"You do not understand me at all!"
I screamed at my father, ran upstairs, finding a peaceful haven in my own room and slammed the door.
My father, as usual, was speechless.
It was typical of me to make a dramatic exit after any argument with my father. Usually, he would stand still for a moment, then get up to my room and apologise. Anything I wanted; be it pocket money, new shoes or anything in the world, would be given to me. Mission accomplished.
But magic did not occur this time.
As I eavesdropped through the thick layer of the wall, my father was dragging his feet to the front gate. The gate cracked open. The car engine roared. And he drove away.
"Why was he so annoying?" I wondered as I reached out for the door lock. All I wanted was a new dress for my junior prom.
Gripping the handle, I jerked it down, and pulled.
But the stupid door refused to open.
I pulled it again, using all the energy I had, and yet the door stubbornly stayed still.
With an immense effort of will, I tried one more time. I kicked it. I banged at it. I jerked it, but in vain. All my effort trying to free myself proved futile.
Great. I was trapped!
Trapping myself just because I had a habit of slamming it sounded like the most ridiculous thing in the world. There, I found myself sitting on the floor panting for breath, my hands red after banging at the door. Anger simmered within me. It was my father's entire fault. He should have fixed the door ages ago after realising how hard it was to open it. With mom away, he was supposed to take care of me; he was supposed to understand my feelings and cater to my needs. Sadly, he could not, after all.
I stood up, my feet finding their way to my wardrobe. Ever since I moved to this new school I had felt intimidated by my schoolmates, who looked totally like those Runway models with trendy clothes and cool accessories. I could just close my eyes and the prospect of me looking like a fool in front of them in the prom would come and haunt me. How could my father now understand such a simple thing like that?
I felt so desperate.
The only acceptable outfit I had was a knee-length black-and-white dress with fanciful butterflies and laces at the end of it. When I first saw it in stores last year, immediately I fell in love with it, and had my father buy it at once, without even looking at the price tag. It was beautiful.
And the only time I wore it was the final year party.
I tried it on. It still fitted me well. It took me quite a while to dig for a beaded necklace I bought some time ago in my drawer. It might look good with my dress.
Putting the necklace on, I stared at myself in the mirror. My father was right. I might not look like a fool after all.
In my prom dress, I walked around my room, my only haven whenever I disagreed with my father. On the shelves sat some pretty blue-eyed dolls, which I had yet to touch once. Trendy magazines and costly toys were left lying all over the place. I had never thought my haven could seem so cold.
As I circled my room for the hundredth time, the memories in the past started to come back. I missed the time me and my father chatting merrily in the dining room. I missed the time we went into the park together to enjoy the sun instead of trapping ourselves in these lifeless rooms doing our own work. Flabbergasting indeed, to look back at your life one year back, and wondering, what had happened to my life.
I sat down again, exhaustion and despair washed through me like waves. It was such a long tedious moment, with only the clock tickling sound to break through the eerie silence. I rested my head against the wall. For the first time in many months, I did not want to stay in my room.
Suddenly, I heard footsteps walking up the stairs. My father was back.
As fast as I could, I knocked at the door, whispering, "Dad, I am trapped!"
Thankfully he heard me. After telling me to get away from the door, he jerked the door handle strongly and gave it a kick. Somehow, the door opened.
The last thing I remembered was hiding my face in my father's embrace. I had not done it for such a long time.
As I scrolled down my memory lane, I felt so childish at that time. Years passing by, I had grown up in the love of my father, unknowingly and taking it for granted. If I had not been trapped, I might have yet to realise that it was I who always trapped myself in a rigid place of my own, trying to hide and yet longing to be found.
And luckily, the door opened.
I will never be trapped again.
Hi, can you give me some advice on this piece? Thanks so much!
You've written a very nice story! I found it moving, and your descriptions are quite vivid. I think you are a talented writer.
The only advice I have is to proof-read carefully. I found a few typos and some phrases that, while cute, are probably not what you meant (e.g., "clock tickling"). And "me and my father" should be "my father and I." You may already know this, but when trying to decide whether to use "me" or "I", take out the other person's name and see what you would use then. You wouldn't say "me was chatting in the living room," so the correct pronoun is "I."
Very good work. Good luck!
I was always puzzled about the "I" vs. "me" thing until a very wise teacher taught me the trick about taking the other person out of the sentence. Works every time!
I think you should get a high score, but I wouldn't venture to say what it should be. Every instructor is different, and each has particular criteria for an assignment. I think you can be proud of your writing, though. ;-)
As for the editing, I've found that reading my work out loud is the best way to, literally, hear what doesn't sound right. You can also read it to other people and ask them to let you know if there's anything they don't understand or that sounds odd. (Needless to say, this refers to literate people with good taste.) You can also take advantage of your university's Writing Center, assuming they have one. The entire purpose of a Writing Center is to help students hone their composition skills.
Have you ever been trapped in an elevator? It is not fun. I would not recommend it. I especially would not recommend it if you don’t have a phone with you, are super hungover and haven’t put on deodorant yet.
When you are stuck in an elevator time moves very slowly, especially if you don’t have a time-telling device at your disposal. Have you been in this elevator for 10 minutes? 25 minutes? 36 hours? It is impossible to know. You may even buzz the emergency button for the fourth time, just to ask Kathy from JGL Elevators what time it is. You will be shocked when she says it has only been 7 minutes from the first time you called.
When you are stuck in an elevator, your ability to ‘remain calm’ is finite. As someone who is often described as ‘laid back’ you will be surprised at how quickly the situation escalated. At first, you’re all like, “Well at least I have the Sunday Times and this gallon of milk in case I get thirsty. I’m sure someone will be here soon.” This rapidly devolves into, “If I have to pee and I still haven’t been rescued and I can’t hold it anymore, should I put the Sunday Times down first?” to just sobbing on the floor in the fetal position, calling Kathy for what is surely the 13th time in the 11 hours since you were trapped in this elevator.
When you are stuck in an elevator, you may wonder where your boyfriend thinks you went, because you have been gone for approximately seven weeks at this point. You will later find out he just assumed you stopped for coffee on your way back from the bodega and was not really concerned at all. Meanwhile, you were hurling obscenities at Kathy, demanding to know when someone was going to be there to let you out of this GODDAMNED ELEVATOR.
Eventually you will no longer be stuck in an elevator. You will be rescued by a nice man who apologizes profusely as you scramble out into the hallway and sprint up the stairs back to your apartment, garbling some incoherent words of thanks as you go. You will fling open the door, look at the clock and realize you were only in there for 45 minutes.
Surely you had not gone from stable adult human being to blubbering insane person in less time than it takes to watch an episode of The Real Housewives.
But you did. And now you know never to step foot in that demon carriage again. Or at least until you have some really heavy bags or something.
Oh and thanks Karen. Sorry I got so sassy with you towards the end.
You can read more from Veronica Sepe on her blog.