Chapter 9: A Clutch of Grief

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“… In every step I took forward, the thought of Mom was enough to draw me right back. When I finally made it home after work by 10 pm I’d shower, crawl into bed and drown myself in tears on the days that had been hardest or simply just because I needed to.

No one knew my heartache underneath the pleasant smile and positive cooperation I chose to show them.  I should be grateful, I thought. I should be thanking them for even taking me in. Things could be a lot worse, Monica. Yet, I simply couldn’t be grateful, thankful or appreciative in any way for having been erupted from a life I knew for so long. Even if it was awful, this was not how I intended to leave it. 

I couldn’t tell Dad I didn’t want the job; it was clear there were no other financial options. Quitting wouldn’t have helped anyway for it was grief holding me in its clutches. 


At the new school, I was an alien who just wanted to get back to their home planet. I was surrounded with strangers I had no interest in speaking to. Since it was senior year and everyone was preparing for graduation and picking colleges, what’s the point.

I avoided everyone’s eyes and their attempts to talk to me. I sunk my head into my arms and cried to myself in class at the mere thought of being there and how life had gotten me there in the first place. I wanted it all to be over and was still desperately waiting for Mom beachyto come back to me; to take me back home, so we could pick up life where we had left it.

I missed her.

I missed Cay. Missed my boyfriend, my best friend, my teachers, my privacy, my neighborhood. Even though everyone was doing everything in their power to help me through, I couldn’t stand the course I was on. I wanted to drive off the road and right into the forest, or make the first U-turn I could. 

Life had taken me into a game of Tetris and reordered everything I saw familiar. I saw no happiness in the way it decided to stack back up.”   


2 thoughts on “Chapter 9: A Clutch of Grief

  1. During this chapter I was beginning senior year at my new school. I only stayed there for the first semester and returned to Oak Forest for the end of the second half. I was incredibly happy to go back and graduate with my class.


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