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Grade
7

I woke up quickly once they started yelling, but rather quickly got accustomed to the sounds and resumed my restful state. I kept my eyes closed and mouth shut and only listened to the vague shouts and yells coming from the other room. I pulled my favorite lavender blanket farther up onto me, nearly covering my entire head. It trapped my body heat inside, warming me up while the blanket kept out most light except for a bit of warm, purple light seeping in, creating an almost dream-like pocket away from reality. A door slammed shut downstairs and the yelling stopped, allowing me to fully relax and think. It didn’t take long for me to get lost in my thoughts, planning what I could do the next morning once I woke up.
And then, my tranquility was interrupted by the thoughts. The thoughts I knew all too well. The ‘bad’ thoughts, as my therapist referred to them as. Thoughts of depression and pain and sadness. I shut my eyes tighter, trying to force them away, but it didn’t work. My thoughts were only getting clearer, and sharper, and stronger. I heard someone’s feet stomping angrily up the steps to the second floor, and then rumble up to outside of my door. Whoever it was slammed the door open with much more force than was necessary. I pressed myself back against the bed, starting to inch towards the wall. The thoughts were getting louder, and the person was getting closer. They stepped to the side of my bed, their feet making a loud thud against the floor. They tore the blanket off of me, throwing it across the room.
I saw who it was. It was one of my moms. Her face was twisted into an expression of anger, pain, and sadness. She looked as if my thoughts took a physical form. I hated to see her like this, tears dripping down her face, her voice hoarse from arguing with her wife, the foul stench of alcohol coming off of her.
“M-mom?” I whimpered, my eyes widened from fright. When she got like this, she got angry. And violent. It was never good.
“Shut up,” she spat at me, grabbing my arm. I kicked at her, trying to push her away, but it just ended up making her more angry. “Don’t try to kick me you little brat!” she shrieked, pulling me off my bed. I fell to the ground and screamed, frantically trying to grab onto the wooden frame of my bed. She dragged me to the middle of the room kicking and screaming, but her grip was as tight as iron. She stopped dragging me and pulled me up to a crouching position, and looked straight into my eyes. I’m sure that my face must have been drained of color, quivering, with tears rolling down my cheeks, but her face couldn’t have been much better. It was stained with new and old tears, her makeup running down her face, which was flushed bright red from anger and drunkenness. She looked into my eyes before bringing her hand up. I winced against this motion, but I was helpless.

I woke up the next morning with a bruise covering part of my face and small scratches covering my neck and arms. My whole body was sore, but my mind was numb to the pain. I was used to it, it was nothing new. The feelings of betrayal and long muses I had while looking at the injuries had stopped long ago. The only reason I reacted at all when she did these kinds of things was because of the hollow feeling of fright which humans had evolved to have whenever they were injured or in danger. Funny how the very thing that kept humans alive until now just served as an annoyance, a weakness nowadays.
My one mom who got aggressive was usually loving, kindhearted, creative, and loyal, but she lost all self control when she was pushed over the edge or drank. It scared me, that maybe the things she did in her fits of anger might just be her doing what she always wants to do, like she just got tired or holding herself back, and restraining her actions. I quickly shook that thought away though. Those thoughts are wrong. They’re some of the bad thoughts. But still, in the back of my head, the thought remained.
I slowly got up from my position on the floor, my body aching from being in an uncomfortable position for so long. I sighed and rubbed the back of my neck, taking a few paces around my room to stretch my body. I sat down on my bed, maybe I could get a bit of comfortable sleep before the day started. I looked out my window, it was early dawn; maybe around 4:00 AM. I looked over to my door, it was shut, my mom had probably left me in my room after the incident.
I laid down on my side on my bed, pulling my sheets over myself. I blankly looked around my room before closing my eyes, slowly drifting off to sleep before thoughts could invade my peacefulness.

I woke up a few hours later to my mom opening my door. It was my other mom this time. She looked timid, hiding behind my bedroom door and peeking in. I eyed her as if inviting her to come in. She understood the look and opened the door quietly, stepping inside. She looked rugged, her hair was messy, her glasses were lopsided, even her halfhearted smile was slightly crooked. She tiptoed to my bed, squatting down next to me. “Mom is downstairs. She’s, uh… sleeping,” she whispered. The way she emphasized the word ‘sleeping’ made it obvious that she was passed out. I smiled nonetheless, comforted by her presence. I had always felt especially connected to her. Even now, with her light auburn hair slightly messy and shoes dirty and glasses crooked, she looked beautiful.
