A Twisted Beam of Light
My heart was pounding in my chest and my head was literally swimming as I tried to mentally process what was happening.
“No!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “I won’t go!” I said defiantly, my voice revealing more strength of determination than I was feeling. I desperately looked around the room for something that could explain the situation. I was afraid and confused as I stood in my bedroom and glanced from my father to my mother.
“You are going.” My father said quietly. He was always a quiet but a fierce man. When he got that way you knew that it was better to not defy him. But by now I had lost all sense of reason.
“Why are you doing this me?” I screamed at him. “You’re ruining my life!” I shouted but stopped short as he turned his steel gray eyes on me. I took a step back as if he had actually hit me and fell down on my bed. The tears were beginning to spill from my eyes and I buried my face in my hands as I tried to figure out what I had done to deserve this abrupt change of affairs so quickly.
“It’s for your own good.” My mother said quietly as she emerged from my closet, a bundle of clothes in her hands. “You’ll be happy there.” She chirped as she started packing a suitcase for me.
I looked down at the ratty old thing and couldn’t decide what was worse, being seen with the old tattered suitcase that looked like a relic from a hundred years ago or being sent away without any possible explanation.
“I won’t go!” I repeated with a sense of rebellion stirring up in me.
“You will go.” My father said, his voice taking in that no-nonsense manner. “And you will go tonight.” He looked as if he had just grown a foot taller and I almost cowered in his presence as he towered over me. “Now, you have a choice. I’m going to go downstairs.” He said as he picked up the suitcase my mom had just finished packing. “You have ten minutes to get dressed or you’ll be traveling to your new school wearing what you have on right now.” He turned and left the room without another word.
I looked down at my attire. I was wearing a pink teddy nightgown and a pair of fuzzy slippers. I knew he meant business and I resigned myself to what was happening to me. I turned pleading eyes to my mother who diverted her eyes away, keeping her head down so that I couldn’t see the tears that fell from her eyes. She was trying to appear happy but she was hurting inside just like me.
“You’ll like your new school, darling.” She said trying to sound cheerful.
“No I won’t.” I cried. “And why do I have to go now? What did I do?” I pleaded.
“You didn’t do anything dear.” She responded. “It’s just the right time for you to go.” She walked up and put a gingerly hand on my shoulder and gave me a soft pat, barely noticeable. “Now hurry and get dressed and meet us downstairs. There’s not much time.”
She left the room, closing the door quietly behind her. I was suddenly found myself all alone, left to figure out what had just happened to me. It was only two days ago that I celebrated my thirteenth birthday with a party with all of my friends. I was happy and content; there was nothing that would have even hinted that I would be sent away so suddenly. Now I was being told that I was going to be sent away to boarding school – to a place that I had never heard of before in my life. I wracked my brain trying to figure out what I had done wrong. They had assured me that I had done nothing to deserve this type of punishment. In fact, they said it wasn’t a punishment – but it sure felt like one to me.
Miserably, I dressed myself, knowing that my father’s words were law. If he said we were leaving in ten minutes he meant it. I could barely find my way into my clothes through the tears in my eyes.
Making my way downstairs both my parents were waiting in the living room. The house was strangely quiet, and everything seemed a little off, a little strange. I recognized everything around me but I felt as though it was my first time there.
“Ready?” Father asked.
“I have one favor.” I said, realizing it was my last chance to speak up for myself.
“Yes.” His voice sounded a little softer.
“I need to say goodbye to my friends.”
He glanced over at the clock on the mantelpiece. “It’s 1:30 in the morning.” He said. “Don’t you think it would be rude to call them at such an ungodly hour.”
“But I have to tell them where I’m going!” I lamented.
“No. And now that you mention it, I’ll need your cell phone please.” He said, holding his hand out.
“My cell phone!”
“Yes. Where you’re going, you won’t need one.”
“But dad!” I whined.
“Now!” His voice had turned sharp again. He let out a breath of exasperation. “Good God child!” He exclaimed. “You’re going away to school, you’re not dying!” He said with no little amount of irritation.
Sufficiently silenced, he confiscated my cell phone, my tablet, and my iPod with all my music. I knew better than to try to resist and regretfully allowed him to lead me through the kitchen to the garage and the waiting car. I sat in the back seat feeling more alone and afraid than I had ever thought possible. Dad slid into the driver’s seat and mother silently sat in the front passenger side – you could tell she was struggling not to look at me.
Dad twisted his body to face me. “I’m sorry.” He said and reached his hand out and touched my forehead. I guess I felt totally exhausted because it seemed like the whole car and garage started to spin and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. I shut my eyes to rest them and couldn’t open them again. I could feel the motion of the car but my body was just so exhausted that I couldn’t help but to surrender myself to sleep. My last thought before I surrendered to the sleepiness in my eyes was that I would run away from the school the first chance I got.
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