0: The Phrase
When your life
Red pen marks
Expunge the words
Crack the heart
Beyond action verbs
There’s no path now
No starting line
An unsteady route
When life needs redefine
“Don’t be afraid of the little changes in everyday life.
Life is born by change, and life continues to change.
It is those subtle, flowing changes that keep life going
and make it interesting. But it is those big changes
that influence and transform you.”
Chapter 0: The Phrase
I couldn’t believe we had to move. My parents were at the end of their ropes, and we had to pack up and vacate our quaint home in the bucolic countryside to make a beeline for the big, bustling city. After all, there’s no way to make a living out in the middle of nowhere—especially when the local (and only) grocer couldn’t even stay in business. But I adored the pretty throne I held in that old postage stamp town: homeschooled and spoiled with no friends to deal with and all the time in the world to paint. Those were the days. But my parents showed no hesitation when they relayed to me our simplistic and arguably mundane life had to conflagrate and be reborn from the ashes.
So my parents thought it’d be a good idea to conceal me in the remote, abandoned home that lay in the chimerical forest which set up camp beside the city of choice: Esoteria, a metropolis near the border of Canada that held an air of mystery only due to its eccentric name. They figured it would be a little bit of peace, especially because no one wanted to live in that house (Probably haunted) and because it was set up at a good price. They were right, however; it comforted me every night to hear not only the lilting swaying of the myriad trees outside my window but also the cacophony of madness that was the roaring concrete jungle. I finally understood what they meant by “The city never sleeps.” The first night we stayed in the “Enchanted Forest,” I didn’t get a single wink of sleep—even after the whole business of unloading boxes and stacking them in neat rows.
Oh, but that wasn’t all. Mom and Dad had contemplated during the drive that it would be a good idea for me to be enrolled in ludicrous, insipid public school upon our arrival so that they could save some money. Me—in public school. That’s a joke. Except they weren’t deriding me, and they showed no hesitation in conversing with me about the possibility. As if moving fifty miles away from my childhood wasn’t enough.
The following morning, Mother and Father thought it would be a good idea to expedite my new education by sending me straight to the aforementioned public school. Five weeks into the semester. That very same day. I was exponentially embarrassed before I had even left the house; I figured I’d have a better chance trying to “fit in” if I didn’t even go to that school at all. Unfortunately, my parents were unwavering in their commitment, and my mom popped me into the car to meet with the principal. Great. The worst part was, she drove me willingly and gleefully the first day but elaborated mournfully en route how I was seventeen-years-old and that I would have to manage transportation for the next 200 odd days by myself due to their constraints to their employment. Growing up stinks. I’m sure they must have broken a parenting rule or two on that one—making me walk myself to school in the borough. The regretful countenance my mom placated the entire time didn’t help to plead her case, especially because she always looks that way anyway—even when something was entirely my fault and she’d hoard the blame inside herself and play the victim.
After braving multiple debilitating road blockades, the car finally pulled up on the biggest—and therefore, most humiliating—public school I’d ever seen. My mom lingered a moment, considering she’d always been overly sentimental about everything except my problems, apparently, I readily assumed she was bracing herself to part with me as I escaped to drown at last in the megalopolis. Indeed, she clutched her feeble heart a second and heaved a sparrow’s sigh, setting a hand on my stubby shoulder. She bravely kept the tears at bay, though. Unlocking the door, she uttered those same spine-chilling words she had always told me from the moment I first laid my soulless, gray eyes upon this lonely, hopeless world:
“It’s time for change.”