While I am away, I am honored to have a few guest posts. I am delighted to feature Rachel from The Lazy Christian today. You can find her on Twitter at @LazyChristian. Rachel is a new read, and I love how she is funny, real, and wise. She discusses faith in an honest and thought-provoking fashion. Please take the time to read this beautifully rendered memoir, and then be sure to check out her site as well. Thanks, Rachel!
by Rachel A. Snyder (The Lazy Christian)
I quietly tiptoe up the stairs. I open the door to my room gently, listening to my parents snoring across the hall. There’s no way they’ll hear me over that. Still, I turn the glass knob gently so the door doesn’t make a sound as I latch it closed behind me. I flop down on my bed, burying my face deep into the quilted comforter.
I hate this comforter. It’s scratchy. It’s loud with big pink and purple flowers. This isn’t what I’d have chosen. Anyone who knows me wouldn’t have chosen it.
Yet, my parents chose it for me. Telling.
I roll over to my back and stare up at the ceiling. The four posts of my bed are just in my peripheral vision, looming high above me. I can take the top off that post and use it for a microphone, you know. Sometimes I do. I still have my New Kids on the Block slap bracelets from fifth grade wrapped around one of the posts. The decorative piece on the headboard is missing. I don’t remember how that broke off. But I still have a glow-in-the-dark cross that says “God is Love” hanging there. I got that in sixth grade for memorizing Bible verses.
Something by the door catches my eye. It’s the “10,000 Things To Be Happy About” Page-a-Day calendar sitting on my dresser. In bright, red Sharpie, under the typed heading “Five Things to be Happy About Today,” it reads, “Kids who come home on time.” Various times are written and then crossed out, except for 1:30. That must be when she went to bed. I wonder how long she’d been planning to deface my calendar. Had she been planning this for a while and just waiting for the opportunity to use it? Not like I’ll ask her. In fact, I’ll act like I didn’t see it. That’ll really get her.
The clock now reads 2:30. In the morning. It’s the latest I’ve ever stayed out. I’ll be grounded from the car, for sure. I’ll probably have to walk to work. They didn’t care where I went until I started driving that jalopy. Not sure if they care about me or the car. I’d guess the car.
I open up the bottom drawer of my antique cherry dresser and grab a dorm shirt. Why do pajama drawers always have that pajama drawer smell? I even changed my pajamas from the other dresser to this one and there’s still a weird, stale smell. I throw the nightgown over my head, accidentally hitting my elbow on the curved edge of the dresser. I scream silently as my funny bone vibrates. This room is too small for all this furniture.
I wonder what they’re going to do with it when I leave. The furniture, I mean. I can’t take it with me to college. Are they going to turn my room in to a guest room? We never have guests as it is. They’re going to want to paint it, I’ll bet. This Frosted Lilac isn’t going to suit her when I’m gone. I hope they throw out this comforter. I sure don’t want it.
One more year. One. Then I’ll be gone. I wonder if I’ll ever have to come back. I’ll never sleep in this room again, if I can help it.
I hear Max pad softly up the stairs and to my door, sniffing to let me know he wants in. He doesn’t want to wake my parents, either. I open the door and close it quickly behind him. He lays down next to my bed. He’s too big to climb up on it, but he’d do it if he could. His nails make a scratching sound as he slides down into his place. This wooden floor is cold, and my genuine sheepskin rug—a gift from my aunt’s trip to New Zealand—was ruined in the wash by You-Know-Who. Why she thought it was machine washable, I don’t know. But now the floor is cold. Bare.
I sit down on the floor next to Max. Then I lean on him. Then I lay on him. I bury my face into the ruff of fur at his neck.
And I cry myself to sleep—right there on the floor—hugging the only living thing in this house who notices me.