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Short Story: Caught Sneaking Out

Disclaimer: This is a fictional story. Any resemblance to my life or anyone else's is merely coincidental.

"How did you know?" I asked, not sure I wanted the answer. I thought I had been careful. I thought she'd been asleep every time.

She blankly stared at me. "No, I was just hoping you'd one day tell me -- better yet, I was hoping you would stop. Knowing you were out there kept me up most nights. You are my youngest. Those were the nights I stayed up wondering where I'd gone wrong."

Hearing her say that struck a nerve. I'd tried to be the "perfect" daughter. I'd tried to be the best that I could be. I'd tried to prevent this very thing from happening -- letting her down. I'd been the ideal daughter up until the night I decided to sneak out, yet here she was: ignoring all the good and focusing on just a few nights.

She kept going. "Alaya, your father and I have worked our asses off trying to provide for you. Trying to not make the same mistakes we made with your brothers. Yes, we weren't home most days, but it was all for you! In what world did you think sneaking out and doing who knows what was okay? Imagine if something had happened to you! I thought we'd taught you better! What the hell did we do wrong?? I haven't told your father yet, but just wait until ..."

That's when I stopped listening. I was used to the nonstop yelling, and I was really good at tuning it out. I hated being compared to my brothers. I was nothing like them. They had both turned to drugs at an early early. Both were high-school drop-outs. When I came into the world, my parents decided I had to be perfect. They scrutinized all my school grades, my conduct, my attendance, and my love life (wasn't allowed to have one). My brothers, Martin and Austin, didn't get that luxury.

Lucky for me, good grades and conduct came naturally for me. The lack of love life? Not so much. I was now 18, about to graduate from high school, but I was still not allowed to have a boyfriend. And a girlfriend? Ha. The sexuality spectrum didn't exist.

Except it did. And I was trying to explore that part of myself. But seeing how this conversation was going, I couldn't imagine how a "coming out of the closet" one would go. Certainly not any better.

I'd been sneaking out each night to see my girlfriend for about a month. Something that, at this point, I would never admit to my parents. Unfortunately for me, this specific night, as I climbed through my window into my bedroom, my mother was sitting on my bed in the darkness.

I was interrupted from my thoughts. "Alaya, are you even listening??"

"Yes, mom, I'm listening." I said. "But, I don't know what to tell you right now. I'm tired, and I don't think anything I say will make you feel any better, so I'm just not going to say anything."

As I said that, she stormed out. I could hear her looking for something. Great. A chancla. I hadn't been hit with a chancla since I was 10.

To be continued ... maybe.

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