You won’t magically love yourself. You won’t magically stop letting people treat you like shit. You won’t magically become a happy person who glows with sunshine. You won’t magically stop feeling lonely, like no one understands you and your extremely complicated mess of a mind. You won’t magically stop thinking and feeling about yourself the way you do. Because, sorry to crush your childhood, magic isn’t real. You can’t teleport, fly or any of that other magical tv show bullshit. Fairytales aren’t real. Prince Charming isn’t going to fight a dragon and kiss you until you wake up. Dreams aren’t real. You aren’t going to be famous and loved and adored for whatever dumb reason. I’m not here to sugarcoat life, I’m here to dump an icy bucket over your head and hope you wake up on your own. I’m here to say you need to keep trying to fix and love yourself the way you love and help others. You need to stop letting people take advantage of you and the good in your heart, mind, and soul. You need to stop letting people’s words and actions affect you. I know this is a lot to ask and I know that you are breaking, slowly, piece by piece. But you need to pick those pieces up and take a shit ton of super glue to hold yourself together. The cracks that are left over won’t disappear, nor will the small scars on your arms and thighs, but don’t hide them. Wear those battle scars with pride, because you will win. You are strong, courageous, beautiful, kind and so, so much more and never let anyone tell you otherwise, because that will break you more until you are left with nothing but broken pieces on the ground of who you used to be and not even super glue will be able to piece you back together. And on that happy note… okay let’s be real here, that was a really depressing and totally cheesy note to end on. But, since we have already ventured into the cheeseworld, there’s no point in leaving now. So do me a favour and think of a rainbow. It’s colorful, and beautiful, and it can make people smile. Rainbows are extraordinary, but now think about how they come to be, the steps they had to take to become extraordinary. They only appear after rain, after something that many think of as dreary and sad, something that can ruin a perfectly good day. My point is that good can always come after bad. Light can appear in the darkness. You are like a rainbow. You are colorful with so many different sides to you, and you are beautiful inside and out, and you bring smiles to people’s faces, and eventually there’ll be one on your face too. Eventually, there will be happiness after the sadness. Eventually, you’ll be fine, like actually fine, and before you give me some bullshit like “How do you know?”. I know, because I know you because I am you and you will eventually be me. I’m not too far away and I’ll always be here thinking back to you and the mistakes we made and will make, but that’s life, that’s the way things are. 

Sincerely, 

You From The Future”

I smile at the page and wipe away the tears forming in my green eyes. I wish I could send this but that’s impossible. I read and re-read it before folding it and tucking it away until sending letters back in time is possible, so probably never but who cares. I know I don’t because it felt good to write. I hear the front door open and wipe at my face again. I grab my schoolwork as my dad walks into my room. “Are you doing homework?” He asks. “Yep,” I reply with a small smile that I know he can’t tell is fake because it has been for a while. “I’ll leave you to it then,” he responds, closing the door. My smile drops and I reach for my phone and once again, I come across the memory, but it no longer makes me sad. I smile, a genuine one this time and delete the photo. I don’t need it. I remember that life I had, and in another universe, maybe I’m still there, but in this universe, I’m not. I’m in another country now and I’m 4235 km away from there and part of me is happy, but another part craves that life back. Those “friends”, that school, that childhood home, that life is a part of me, the new me, and it always will be, but for now I’m here and I’m happy to be here. 

May 13, 2022 20:48

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2 comments

Brandi Yetzer
00:01 May 27, 2022

Forst, I love the letter -- it feels so real and relatable. Second, I felt like I could see the main character entering the home, pondering that moment in time, and even 'fake smiling' at the end. I enjoyed that -- it's like a little movie in my head! Finally, if I had to give any criticism, I would just recommend more 'real-time' content of the character writing the letter to bring it more to life, ya know? I.e., did certain parts make them feel a certain way? Maybe the part about how cheesy it was made them chuckle to themselves? Othe...

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Anissa Waterman
11:46 May 21, 2022

I enjoyed your story. I could feel all the emotion you placed in it.

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