She was my hero. I felt like whenever she was there, standing next to me, the bad thoughts couldn’t reach me. She was comforting, and caring. She would never hurt me like my other mom does. I used to be as attached to my other mom as I was to her. How did love become so violent? “I’m not supposed to be here. Me and your mother had a little bit of a fight last night,” she said, looking down. She knew that I knew about the fight. Hell, the entire neighborhood probably knew about it, they were yelling so loud. It burned, knowing that I had gotten so used to them fighting that I could just ignore the yelling and numb myself to the pain. “I snuck in here to check on you, I didn’t want to leave my little marshmallow alone without any explanation,” She continued, squeezing my cheek as I huffed when she called me her little marshmallow.
“Mom, I’m nearly 15. A 15 year old boy shouldn’t be called a ‘little marshmallow’. And you didn’t have to come check on me, you know that I’d be fine,” I responded. I felt bad when she looked slightly crestfallen from my retort. I think that she didn’t want me to grow apart from her, and that little nickname she had coined for me back when I was six years old was one of her ways of reminding herself of when I was young.
I leaned in and hugged her, patting her on the back before pulling away awkwardly. She smiled, sadness shadowing her face. “Well, I’m gonna head to work, I thought I’d just pop in and say hi to you. I left some leftovers from last night in the microwave for your breakfast, I’ll be back tomorrow when mommy isn’t as sleepy,” She told me, standing up from her squatting position to stretch.
I smiled up at her sleepily, saying “Alright mom. I’ll see you then, call if you need anything,” before laying my head down on my pillow. She patted my side and sauntered over to my door in no particular hurry, taking one last deep breath of the air in my room before opening the door slowly and stepping out into the hall. She closed the door behind her, and I heard her shoes clicking down the halls and downstairs.

I tried to get some rest, but I couldn’t fall asleep. Maybe it was me worrying about my moms, maybe my body had just already woken up and didn’t want to go back to sleep. I got up sleepily, rubbing my eyes, and ambled into the hallway.
I walked downstairs and looked around. Mom was passed out on the couch, a beer bottle laying sideways on the coffee table next to her. There was a puddle of beer in the kitchen on the floor, with some broken glass next to it. I frowned and got some rubber gloves to start cleaning up. I approached mom’s unconscious body and took the beer bottle and the broken glass, then put them into the recycling. My unconscious mother, Jordan, was always big on recycling and composting, always having us recycle paper plates and cups and composting our table scraps from dinner. I went over to the microwave and took out the leftovers, some mashed potatoes, steak, and broccoli. I heated it up a bit more before taking it back to my room with a fork and setting it on my bed.
I grabbed my laptop and flopped onto my bed, lying down with my laptop on my stomach and one hand scooping mashed potatoes into my mouth. I was browsing through Instagram when I heard a rushed knock at the front door. I ignored it at first, it was probably a solicitor or something. When they continued knocking, I exasperatingly moved my plate and laptop to the side of my bed, getting up and stretching. It had only been like ten minutes since mom had left, she couldn’t be back already.
I walked downstairs, quickening my pace when someone started yelling outside, continuing to knock louder. It sounded like a woman, a young one. I opened the door, seeing a woman in her mid-thirties outside with a terrified expression on her face. “Are you okay, miss?-” I asked, cocking my head.
“A-are you the son of Mrs. and Mrs. Colebrook?” She hurriedly stuttered, looking straight into my eyes, a look of worry and shock on her face.
“Yeah, yeah I am. Is everything alright?” I asked. What’s wrong with this lady? I thought, looking into her eyes. It didn’t look like there were any disturbances outside, no car accidents or bodies or anything.
“Y-your mom… Stacy, right? Sh-she was just h-hit by a car… She isn’t m-moving… Someone called 911 but it looks like it’s too late,” she said in practically a whisper, her chin quivering.
I shook my head “What? No. This can’t be. Where is she? Where did the accident happen? Who hit her? Take me to her,” I demanded. This was all coming at me so fast. She couldn’t be dead. The strongest woman in my life, my hero… She couldn’t be dead. I kept repeating that to myself. She can’t be dead. She can’t be dead. She can’t be dead, I repeated in my head.
