31 March 2015

The Treasures of the Past

Have you ever came across a drawing or a story that you wrote as a child and then, when you recently stumble upon it, think to yourself in utter disbelief and surprise that this was an actually piece connecting to your past? This was what I thought as as I was recently cleaning my room and came across some interesting bits of paper and photos that I found stuffed inside the numerous number of folders and binders sorting my writing.

Boy, I have got to say, that looking back at when I was younger, I was an odd kid. Today, I am here to share with you some of the papers I found in my room. You may notice that these aren't from when I was about eight or nine years old, because when I was that age I labeled everything with my name. Probably after reading this posting, you will agree, "Morning, you're weird." 


This was not something that I drew, but rather, something that was given to me. When I was in sixth grade, almost all of my extra-curricular activities, besides my book reading competition, was to help people. During this time period, I helped the special life skills kids (i.e. students with Down Syndrome, etc.) during their gym, I was a member of the Green Team, my elementary school's recycling club, and I was a kindergarten buddy for one of the three kindergarten classes. 

Now there was this kindergarten buddy named Addison who I was paired up with, and we would talk for hours. Ironically, I met her when she wasn't allowed to talk. One of the things that the two of us would do is that we would draw pictures of each other. This was one of the photos she drew, which was me doing paragliding. So, if you are wondering how I look, well, tada! Addision has depicted me perfectly! 


As a child I was fascinated and into Pokemon. My brother and I would collect the cards and we would end up going to taekwondo and battle with the other kids after practice was over. I made this particular picture in seventh grade, when there were many 80 mile wind and rain storms and the television wasn't working, as my parents were out of the house during a lot of these times. I have a huge affinity for Pikachu, if you don't know.


This is a photo of my first actual script from one of my first plays. I've always received eccentric roles: my first play, which occurred in first grade, I starred as the cookie-baking grandmother. Above is a photo of a Shakespeare play, where I starred as one of the three whiches... know which play? 


One day in my naive youth I came up with a story idea involving all of my friends as spy agents, sorcerers, and an evil shadow who wants to swallow all of Earth. In order for this story to "work", I thought that it would be best at the time to hold meetings to speak about how everyone wanted their character to be portrayed, which inspired a role play that is still going strong to this day. The story, if I had to try to describe how it was at the moment, is a lot like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Around the same year that I made the agent sorcerer story, there was also an event known as The Poking War going on. It started getting out of hand, so I decided that the best solution was to make a peace treaty in which we would all abide by it's rules, everyone involved acting as his or her own police. If you read some of the writing I wrote on the sides, you can see I was trying VERY hard not to waste space. (Notice my sarcasm.)


And finally, I shall end this little presentation with something normal, my We the People speech. A lot of the things that happened as I tried to coordinate and cooperate with my group mates went down weird... it required a lot of persuading and bacon flavored Ritz which were happily provided by my parents.

Other things I found was my Operation Santa mission, my recycling material drawings turned into electronic gadgets which help save energy, and drawings of myself if I had the elemental power of airbending. So, yes, I am an oddball, but what I realized as I was looking through all of this was that as a child, I was really into idea creating and often, those ideas would either be for fun or for actual purposes which would help multitudes of people.

If you all are fond of this post, I may think of writing about several parts of my time, starting with the fifth grade, in which back up dancers were needed for poem recitation (long story). In the mean time, comment below! What sort of things do you have from your childhood, and what sorts of memories do you have as a child? If you want to do a post similar to this on your blog, I suggest you should! Have a great week, everyone!

(P.S. I will not be posting the fourth chapter of "Watch" until mid-Saturday, in observance of Good Friday.)

28 March 2015

"Be Kind"

Hello! I have just gotten back from a screening of Insurgent, and today, I am not posting another chapter from "Watch". I will be taking a brief break and will be posting the fourth, fifth, and final chapters starting next week. What I have for you today is a passage I made in February inspired by Cinderella! I haven't seen the movie yet-- gosh, I'm such an Abnegation, being considerate of what movie we watched. Anyhoo, I hope you all enjoy it!

