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EXIT

Sonia Zaccheo 2.12.10 English 9, Mrs. M, P1

“Are you sure you don’t want some?” “Aw common don’t be a baby just try it!” “Go on take it, it’ll be fun I promise…” Their eager faces, waiting expectantly for me to accept the tiny, colorful square of paper – that was my last glimpse of reality. I guess I gave into their persuasion in the end, though, after all, that’s when my adventures started. Mom constantly reminded me of the dangers - how it plays with your head, how it can turn into a living nightmare, the life tragedies, blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I didn’t see what the big deal was, everyone does it nowadays and besides, I’m still young and healthy what’s the worst that could happen. Either way, I wasn’t feeling a buzz or anything yet, so I guess it hadn’t kicked in. I was sitting there, waiting, as I looked around my bland room, which had recently been invaded by an army of beer bottles and suffocating smoke from the cigarettes that Stacy and Carly always smoked. We hadn’t been friends for very long and I was eager to impress them, to become one of them. The thought that it could be a prank never crossed my mind, and I never gave thought to where the two had run off to – they certainly were not still here. I started to get peeved that the stupid thing wasn’t working yet and this was all just a waste of time. Slowly, beginning to clean up my room, I rinsed out the bottles and the mountains of muck from the multiple ashtrays. My new “friends” were supposed to be over for a study session and everything had to seem normal before Mom got home from work in the city. Yes, she believed that I was “studying” on a Friday afternoon, one week until spring break. On the other hand, I could never tell her anything that actually mattered and sneaking out had become second nature. Feeling the need to control everything in my life, she even told me what to wear and how to do my hair, as if I was still seven years old. Crop tops are still shirts and my skirt totally covered my butt! She was just stuck in the Renaissance, with her velvet skirts that never even grazed above her ankle. My thoughts had moved completely away from the hit as I walked to my closet door to change into “appropriate attire for young ladies.” And that’s where it all started. It came as a slow realization: “Why is my closet in thermal? Maybe it’s…


Sonia Zaccheo English 9, Mrs. Mirecka, P1 Original Short Story First Draft 16.11.10 Wait - Is the acid kicking in? Cool dude!” The world began to spin, faster and faster, my head throbbed, I gasped for air, and as I held onto the closet door, it swung open, hurling me inside and into a dream. Disoriented and dizzy, I squint and put my hands out in front of me, trying to catch my balance. The throbbing subsides and the steady crash of waves lulls me into a calm state. Floating down to the ground with a dazed sigh, I realize the sand is a bright orange powder, like the Willy Wonka Fun Dip in the pantry back home. The sea is a canvas of all shades of blue, filled with diamonds bouncing off light from the sun. Fish were flying, their mouths gaping open, preparing to take their last breath. I want to stay forever, in this perfect world, without my mother or the girls at school or miniskirts and mom skirts. It was my place, the reassuring, neon-red, exit sign that guided me away from danger and complications and worries. That fantasy world, that dream, it’s all I think about as I slump over the foot of my bed, blocking out the sound of my own three children screaming and fighting and carrying on downstairs. The insecure girl, trying to find herself in all the wrong places, died long ago and was replaced with me, a middle-aged woman with no career, no looks, and no lawyer for my divorce. Danger is always close now, without insurance, or a paycheck, and living in this sketchy neighborhood after being evicted from the last place. Now it was not just about providing for myself, but also my children – the ones launching plates and furniture at each other. Complication and worries had taken control, my latest worry being what am I going to tell my kids when we had to go without dinner for the third night in a row. They needed me, but first they needed me all better and all I needed was that escape, that one sticker acting as a free pass out of this living hell. Padding across the stained, moldy bedroom floor, and reaching into the box at the back of the closet, I pulled out the tiny sticker from the several baggies and placed it on my tongue. Absorbed by the blackness of the closet, the muffled screams faded completely, and I lay on the hard, cold floor waiting to be swept away.


EXIT  

by Sonia Zaccheo

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