“Of course. Follow me,” she said, turning away and walking away quickly.
I stepped out into the cold winter air, the snow biting at my skin. I was wearing a tank top, so my arms got cold fast, but I braved the weather and quickly followed her. We rounded the corner, and I saw a terrible scene. “The guy who hit her just drove away. She was crossing the street, and I guess the driver couldn’t see her, or wasn’t paying enough attention or something. He was in a truck, and it was a direct collision…” she said. I saw, lying in the middle of the street, the body of my mother. Her arm was bent weirdly, she was sprawled out on the ground, and she wasn’t moving. The snowfall had started covering her in snow, the white specks making her look almost angelic. There were a few emergency vehicles, an ambulance, and two police cars. Some paramedics were knelt down beside her still body, checking for vitals.
I saw light colored spots starting to cloud the edges of my vision, and my stomach felt like it had been turned inside out. My head hurt like hell, and tears were starting to slide down my cheeks from my eyes. I staggered over to her, completely disregarding the paramedics telling me to stay away. My mind was a blur, thoughts whizzing around my head like bees. I could barely think, yet there was one grounding thought, one thought that seemed clearer in my mind than the rest; What if it’s my fault? If I had only kept her at home a while longer, she wouldn’t be hit. Or maybe if I let her call me little marshmallow, maybe she wouldn’t be dead.
I clambered over to her body and held her in my arms, one arm wrapped around her back and one hand on her head. Tears were rolling down my cheeks and dripping down onto her body, staining her shirt and melting snow where the tears fell. I shut my eyes, trying to hold back the tears, but there were only more when I opened my eyes. I held her against my body, as if it would bring her back to life. Everything seemed to be in slow motion, the paramedics running to me to try to pull me away, the powdered sugar snow falling onto her, the lights on the ambulance blinking violently. The paramedics grabbed onto my arms expecting a struggle, but I had already given up hope. She was gone. My hero was dead. I let them drag me back, watching someone pull her into the car on a stretcher. I was done fighting. I was done struggling. My mom was gone. I was gone.I woke up quickly once they started yelling, but rather quickly got accustomed to the sounds and resumed my restful state. I kept my eyes closed and mouth shut and only listened to the vague shouts and yells coming from the other room. I pulled my favorite lavender blanket farther up onto me, nearly covering my entire head. It trapped my body heat inside, warming me up while the blanket kept out most light except for a bit of warm, purple light seeping in, creating an almost dream-like pocket away from reality. A door slammed shut downstairs and the yelling stopped, allowing me to fully relax and think. It didn’t take long for me to get lost in my thoughts, planning what I could do the next morning once I woke up.
And then, my tranquility was interrupted by the thoughts. The thoughts I knew all too well. The ‘bad’ thoughts, as my therapist referred to them as. Thoughts of depression and pain and sadness. I shut my eyes tighter, trying to force them away, but it didn’t work. My thoughts were only getting clearer, and sharper, and stronger. I heard someone’s feet stomping angrily up the steps to the second floor, and then rumble up to outside of my door. Whoever it was slammed the door open with much more force than was necessary. I pressed myself back against the bed, starting to inch towards the wall. The thoughts were getting louder, and the person was getting closer. They stepped to the side of my bed, their feet making a loud thud against the floor. They tore the blanket off of me, throwing it across the room.
I saw who it was. It was one of my moms. Her face was twisted into an expression of anger, pain, and sadness. She looked as if my thoughts took a physical form. I hated to see her like this, tears dripping down her face, her voice hoarse from arguing with her wife, the foul stench of alcohol coming off of her.
“M-mom?” I whimpered, my eyes widened from fright. When she got like this, she got angry. And violent. It was never good.
“Shut up,” she spat at me, grabbing my arm. I kicked at her, trying to push her away, but it just ended up making her more angry. “Don’t try to kick me you little brat!” she shrieked, pulling me off my bed. I fell to the ground and screamed, frantically trying to grab onto the wooden frame of my bed. She dragged me to the middle of the room kicking and screaming, but her grip was as tight as iron. She stopped dragging me and pulled me up to a crouching position, and looked straight into my eyes. I’m sure that my face must have been drained of color, quivering, with tears rolling down my cheeks, but her face couldn’t have been much better. It was stained with new and old tears, her makeup running down her face, which was flushed bright red from anger and drunkenness. She looked into my eyes before bringing her hand up. I winced against this motion, but I was helpless.