----


Come here! Come closer. The sight, the sound, the sweet smell of freedom—oh, how much I wish for this to be bestowed upon me! Everyone has a story to tell, and yet mine is not one that may have been heard.
You may first look at me and scoff at my appearance. I am but a girl, dressed in blue rags and black bags that hang so outspread under my eyes. My hair has been given the gift of ashes. Please do not turn away from my appearance, not yet. Instead, let me say what I must. What could such a girl be doing in such conditions, especially in grand dwellings such as these?
My parents have died, and my stepmother is the caretaker of the house now, along with my two stepsisters. The three latter I have mentioned placed me to do housework chores.
“Sweep the kitchen!”

“Fetch me my dress first!”
Stepmother always complains about me. She does not bother to hide her hatred for me in her words. “You pathetic little brat, you are too slow! Gosh, we have taken you in after the death of my dear husband, and this is how you treat us? Work faster, you understand?”
The work in the household is tedious, but I work until my hands begin to bleed as a scrub the floors. I do not argue. I do not act spiteful. Be good, be nice, be kind, be courageous. These were the last words that my parents had each said before they had disappeared out of my life, bless their souls. I shall live up to what they say. Those words are all that I have left of them, along with memories. Every time Stepmother’s ill-spoken words were laid upon me, I must remind myself of these lessons instilled in me. I sigh and say, “Yes, Stepmother.”
Some days I weep. Stepmother rarely allows for visitors to see me. I have very little interaction with the world outside. There are days when it feels cold. I feel alone. My actions, I think, are sometimes are all in vain, yet—
Hope keeps me going. It is hope that fuels me to go on in my day. Someday, I will be able to go out and meet the world. Perhaps someday, I shall feel the wind take me up in her arms and finally, after all of my days of waiting, I shall feel freedom.

24 March 2015

Currently


Since the track and field season began two weeks ago, my life has been in a constant blur of school, homework, sports, eat, sleep, and repeat. Besides that general summary, what have I exactly been up to?

One of the things that I have been doing is I've been listening to the choir songs that we are going to perform on YouTube. Let me tell you, unlike the previous choir years in my school's history under my teacher's guidance, mixed choir, which is the class that I'm in, is blending with its top choir to perform a set of songs-- all in foreign languages-- for a district wide competition and some that we are learning for fun. 

There is a song that I really love that we just learned yesterday called Amavolovolo, a South African song that sang about the violence in this one city and now, is a song that many love to sing at parties. There is some body percussion that we are going to learn to do to this song, and I'm really excited. It's been on replay in my head!


Besides Amavolovolo, I've been listening to the Glee cover of I've Lived, originally by OneRepublic. I don't watch Glee, but I have always loved their covers.


In the night, an hour before I go to bed, I've been reading and writing tons. It is the only time that I have free time. I have just finished up the fourth Michael Vey book, The Hunt for Jade Dragon (which is the best so far in the series), and I have been preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I wrote down a piece writing based on one of the prompts Jess made. Here's an excerpt which I had shortened (hopefully you all aren't tired out from my writing posts on the weekends)!
He was nervous. This meeting was important to him. It had been five years since he had last seen her in person. During the duration of their seperation, he couldn't stop thinking about her-- her smile, her complexion, the way her nose scrunched whenever she giggled or was frustrated. Another day of separation would have brought him pain.

There was a tap on his shoulder. He turned, and there she was, the youthful sprite, giving a playful grin. Time, he thought, would not withstand her spirit. In a perky voice, she said, "Missed me?"
Some days, I would also go out and take photos.


Track and field has been a hastle, too. Every day I would come home tired and immediately start on homework or I would come home to pass down to my parents that I have to ice my arms or legs. It can be pretty discouraging. Trying to schedule enough time to do homework can be a hassle, and most of my time on my laptop consists of me researching and typing up essays. In my spare time on my laptop, I've been working on the summer design on my blog. It won't be out until May, though! My days may be on a fast rapid pace, but I'm still going through with it!


How are you all doing? Tell me below in the comments!

21 March 2015

"Watch" -- Part 3

Ready for chapter 3 of "Watch"? I'm quite happy as how this chapter turned out; the speech that Melody gives is a speech that I wish I could give if I was in her position. I got misty-eyed writing this. If you missed parts one and two, read them here and here!


