WHERE THERE IS PEACE

This life is miserable. I mean, if you turn around, hoping to see something to brighten your day, you'll find that you're looking at a vast nothingness, staring back at you as though daring you to find something to smile about. Most days, you'll wish to die right there, to crawl into your own coffin and stop breathing, stop feeling, turn numb, just for release. You might be surprised by your own thought. About suicide, about strangling somebody or about jumping off a bridge into the swirling waters below opening up to you, almost saying "come, come and take peace, take off your mortal suit and dive into your doom" in a grim voice. Coaxing and seemingly reliable. Oh, but what do I know, I'm just a teen stumbling through to the end of the tunnel, still looking back, regretting the fact that I'm leaving childhood, those days of innocence and blissful ignorance.

Oh well.

I sigh and head towards the open window. There were bars there, for protection purposes. Yes, I forgot, these days, even the home is required some kind of defense. Nothing is safe nowadays. The breeze I feel is mingled with pollution, I can't even breathe properly anymore. Of course, that doesn't mean I have ever taken a breath of pure air. Even as a child, I lived on pollution, in pollution, through pollution. Chemicals in the food, chemicals in the water, now, chemicals in the air. Yes, I have never in my life, tasted the sweet, air. I look around.

" Oh look, how charming, a bunch of kids are playing with fire. Over there, there are neighbors gossiping, oh look, over there, a dog is fighting with a cat. Then, after that, a dog is peeing in the street. How lovely."

Ugh. So much for telling the truth. This is the way of life in a subdivision. You'd think the people here are civilized, well, at least they say they are. Frankly, I don't believe them.

Not wanting to see the sight again, I turn around and face my room. My door was locked, so that my parent's arguing and trash talking downstairs don't reach my young ears. My room is fairly clean. I have been studying here since morning, I didn't bother going downstairs. I knew, that if my parents came home and they saw each other, they would fight. I have been trying to tell them to stop, at least long enough to hear me out, but they didn't and they won't. What's the use?

My brother is gone. His room was trashed by my father. I think that my father was mad at him for talking too much, oh, and being happy. Big mistake, the biggest in fact. The only rule in our house was this " never be happy" and my brother defied it. He fell in-love and tried in vain to tell my parents, they were so mad at him that they kicked him out of the house. His girlfriend too. Literally. Now, my brother's room has been marked. I must not enter it. Fat chance. He is now my idol, since he had enough guts to stand up for himself. Now, he's been gone for about a month. In his last letter, he said I was going to be an aunt.

The door is still locked. Phew, things are starting to quiet down downstairs. I guess they tired of throwing things at each other.

Here, I take out my camera and take a picture. It was of my stuffed animal, his name is Gawfy.

"This is going to be in my album."

I had started taking pictures of my prized possessions in fear that they too might be used as ammunition in one of my parent's fights against each other. We were running out of furniture.

I look around my room. I had tried to make it as homely as possible. Here and there were pictures on my wall of family members that got along. There was one of my aunt and uncle, then one of my cousins Ludette an Elemer. Another was of me and my brother.

I liked my brother and, to tell you the truth, he was the only real family I had. Now, I guess I'm going to have more, him being married now and all.

There are sounds of metal against metal downstairs. I guess my parents have gotten over themselves. I sigh. Now, though I hate to think about it, I have to face them. I have to look meek and sorrowful again. They are not going to be talking to each other, of course, they never do. Slowly, very slowly, I cross over to the door and open it. The house was in ruin, pieces of everything was everywhere. It looks like my father put his foot in the television again too. I see the busted remote in front of me now.

I take a step and wander down the hall, feeling like a prisoner in my own house. I can't call it a home can I? Besides, a home is supposed to be filled with peace and love. The only place I know that exists in this sorry excuse is in my own room. That's where I try to play pretend, I try to picture my family as a family. That's where I escape to. Amazing what lies behind a locked door right Imagine, behind one in this house is a place where, at least for a little while, peace can reside.