I woke up the next morning with a bruise covering part of my face and small scratches covering my neck and arms. My whole body was sore, but my mind was numb to the pain. I was used to it, it was nothing new. The feelings of betrayal and long muses I had while looking at the injuries had stopped long ago. The only reason I reacted at all when she did these kinds of things was because of the hollow feeling of fright which humans had evolved to have whenever they were injured or in danger. Funny how the very thing that kept humans alive until now just served as an annoyance, a weakness nowadays.
My one mom who got aggressive was usually loving, kindhearted, creative, and loyal, but she lost all self control when she was pushed over the edge or drank. It scared me, that maybe the things she did in her fits of anger might just be her doing what she always wants to do, like she just got tired or holding herself back, and restraining her actions. I quickly shook that thought away though. Those thoughts are wrong. They’re some of the bad thoughts. But still, in the back of my head, the thought remained.
I slowly got up from my position on the floor, my body aching from being in an uncomfortable position for so long. I sighed and rubbed the back of my neck, taking a few paces around my room to stretch my body. I sat down on my bed, maybe I could get a bit of comfortable sleep before the day started. I looked out my window, it was early dawn; maybe around 4:00 AM. I looked over to my door, it was shut, my mom had probably left me in my room after the incident.
I laid down on my side on my bed, pulling my sheets over myself. I blankly looked around my room before closing my eyes, slowly drifting off to sleep before thoughts could invade my peacefulness.

I woke up a few hours later to my mom opening my door. It was my other mom this time. She looked timid, hiding behind my bedroom door and peeking in. I eyed her as if inviting her to come in. She understood the look and opened the door quietly, stepping inside. She looked rugged, her hair was messy, her glasses were lopsided, even her halfhearted smile was slightly crooked. She tiptoed to my bed, squatting down next to me. “Mom is downstairs. She’s, uh… sleeping,” she whispered. The way she emphasized the word ‘sleeping’ made it obvious that she was passed out. I smiled nonetheless, comforted by her presence. I had always felt especially connected to her. Even now, with her light auburn hair slightly messy and shoes dirty and glasses crooked, she looked beautiful.
She was my hero. I felt like whenever she was there, standing next to me, the bad thoughts couldn’t reach me. She was comforting, and caring. She would never hurt me like my other mom does. I used to be as attached to my other mom as I was to her. How did love become so violent? “I’m not supposed to be here. Me and your mother had a little bit of a fight last night,” she said, looking down. She knew that I knew about the fight. Hell, the entire neighborhood probably knew about it, they were yelling so loud. It burned, knowing that I had gotten so used to them fighting that I could just ignore the yelling and numb myself to the pain. “I snuck in here to check on you, I didn’t want to leave my little marshmallow alone without any explanation,” She continued, squeezing my cheek as I huffed when she called me her little marshmallow.
“Mom, I’m nearly 15. A 15 year old boy shouldn’t be called a ‘little marshmallow’. And you didn’t have to come check on me, you know that I’d be fine,” I responded. I felt bad when she looked slightly crestfallen from my retort. I think that she didn’t want me to grow apart from her, and that little nickname she had coined for me back when I was six years old was one of her ways of reminding herself of when I was young.
I leaned in and hugged her, patting her on the back before pulling away awkwardly. She smiled, sadness shadowing her face. “Well, I’m gonna head to work, I thought I’d just pop in and say hi to you. I left some leftovers from last night in the microwave for your breakfast, I’ll be back tomorrow when mommy isn’t as sleepy,” She told me, standing up from her squatting position to stretch.
I smiled up at her sleepily, saying “Alright mom. I’ll see you then, call if you need anything,” before laying my head down on my pillow. She patted my side and sauntered over to my door in no particular hurry, taking one last deep breath of the air in my room before opening the door slowly and stepping out into the hall. She closed the door behind her, and I heard her shoes clicking down the halls and downstairs.

I tried to get some rest, but I couldn’t fall asleep. Maybe it was me worrying about my moms, maybe my body had just already woken up and didn’t want to go back to sleep. I got up sleepily, rubbing my eyes, and ambled into the hallway.