“Are you ready?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be.” That day was the last time our entire senior class would be together for a very long time. Today was graduation. I was crowned as valedictorian. Never would I have thought that I would have been given the honor to uphold such a position, but there I was, five minutes before my time to present. Monique and Amy stood by my side, next to the platform. The boys, Peter and Luke, were in their seats, neatly placed in alphabetical order by last name. “Should you two be back in the rows?”

“Back in the rows?” Amy giggled. She was dressed up neater somehow; it must have been the job of graduation gowns, whose shade of rows matched her eyes. “Who says back in the rows?”

I didn’t reply to her remark. My hands were shaking. Some of the notecards in my hands fell to the ground. I kept looking out into the seats and bleachers. Everyone inside of the gymnasium will be a spectator to the speech I was about to make. And possibly, quite possibly, if the busyness of life would calm from its commotion for once, they could be here.

Watching me.

Monique crossed her arms. “Ames, can you just go back to your seat? You’re not helping her. Besides, I want to talk to Melody for a second. Alone.”

Amy pulled up her arms out in defeat but didn’t argue.

Monique and I were left standing. The two of us stood like that, watching the Marching Band play a mashup of songs. Monique piped up, “You’re still waiting for them, huh? Hoping they will be here?”

“How did you—?”

“Relax. We’re best friends. Your problems are very much easy to convey. I don’t think anyone can do better than I can, except for Luke, probably. He has liked you for a very long time.” My stomach dropped. “I can read your problems for a mile away. It’s not ESP; it’s an internal thing.”

“No, it’s a best friend kind of thing.”

“Yeah.” She leaned back against the stage and smiled slowly. “I’m really going to miss you while I’m off to USC. Honestly, you’ve been fighting for your brothers and sisters’ attention for years. Why?”

“You of all people know why.” The feeling in my feet was absent. Blood throbbed in my clenched hands. “I wanted their love… their respect, at the least, but they seemed to show nothing to me.”

“You’re trying so hard. You live in this fantasy that everything will be all right, but it’s not always like that. It’s an utter cliché!”

“Haven’t you realized that life is full of clichés?”

“Yes, obviously. If they don’t realize and value you as a little sister, then you shouldn’t try so hard for their attention. Besides, we’re all family—me, Amy, Luke, and Peter, even if Luke does like you as more than a friend. Aren’t we?”

Her words seemed a little sad and desperate. I could tell that she wanted to help me see myself in a better view, but no—this is what I worked hard for. The marching band’s performance came to a close. The principal makes the introduction, the momentum needed for me to appear on stage. I shook off Monique’s hand from my shoulder and rose onto the stage steps. “Even if you know me, you wouldn’t understand.”

“…Please welcome Melody Rogers!” The entire gymnasium gave a polite clap as I made my way to the podium.  I reorganized my notecards, giving them a hard stare. My eyes closed. I slowly submerged from the room and into the collection of my thoughts. This is it. They would be out there. Mom and Dad said the four would be next to them. Breathe.

“So, here we are.” The microphone screeched, and a piecing loud shriek soared through the hall. “S-s-sorry. Let me start over.” I did a quick run-through of my notes, but I realized: this is not what I wanted the speech to go. It was cliché of all of clichés, and I needed to work with something that was much more unique. The cards are set down and I placed my hands over them. A tapping rhythm is formed from my knuckles rapping against the wood board. Breathe.

“I’m not the world’s greatest at making speeches. Yeah, I might have ended up on the team which was in third place overall for the speech competition a while back, but this is different. This time, my words are all uncharted. The speech I am about to give to you has not been rehearsed. I have nothing to guide me. Here we are. I’m about to say a speech. We are all about ready to go end the high school chapters of our lives and go on out into the real world.”

I grabbed the microphone from the podium and began to pace around on the surface, a habit of mine when I got nervous. My eyes were searching among the sea of people, trying to locate my family. “It would be dumb to say that we all might be tomorrow’s future leaders, because that wouldn’t be entirely true. I am sure, however, that there was a person or several people in the community that we have looked up to.

