Posted in ✍️ Creative Writing ✍️

Another Secret in That House

When I was sixteen I went to stay with a friend’s family.  Though I am forever grateful for the time they kept me, I cannot help but write a creative essay of that experience that so deeply touched me.

Another Secret in That House

There were many secrets in that house, and I was one of them.  To the outside, I was a charity case.  How wonderful of them to take me in!  It must be nice having a teen girl in the house again!  Oh, no, we didn’t mean it that way.  We know you could never replace her

I knew I could have never replaced her.  When everyone was gone—either at school or at work—and I had found an excuse to stay alone in that house, I glided from room to room, touching things gently.  Lightly.  There was the one room, her room, and I dared to go inside.

It was a bright room, full of natural light.  It was expensively furnished in wood, with little trinkets on the dresser.  There was a little jewelry box.  I lifted the top—Garbage Pail Kids cards.  She must have been so cool, a true ’90s child to the core.

There was a bed there, made up, and I didn’t know why.  Nobody slept there.  Or, maybe her mother did, on nights when maybe the tears flowed too hard to share a bed with a living person.  On nights when all she wanted was to smell her scent.

I was gifted some of her shirts, but they never quite fit.  The color, the shape, the style… Her mother looked at me and in her eyes I saw that the shirt didn’t fit in other ways.  The beauty, the attitude, the charm.  I was simply not her.

I felt that I was brought in for a specific purpose, and I had failed that purpose.  I was not outspoken.  I was not funny.  I wasn’t into art and could not play an instrument.  I was just there.

And with the spotlight of someone who had been made a perfect template from which to measure all, the scrutiny fell on me, hard.  The spotlight soon became a crosshair, and I the target of her grief.  Inadequate doesn’t begin to describe what I felt, though it’s a start.

I had been held up and measured against and I had fallen short.

And though I understood the grief with the misguided empathy of a teenager, I had to leave.  I could no longer be compared to ghosts.  I could not compete with the memory of something so sacred.  I could no longer bleed from the soul.

I, one of the many secrets of that house, left, empty, having spilled myself for the love of a mother that would never be my mother, as a daughter that would never be her daughter.


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I'm an indie author sharing my journey of self-publishing and creative writing.

3 thoughts on “Another Secret in That House

  1. Wow that must have been scary for you…I would have left as well….I saw your video on this experience and yes not all that glitter is gold. Blessings to you always


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