I walked downstairs and looked around. Mom was passed out on the couch, a beer bottle laying sideways on the coffee table next to her. There was a puddle of beer in the kitchen on the floor, with some broken glass next to it. I frowned and got some rubber gloves to start cleaning up. I approached mom’s unconscious body and took the beer bottle and the broken glass, then put them into the recycling. My unconscious mother, Jordan, was always big on recycling and composting, always having us recycle paper plates and cups and composting our table scraps from dinner. I went over to the microwave and took out the leftovers, some mashed potatoes, steak, and broccoli. I heated it up a bit more before taking it back to my room with a fork and setting it on my bed.
I grabbed my laptop and flopped onto my bed, lying down with my laptop on my stomach and one hand scooping mashed potatoes into my mouth. I was browsing through Instagram when I heard a rushed knock at the front door. I ignored it at first, it was probably a solicitor or something. When they continued knocking, I exasperatingly moved my plate and laptop to the side of my bed, getting up and stretching. It had only been like ten minutes since mom had left, she couldn’t be back already.
I walked downstairs, quickening my pace when someone started yelling outside, continuing to knock louder. It sounded like a woman, a young one. I opened the door, seeing a woman in her mid-thirties outside with a terrified expression on her face. “Are you okay, miss?-” I asked, cocking my head.
“A-are you the son of Mrs. and Mrs. Colebrook?” She hurriedly stuttered, looking straight into my eyes, a look of worry and shock on her face.
“Yeah, yeah I am. Is everything alright?” I asked. What’s wrong with this lady? I thought, looking into her eyes. It didn’t look like there were any disturbances outside, no car accidents or bodies or anything.
“Y-your mom… Stacy, right? Sh-she was just h-hit by a car… She isn’t m-moving… Someone called 911 but it looks like it’s too late,” she said in practically a whisper, her chin quivering.
I shook my head “What? No. This can’t be. Where is she? Where did the accident happen? Who hit her? Take me to her,” I demanded. This was all coming at me so fast. She couldn’t be dead. The strongest woman in my life, my hero… She couldn’t be dead. I kept repeating that to myself. She can’t be dead. She can’t be dead. She can’t be dead, I repeated in my head.
“Of course. Follow me,” she said, turning away and walking away quickly.
I stepped out into the cold winter air, the snow biting at my skin. I was wearing a tank top, so my arms got cold fast, but I braved the weather and quickly followed her. We rounded the corner, and I saw a terrible scene. “The guy who hit her just drove away. She was crossing the street, and I guess the driver couldn’t see her, or wasn’t paying enough attention or something. He was in a truck, and it was a direct collision…” she said. I saw, lying in the middle of the street, the body of my mother. Her arm was bent weirdly, she was sprawled out on the ground, and she wasn’t moving. The snowfall had started covering her in snow, the white specks making her look almost angelic. There were a few emergency vehicles, an ambulance, and two police cars. Some paramedics were knelt down beside her still body, checking for vitals.
I saw light colored spots starting to cloud the edges of my vision, and my stomach felt like it had been turned inside out. My head hurt like hell, and tears were starting to slide down my cheeks from my eyes. I staggered over to her, completely disregarding the paramedics telling me to stay away. My mind was a blur, thoughts whizzing around my head like bees. I could barely think, yet there was one grounding thought, one thought that seemed clearer in my mind than the rest; What if it’s my fault? If I had only kept her at home a while longer, she wouldn’t be hit. Or maybe if I let her call me little marshmallow, maybe she wouldn’t be dead.
I clambered over to her body and held her in my arms, one arm wrapped around her back and one hand on her head. Tears were rolling down my cheeks and dripping down onto her body, staining her shirt and melting snow where the tears fell. I shut my eyes, trying to hold back the tears, but there were only more when I opened my eyes. I held her against my body, as if it would bring her back to life. Everything seemed to be in slow motion, the paramedics running to me to try to pull me away, the powdered sugar snow falling onto her, the lights on the ambulance blinking violently. The paramedics grabbed onto my arms expecting a struggle, but I had already given up hope. She was gone. My hero was dead. I let them drag me back, watching someone pull her into the car on a stretcher. I was done fighting. I was done struggling. My mom was gone. I was gone.

State
MI
Zip Code
48103