“For me, those people were my older siblings. They never seemed to watch me, but I always watched them. I’m not saying that the four of them were perfect. None of them were. But there they went, accomplishing amazing things. I bet you all had one person you wanted to be just like and if they were in your life, you wanted them to love you and earn their respect: for me, it was them.

“I wish that they would understand that, to me, they were my constant draw of inspiration, the main reason why I try so hard to do my best and do what I do today, which is, by the way, not making speeches, nope, an entirely different job…” The crowd laughed at the remark. I couldn’t help but share their amusement. I finally found my parents in the bleachers, teary-eyed and with a recording camera, with the four seats to the right of them, all reserved, remaining unoccupied.
One of the highest moments of my life was happening, and they are not here.

My eyes filled with tears. I attempted not to let my pain show in my voice. The next words that came out of my mouth were low and serious, cloaking the audience in a brief period of reverence. “I wish they could be here now and just be here to celebrate w-with me.” The initial response was the opposite of my speech joke; the crowds dimmed their voices and listened.

“But now is not the time for sadness. Now is the time to talk about you. Our four years of high school have been eventful, and has had its share of ups and downs. Sure, we may not be world leaders, or discover the cure of cancer, or become the next Picasso or Michelangelo, but with 327 of us in this graduating class, I think it would be safe to say that all of us have the power to inspire the ones in our lives, the people that we touch, just like my brothers and sisters have. And let me tell you, that that can be enough.”

The populous cheered deafeningly as I made my way off the stage and into my seat. Everything became a blur up until the end ceremony.

My parents greeted me with a smile along with the flash of a camera stinging my eyes. “Oh, honey, we’re so proud of you! Your speech was great! Ah, the last of the Rogers family to go and graduate! My babies are all so grown up! I had hoped the rest of our family could have made it, but…” Mom adjusted her eyeglasses. “Well, time for photos! Photos, everyone! Then dinner’s over at our place and it’s on us!”

I hadn’t banded back with my friends after the ending of the ceremony, but Dad somehow managed to find all of them. Amy and Peter greeted me with fist bumps and high fives. Luke, surprisingly, greeted me with a kiss on the cheek, causing everyone to swoon and for Dad to shout, “Hey, no PDA, especially with my kid! You haven’t even gone through the correct courting rights! Teenagers these days…” Monique was the last one to greet me, and she hugged me for the longest time. We all took photos, both posed and silly.

A smile was plastered on my face, but inside, I was heartbroken. I wanted to go out into the restrooms and just cry, easing the pain. My brothers and sisters were not here, as usual. They didn’t watch! I had spent eighteen years trying to get their attention, but even now they had other matters to attend to. Call me selfish, but it seemed to be a thing that ran in the family, ourselves before anyone else. Maybe it was time to give up, like Monique had said. Maybe, if they cannot see how I am, that’s their problem. All of my dreams and fantasies that they would respect me—they all had to disappear. I woke up and was brought into a new light.

For now on, I am done with trying to make them watch.

18 March 2015

The Literature Photo Tag!

Hello! I have teamed up and collaborated with the extraordinary O from Life as a Young Lady to create a tag that was different and and added a little bit of spice to the blogosphere. I'm not the one who does tags as often anymore, but I was thrilled to do this. After several the past several weeks, we are finally proud to present to you the one and only Literature Photo Tag! Dun-da-dah-dun! It's pretty great, huh?


The tag works like this: 
+ Post your photos with original tag graphic
+ There are eight prompts. All of these prompts are inspired by books, many which the two of us are sure you have heard of. Take a photo that corresponds to the prompts.
+ Tag at least 3 bloggers! Spread the love! And don't be afraid; feel free to add extra prompts for the people you tag!

Here are my photos!

"to Narnia" (Chronicles of Narnia) - picture of a closet or door

Let me just point out that all of the doors in my house are rather in awkward positions. They are found in clusters in hallways and are often far away from natural lighting. Sometimes, I honestly think that all of my doors are at an angle -- or that may be the way that I walk, as I tend to walk sideways with my binder dragging me down.

"Anaklusmos/Riptide" (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) - picture of a pen

This pen has been with me since January of last year. I still remember buying this on the day of parent-teacher conferences. My friends and I were fangirling over the cuteness of these pens and I just couldn't help but get one for myself. 

