A Friend

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June 20, 2017 by Marguerite Ashton

CodiDear Bess,

One can never tell who their true friends are until trouble snakes its way in and grabs you by the throat, suffocating your entire being until there is no life.

Trouble seemed to find me no matter where I hid. Mom’s, Dad’s, and even at school. Mom rarely punished me and it took something that she would call unforgivable in order to be sent to my room. After my punishment was over she would go and buy me a new electronic of my choice and tell me how she loved me more.

With my Dad, it seemed I was always in trouble with him. He would yell when he was angry and cry when he was sad. At times, I felt like I was walking on eggshells around him.

Between the both, they did all that they could to manipulate my emotions so that when the day came I would automatically vouch to live with one or the other.

For a time I believed that on the day I was conceived the one-minute rule didn’t apply and instead I was given the honor of being made in a petri dish.

I looked nothing like my parents whose families had a strong black and French background. My dark hair and brown eyes were all my own and I hated my hourglass frame that accompanied my wide hips and short legs.

I dreaded my eight hours and five days a week schedule at school. It was murder on my mind and I felt I could never catch a break from the teachers in the small class of ten with grades nine through twelve.

All we learned was about God and what would have been a normal high school day filled with sports and planning for dances at a public school didn’t exist at Marilyn’s Christian Learning for girls.

The only positive surrounding my day sentence was, I used it as an escape from those who claimed to have my best interest at heart.

My friends were not the perfect beings that we were forced to be at home. We understood each other. I was able to be myself and stretch my legs without fear of being scolded with a verbal talk. Like the one’s mom loved to give others if she felt they were not behaving to the letter like a respectable Christian.

“Are you done with this?” Cindy asked.

“Yeah, I’m done,” I said.

Cindy dotted the orange tip of the joint on the bottom of her tennis shoe and dropped it in a sandwich baggie. She tucked it in the back zipper pocket of her backpack. We left the corn field and headed home.



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Criminal Lines Book Club

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