|Dear John VII: Moaning October
Author: Guede Mazaka
ďNothing in the air but songs
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I can still remember my motherís angry face, the tears that flicked the inside of my fatherís glasses. It hurts, but the words they threw at me hurt more and if Iíd stayed with them, that would have been all I would have gotten. I canít live like that, I canít live with the lies they tell themselves. Theyíve always, always known better, and I kept hoping that one day theyíd wake up and realize the truth about you. But now itís clear that they wonít.
They tried to make me stop writing. My mother found an old draft of one of my letters, and she burned it. Burned it. I swear, I didnít even realize how angry that made me till Iíd slapped her and sheíd slapped me back.
Donít worry about me, all right? Iíve had a job for a few months now, and some of my friends knew where I could find a decent place on my pay, so I had somewhere to go. Iím still keeping up my grades, though itís a lot harder. But Iíve got it all figured out. Really. I sat down and lost a few nightsí sleep, but Iíve got a plan and Iím going to make it work, even if I have to do everything myself. Iím not going to let anyone stop me writing to you.
Boyfriend doesnít know all the details, but he knows Iíve been arguing with Mom and Dad for a while over other things. I think he thinks it was over him, a little, and over me wanting to try for a good college while Mom and Dad want me to settle for a less expensive one. They donít think I can get the scholarshipsÖI donít tell them half of what Iím studying because theyíre still so goddamned closed-minded. Like Iím still some little kid they need to protect. But they should be able to tell just from my grades.
God. But I really, really didnít want to do this. Really. I tried. I tried as long as I could, but they wouldnít even listen to me and it was just too much.
I had a friend give them my letter saying I was never coming home. I was going to do it myself, but I tried twice and ended up crying in an alley two blocks away. Itís such a cowardly way to do it, I know. Iím not very proud of myself right now. But I canít stop now. There are just lines you canít cross twice, and I just stepped over some.
Some of my high-school friends think this is so cool, and for a day or so I thought so too, but then I really thought about it and now Iím terrified. I just huddle on my bed and hug myself and wish. But wishes donít get you much. Iím old enough to know that.
Iím old enough to take care of myself. Iíll just have to remember that.
Love you always,