"to seek a great perhaps" (Looking for Alaska) - picture of a map

I still have a map of the Manhattan subway system from my trip in 2012, way before I started blogging.

"a place just for us" (Bridge to Terabithia) - picture of the place you read

I read in my room because the infamous windowsill which is the site behind my blog's URL is taken over my the loud noises blaring from the living room television screen. This is the not the same windowsill, but I do love looking out at it.

"Green Eggs and Ham" (Green Eggs and Ham) -- a photo of your least/most favorite food

My mom brings sometimes brings home these amazing chicken pesto calzones from her work for my brother and I to gorge on. They also come with marinara sauce. I am craving for one right now, and news flash: I just ate!

"Mr. Browne's Precepts" (Wonder) -- a handwritten quote/saying you live by

If you wonder who R.E. is, it's Ralph Emerson. I found this quote because I am subscribed to Goodreads' Quote of the Day. It describes the whole self-actualization thing, in a sense, and I guess I am at that stage in my life where I'm trying to find out who I am and what's going to happen once I graduate high school.

"The Silver Shoes" (The Wizard of Oz) -- favorite pair of shoes

Sometimes, whenever the topic of clothes or shoes come up I often try to pry myself away from that topic. I don't give much thought into clothes. I have several styles which I love wearing, but other than that I don't give much thought into my outfit. These shoes help me look much taller than I actually am, and I'm not afraid to run in them.

"Time Traveling" (When You Reach Me) -- photo of a memory

I don't exactly have a photo of a memory that I can share with you, to be honest, because most of the photos that my parents have on their camera memory cards are posed photos of my brother and I. Instead, I found an old movie ticket from when my parents took my family out to watch Voyage of the Dawn Treader when it came out in 2010. Yay!


Megann from The Bright Side
Miss Internet from Miss Internet 
And anyone else who would like to do this!

If you do this tag, please post links to your posts! I would love to see how you tagged people have responded to the prompts. O hasn't posted her post yet, but be sure to check it out when she does, at Life as a Young Lady!


13 March 2015

"Watch" -- Part 2

Welcome to Part Two of  my six part mini-story, "Watch"! I would just like to say before I begin this next part that I am amazed by the amount of comments I have received from my first part, which, if you have missed it, can be viewed here. This next part gets very dark, and um, intense, real fast. Also, I hope you all have an great National Pi Day. With that, I hope you enjoy this next part!



Eighth grade year, I sat outside of class with five other members from various clubs—chess, debate, film, and photography—practice our speeches for the annual public speaking competition.
The treasurer of the film club, Luke, glared as me as I romped around the hallway, reenacting an incident that had occurred at the last writing society meeting. “Melody, do you mind? We’re doing up against high school people, for crying out loud—“
“Oh, for Pete’s sake, Luke, hush down.”
Peter, from the chess club, snapped up groggily from his premature nap. “What in the name of—“
"What's with all of these sayings? Why are we —? Gosh, we sound old." Everyone in our group burst out into spontaneously laughing. My stomach lurched so hard that I didn’t notice going headfirst right into the lockers and falling straight down onto my back. The giggles coming from me echoed the hallway. Sunlight shining in through a ceiling window hits me like a beam of the spotlight. I could have sworn that I felt the Earth rotating underneath me. The world must look and take care of all its children.
Years had passed since my little five-year-old incident, but my relationship with my brothers and sisters remained unchanged: distant and uncooked. Who could blame them? Mother and Father gave birth one after the other, with the four. They all slid into the world—a baby boy, a pair of fraternal twins, and a girl—through my mother. My parents balanced out the four to all be in the same grade. They were juniors, who ran rampant and amok among the house. They wouldn’t have the time to notice me.
Amy, with that confident smile she wore to every debate tournament, asked, “Why is everyone else in your family in the same group for the competition?”
Peter snickered. “I suppose it’s because Ms. Clay doesn’t want to have to waste paper for permission slips. Man, that lady is such a tree-hugger. Not that it’s bad or anything; she just goes overboard.” The others nodded in assent.
I glanced over to where my brothers and sisters were seated. The four of them were on the footsteps of the stairs, chiding and smiling. My heart stopped. I gave a small smile tinged with sadness at the scene. Monique, with her feline and photographic eye to detail, spoke up. “Hey, Melody, don’t mind them. If they ain’t going to pay attention to you, they’re not worth your time.”
“I know, but…” I sat up from my position and sighed heavily. To the people in the group, my friends, they knew me like an open book. Luke give me a timid grin to me. I nod and say, “Let’s get back to work.”
Several minutes later, my brother Nate walks up to my group. “Hey, quiet down, okay? Your group is being too loud.”
“Minutes ago, yes, we were. But now, we are not,” Amy groveled. “In fact, if I see the situation clearly, your squad is being a bit too noisy.”
Nate grumbled and puts a hand to his forehead. “Aw, man, who am I kidding? Eighth graders are the dumbest bunch of all. You all need maturity lessons?”
“Excuse me, please knock it off, Nate.” I stood up and turned to face him. He was a good foot taller than I was, but that fact hadn’t fazed me. “Don’t talk to my friends like that.”
“What are you going to do about it? Tell Mom and Dad? I know you don’t have the heart to tell them or any other adult because you’re such a sycophant around me and everyone else in the family.” My head went down and I felt a trail of guilt lead toward my friends. Gosh, they must be embarrassed at me, I thought.

