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September 6, 2012
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eight

    I told my brother I was going to be a fairy when I grew up. Or a bird, or sprite – something with wings so I could touch the clouds. I learned that fairies weren't real when I was six, after I tried to jump off a parking structure to see if I could fly. That day I also broke my leg in three places and saw an angel's face in the clouds. (And don't tell anybody, but sometimes I spend all day looking for him.)




seven

    My neighbors back in Denver had a son who was a schizophrenic. After he went off his meds for the third time, he painted the windows red and told his wife she had to abort their baby because it wasn't human. A year later, I heard that he was arrested after pointing a hunting rifle on his family. It was loaded, but he didn't pull the trigger because his mother said she trusted him. I guess love is kind of like that, too.




six

    Seattle didn't come until I was fifteen, in October. My family and I took a boat ride on Friday. We listened to the captain in the speakers telling us how he'd lost his daughter in an ocean storm. He said, "Sometimes when it rains, I'll add a little of my own water." After we docked, my father held my hand for the rest of that day. And, even if the rain on his face was by itself, it still breaks my heart.




five

    Until I took my first year of Spanish, I would make two dozen paper cranes every August for my mother's birthday. Then my new professor found me folding the class syllabus on the second week of school. "Is this an art course?" she asked a question with no answer, pinching a paper wing between her fingers. When I told her it was for my mother, she tore it up and the pieces fell on my desk. She told me to throw them out, but I didn't. Instead I sat there, closing my eyes to tears, and waited for the punishment to end. I'm still waiting.




four

    My mother knew that something wasn't right long before my father. But as soon as she said my name with "hospital", he said hers with "neglect," and their shouting was the tattoo inside my head.   But they weren't the reason I stayed up for days. Because it's just that, sleeping is really hard when you can't stop crying.




three

    I grew up afraid I wouldn't know how to kiss. I thought that, if you fix a broken boy, then you wouldn't have to know because he'd teach you and love you. The first boy I kissed pushed me into a bike rack when I tried to ask him out. The first boy I fixed took one summer to forget I ever existed, after I was convinced we would marry. So instead of learning how to kiss, my father said in litany that I should be grateful for learning early that you can't trust everyone. All I learned was that there's more than one way to feel pain.




two

    We were maybe five or six, but they still hated me, maybe because I was new. Or blond with blue eyes. Or I tried too hard when they cornered me on the playground; when they told me to fight and I still got punched. Or maybe I just talked too much. Maybe, when talking wasn't enough and I had to scream, I shouldn't have. Maybe I shouldn't have tried, either. Actually – come to think of it, I really didn't. The nose splint and this memory still in my head say that I didn't try enough.




one

    And maybe. The truth is – I was only screaming because nobody ever listened.
If dA allowed longer titles, I also could have called this:
eight things about growing up that weren't so great.
eight things about growing up that could have easily ruined my childhood.
eight things about growing up that I wish never happened.
eight things about growing up that define me (I'm still trying to figure out if that's good or bad.


And yes, it's non-fiction. Be gentle.
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:iconepiphanyblue:

Six touched my heart. Five tore it. Four made an echo, and to be honest I was glad that three didn't, especially as I realized how easily it could have.

Each one is a work of art on its own. Eight alone is fantastic, and yet-

The point is. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You really are amazing.

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:iconcolbalt-rain:
:love: Thank you for reading. And thank you for your touching words. 
Reply
:icongingerbookworm985:
GingerBookworm985 Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know you're probably tired of hearing this, but I am sorry. I know that we're probably a thousand miles away and I will never see you in real life, but I am soooo sorry I wasn't there to help you.
On a lighter note, this piece is amazingly written and it's wonderful... I've read most of your other pieces and you are a wonderful writer. I love this.
Reply
:iconcolbalt-rain:
No, it's alright. Thank you. :iconsadhugplz: I appreciate that.
And I'm glad you like it. <3
Reply
:iconpastmisfortunes:
PastMisfortunes Mar 14, 2013  Student General Artist
I really like this. I believe I've commented on this already. But after reading it again, months later, I kind of see it differently.
Eight things about growing up? These things didn't make up your childhood, did they? They were just things that happened.
And things happen to all of us--or rather, life. I believe I said that too. But there are so many more moments than just these, the good things are there too. If you close one eye to block of half of the world's bad things, you block out half the good, if that makes any sense.
I challenge you to this: Write about eight good things about growing up. I probably sound naive and annoying, but just try it. You may be surprised.
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:iconcolbalt-rain:
I appreciate that notion. And believe me, good things definitely happened to me growing up. But it feels like these moments defined me the most. Happiness is pleasant and important and believe me, it wouldn't be that hard to write a piece about eight good things that happened. I suppose my aim with this story was more to show struggles of growing up, how it's hard but you can still survive it somehow.
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:icondearpoetry:
DearPoetry Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Your wonderful work has been featured in my journal: [link] :heart:
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:iconcolbalt-rain:
*screams* Thank you so much!! :squee:
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:iconthelastperformer:
All of your writing is just so omg D;

I'm sorry that all these things happened to you. In the very least, it's made you a great writer. (Or given you great subject matter, I'm not sure which.)
Segment 7 just breaks my heart.

It's hard for me to say I like this, because of all of the painful things in it, but I do like it as literature
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:iconcolbalt-rain:
I used to think that I thought too much and clung to hard to every tiny little detail. Now I realize that they make for great stories.

Thank you very much.
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