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  • Writer's pictureLL Kessner

Starting Somewhere

Updated: Jul 22, 2019

When I was fourteen years old, I submitted the following paper to my English teacher.

“Honor Thy Father”

“Daddy, why do you have to work six days a week?  I wish you only had to go to work five days, like other people, so I could see you more.”

“Just be glad I only work six days.  Some people have to work seven days a week.”

The loud buzzing of the school bell summoned Alexandra back to reality just in time to catch the French homework assignment.  The memory she had just relived haunted her.  It, along with other experiences, occupied her thoughts night and day.  For as long as she could remember, she had possessed a deep hatred for her father, and that memory seemed to express why.  To her mother and most of her family, Alexandra ‘exaggerated’ and ‘blew everything out of proportion’, but Alexandra alone knew what she felt.  It was not like there was no evidence of what her father did.  It was widely known that Alexandra’s father was mean to her at times.  She’d been called to the counselor during junior high because she had a black eye and a teacher had overheard her telling her friend how her father had given it to her.  Many times, Alexandra had come to school crying from a fight with her father because he insisted on her paying him for rides to school.  And now Alexandra’s family was seeing a social worker, but that didn’t change things.  Alexandra loathed her father, and as far as she could tell, the feeling was mutual.  She knew why she hated her father, but Alexandra just couldn’t comprehend why he had always hated her.

The rest of the day was uneventful.  At three o’clock Alexandra left school in the exodus of students fleeing from the bondage of homework and tests for two days of freedom.  Alexandra walked along the sidewalk with her friend, Rachel, as they made plans to go to the football frame that night.

Around six p.m., Rachel, Alexandra and three of their other friends went to see their school crush another football team.  Afterward they hiked over to a fast food restaurant to hold their own victory party.  Past the backed-up line of honking cars attempting to all get out of the parking lot at once, the five friends joyfully walked, laughing, waving to the cars, and singing the chorus to a favorite song.  They scrounged up the money to buy a few tacos and talked about school, their friends and their enemies.  Everyone was having a great time, but it was getting a little late.

“You guys, I should be getting home,” Rachel said somewhat pleadingly.

“It’s only ten-thirty,” one of her friends replied.  “Why don’t we go for a walk?”

Always the first to advocate staying out late, Alexandra said, “Yea, I don’t care what theme I get home.”  That was definitely true, in fact Alexandra didn’t care if she went home at all.  But home she went, by was of a friend’s mom around eleven thirty.

Alexandra’s father unlocked the front door for her when she arrived back at her house, and of course, the first words out of his mouth were,”Shoes off,” in his dictatorial way.  Alexandra drifted off to sleep that night, thinking of her family; and just before Esther entered dreamland, she wondered in her half-conscious state why her father seemed to care more about the cleanliness of the carpet than if she was alright after walking all over creation past curfew.  Alexandra never expected things to be like a sitcom or a storybook in her family, but not even she could have predicted what would happen in her house the next day.

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