Nate pointed an accusation finger and dialed it back and forth to the people in my group. The other three in my family came up and backed him up. “All of you are in bottom-feeder clubs, that’s what. Nobody wants you.”

My teeth were clenched tightly together, as were my hands. I saw that Nate was trying to tempt me, to frame me, that my group was the one making trouble. Do not feed into what they want.

The next several moments and hours that followed did accomplished what my fears did not want to happen otherwise. Everyone in my group huddled together, trying urgently to stop this argument that had broken out. My siblings did not want peace; they wanted some fuel for their rage. They wanted dirt and sweat. No one else was out in the hallway, and I did not know what to do. The battle was friends versus family. I felt as I did when I was five years old, and blood trickled down my elbow: terrified. My body and voice was petrified.

Then I remember being called to the principal’s office. No one in my group was banned, but Nate had to endure a week’s worth of in-school suspension while the others in my family suffered detention. Plus, my siblings were out of the speaking competition. When Mom and Dad came to pick us up from school, they were not pleased. “Why can’t the five of you just get along?”

My parents did not see into the big picture enough. The scenario was worse than that. It was my group and me against my siblings and the world. Even when the four of them eventually came into my room, the four people who were yelling to hurt my second family—even when I was hurt and angry—I forgave them. They weren’t always ones to be ticked off by anger easily, and they were not perfect people. I accepted that. I accepted them, good and bad. That was the still the reason why I had continued looking up to them. All of this anger and envy which had encircled my system from that day was let out. There was no point in keeping grudges or feelings like that. I needed to be kind and forgiving. 
My group had one third place overall at the district speaking competition. It was something worth speaking of, but nothing that my siblings raved on after that day. To them, I still was not good enough. Then again, I only had to learn to trust what was in store for me. Great things will happen, for the world takes care of all of its children.

10 March 2015

I Feel Like Katniss and Tris.


I finally know how it feels when Tris Prior or Katniss Everdeen trains.

Ever since last Friday, I have entered the one safe haven and the last huge break from school which, after that, stands between me and summer break. I have been doing my usual calming activities, especially drawing. Once the final bell last Thursday had rung, I went home, collapsed on my bed, drained of mental energy.



My brother and I have been watching the movie Big Hero 6 a total of five times in four days, and the first time was mainly because he could not do the fist bump correctly. Now, the two of us spontaneously start singing out Fred's Angels during the most random times of the day. It's amazing.



This pancake stands for an inside joke which I cannot look at without laughing.


Books, books, books. The training sequences in YA books such as Divergent and the Hunger Games can all sum up how track and field feels like this year. My legs are sore to the bone, and it hurts as I tremble walking up the stairs.

I have only been in my second day of training in a place which reminds me of Bibendum's-- or Baymax's-- stomach. The first day I accidentally practiced with the wrong school, ack! I am the youngest and shortest person there. Stamina is something that I must build up on. Nether the less I have met some pretty nice people, and though training is physically demanding, I leave feeling satisfied. I'll do better tomorrow.

