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TEEN FICTION: 'I'll Clean My Room When I Want To!'

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This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.

By Zahra Hadi

I really hate it when my mom yells at me to clean my room. I mean really, like come on now mom I’m not a baby, I can deal with my own room okay? It’s like she feels the need to control every part of my life ever since she realized that I’m growing up. And my dad, oh man he’s even worse. He thinks he can tell me what to do whenever he wants. It’s like what I think doesn’t even matter. The most annoying part of it is if I say anything back to them I get yelled at for being “disrespectful” which, for immigrant parents like mine, is as bad as being uneducated. Well where was your respect when you came barging into my room? Did you eat it like I swallowed my pride? I hope it gives you indigestion.

One weekend I had a chance to get away from this: my messy room, parents, school, all of it. So, naturally I casually asked (read: begged and pleaded) my parents to let me go to Dallas, Texas for the weekend to have a huge reunion with all the friends I made at summer camp just two months ago. They flew in from all over the United States: the US map would have massive chicken pox if we drew dots from where everyone came from. I gotta tell you, after years of asking permission before going to any party, any dance, or even just to cross the street, three days of doing anything I could possibly dream of was the moment I learned the true meaning of the word freedom in a way that not even The Narrative of Frederick Douglass or 1984 could teach me. But of course, I wasn’t going to get away without a long lecture that I can no longer remember.

Because my loving, caring, overprotective, wise, parents were not there to tell me not to go out with people I didn’t know well, I did just that. I mean come on, I spent nineteen days with these people over the summer, we brushed our teeth, talked, slept, ate, changed, borrowed each other’s clothes, anything you can name, we did together. I was sure I knew them inside and out, so I decided to trust them to drive me and take me to their favorite places to hang out.

We were going to The Cheesecake Factory, which was only a few miles away, or so I was told in front of my aunt and the parents of all my friends. With only four cars amongst the thirty or more of us, we had no choice but to get strategic and have the plumpest people get shotgun while the rest of us piled on top of each other in the backseat. Sitting in some random guy’s lap was not my idea, but I was convinced that it was absolutely necessary to fit in the car so, what the heck, who was watching anyway? As soon as the train of cars was far enough away from plain sight of any adults that could potentially get us into trouble, Jay, my super responsible driver, got onto the freeway and headed toward another city about an hour’s drive away.

Jay is a really popular guy, him and his friends do this all the time and never get caught so what was there to worry about? We were going to The Cloud! Now, I know you need ID to get into a place like that, but because everyone else was old enough I thought I’d just sneak in with them and no one would notice. What a great move that was, I mean really, my pure genius comes out only at times when I need it most. The guard at the door was not lenient by any means so, once my friend showed her card and got in, she passed it down to me and well, I guess you could call it recycling. No guard was going to keep me from having a great time with my best friends! Although I was kind of surprised to see them drink because they all seemed so clean at camp I figure a little drink never killed anyone. The first sip was the best, but after a glass I was starting to feel a little funny and decided to sit in a corner while my friends drank up. I wasn’t on time-out (I was away from home): just taking a little break you know. I had freedom, at least the dizzy kind, at last.

The ride home was eventful, to say the least. Jay reassured me he was okay enough to drive and that I just needed to chill out and take a drink to go or something. I didn’t want to be the lame loser so I didn’t say anything but the last thing I needed was another drink. Note to self: when in an unfamiliar city, do not sit in a boy’s lap on the ride back, especially in a hailstorm. I started panicking but was undamaged for the most part. I forced Jay to pull over while I called the other cars to make sure they were all okay. The car directly in front of us flipped over, I mean like total 360 and after the first three turns I closed my eyes but could hear the hail pounding on the car like an angry giant. Why couldn’t I have just stayed at home with my little cousin and watched Spongebob? I used to love that show! You can never be too old for Spongebob right?

All right, so I obviously made it home alive and thanks to the obliviousness of my friend’s parents we got in no trouble. No wonder they all go out like every weekend, it’s because their mommies don’t make them clean their rooms. Okay mom, I get it, I’ll clean my room… when I feel like it. Just stop nagging already.

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