Thanks so much for the abundance of comments you have all left me on Watch -- Part One! I'll post the next chapter on Friday.

What have you all been up to lately? Tell me in the comments!

06 March 2015

Watch -- Part One

I'm here today with my multi-part short story called, "Watch". It's about the youngest of five children who struggles and yearns for many years to receive her siblings' love and attention. Hope you enjoy!

via google



Ever since I was young, I have always looked up to my big brothers and sisters. Being the youngest of five children, I was always the one who followed an example rather than giving one. I had watched them in awe as they grew up winning soccer tournaments and performing as one of the lead characters in a school play since I waddled in diapers. 

I wasn’t sure how I was going to fair among my family, but I did know this: I wanted to be great and my two brothers and two sisters are and get their respect and admiration.

I remember the first time I had tried to vie for their attention. I was five years old, a messy of wiry blonde hair squabbling around on a small hill as a neighborhood summer barbeque commenced. Adults brought out their lawn chairs or their red-and-white checked picnic blankets. Many conversed in small cliques about “big people talk”, as I liked to call it at the time. As for me, I was having the time of my life, squealing and attempting to clasp bubbles. Life couldn’t have gotten any better.

From far away I eyed my older brothers and sisters playing with a floating pink balloon. I never forgot how it looked like: it was an elliptical pink water balloon shrunken down since the day of its inflation. The snot which had dribbled down my nose went unnoticed as I stared them laugh and play with wide eyes.

I wanted to touch the balloon. I want them to come over and play with me!

“Big brother! Big sister!” They made no indication that they had heard me. My cheeks blew up and I tapped my bare foot angrily in response. I skittered over to their area and pull on sister Jenna’s shirt. 

“Big sister?” The four of them stop their game and look at me. I give a toothy grin in response. “Will you watch me?”

Jenna bent down to my height and smoothed my hair. “Do what, Melody?”

“Um…” I thought for a minute, then an idea popped into my head. “Do a cartwheel!”

“Oh! You want to be a gymnast like me, huh?”

“When I grow up, I want to be just like you!” I felt my cheeks fluster as the four of my siblings looked down on me, feeling them embrace me with this newfound respect and love their action seemed to show. 

“Well, go on, then!” Jenna flicked her hand, suggesting a take several steps back. I ran as fast as I can a little more down the hill. My eyes peered out to see my brothers and sisters facing my direction. I, had being five years old and never had attempted a cartwheel before, did not feel a benefit of doubt. My grubby palms raised up to their air, made contact with the ground, and kick my legs up to the air.

The feeling was not sensational. My skirt came down over my face and hindered my sight. My bottom is brought down by the force of gravity. I felt the cold metallic blood rush down my arm. Being the young little girl that I was, I began to cry.

Twenty minutes and a bandage gauze later, I had found myself sitting next to Mom and Dad on the grass. I felt terrible. They had recently finished scolding at my four siblings for not shadowing the situation. The worst part was, the four of them admitted that they knew nothing about my accident. 

I remember feeling the worst dummy. They had lied. They did not watch me.

Did they not care?

I still watched them. I watched them play with that pink balloon—that pink, dratted balloon. Clusters of confusion had swarm over my head. The drawing which is laying on the grass depicted my attempt at a cartwheel, balled and crumped into a ball. I turned and said, “Mommy?”

“Yes, m’dear?”

“Do Jenna and Riley and Nate and George,” I said, gasping in a breath of air with each “and”, “Do they love me?”
Mom had placed her novel face down on the ground and faced me. “Of course.”

“Why won’t they notice me, then?”
Mom, who was wearing shades, did not answer right away. I waited patiently for an answer. My eyes, fear-filled, did not leave her face. That’s when I knew and realized: Mom knew that they did not talk or see me as often as they should. That day, I learned that my brothers and sisters are not perfect. She pulled me closer to her. After several minutes of silence, she cooed softly, “I don’t know, honey.
“I don’t know.”

P.S. Forgot to mention that this is kind of inspired by this piece.