The sixth chapter


My arm still kind of hurts, but I felt like I needed to write some stuff down. I don’t even have my journal with me; I’m writing this on a flimsy napkin. It’s probably going to rip at the force of my pen. But then again, I don’t know if my arm is even forceful enough yet for that to happen.

Mom and Dad came to visit me the other day. I’ve been in this bed for two days since I woke up for the first time. They came yesterday. Today is pretty lonely. That’s why I’m writing, of course. I can be my own friend with these words; it’s like having a conversation with myself.

When Mom came in, I cried. They were happy tears as well as sad tears– happy because I missed her and sad because I thought she would be so, so disappointed in me. She said, though, that she was just thankful that I was alive.

She was crying too, and we cried together for a while. I thanked her for coming to see me; I thanked Dad, too. I still have never seen him cry, but I could tell that he was shaken. He gave me a big, warm hug that I tried my best to return, despite all the injuries on my body.

They sat down and waited for me to regain composure. After a few breaths, I started speaking. I told them I was sorry for running off recklessly; I told them I was suffocating from the constrictions of this town; I told them I was ready to go see the world.

They gave me an “Oh, honey” look.

They gave each other an “Oh, dear” look.

Here comes the talk, again. They told me I’m not ready to leave the sheltered suburbs, I’m not ready to fend for myself, and I’m not ready to break out of my comfort zone. Or so they thought. I mustered up all the internal fire that I could and stared them dead in the eye.

I used the “Look how far I’d go to prove a point” argument, which they did not like. They shook their heads when I waved my bandaged arms and legs at them. So I tried again.

I used the “In a few years, I’ll have to fend for myself anyway” argument, which they also did not like. They just sighed as I pathetically pretended like I knew what independence meant.

Finally, I relented with my toughness acts. If I was to convince my parents of letting me go abroad, I would have to be vulnerable and honest.

So I explained how I could never connect with people at school because they never wanted to see beyond their narrow lenses. I wanted to go out into the world and be a part of new cultures.

Petty drama at school never fazed me because I knew that the world was greater than the four walls that surrounded me. It was difficult for them to see things my way; I knew how the generation gap plagued this town.

But I longed to feel small and insignificant in a world so large. To look up and see mountains higher than the unattainable GPA, to look down and see valleys deeper than the holes we dig ourselves into with shallow gossip.

I told Mom and Dad that yes, I understood why they would want me to stay in a facility ranked #1 in the state for high school education.

I can empathize with their worries for me wanting to leave the security-guarded doors, but could they empathize with my dreams to educate myself in a different environment?

I was relentless. Being in new places to learn would not take away anything from my education; rather, it would enhance it beyond belief.

Meeting new people in new places will only add to my high school- and life-experience. Trying new traditions of new cultures isn’t harmful. Being exposed to new viewpoints from new political standings would help me develop my own opinion– one that is truly my own.

I searched their eyes for any hint of their thoughts.

My wish to study abroad does not stem from ungratefulness of the life I have here. I’m absolutely blessed with a great family and an elite access to education; I never forget that.

Yes, I have the world at my fingertips, but I would gain more if the world was beneath my feet– if I was out there, walking the walks and talking the talks firsthand.

By that point in my argument, I had tears in my eyes. The thought of studying abroad was so important to me that I would work for the funds on my own; Mom and Dad need not chime in with a single cent.

They sigheda�� and said that they would consider it.

I call that a win.


With the last whiff of her pen, Wren’s shaky arm returned to its position at her side. She giggled a little bit at the sight of all the napkins she had gone through from writing to herself. A whole stack of white felt was stained with ink, one falling after the other from the table to the floor.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Startled, Wren called for the visitor to come in.

As the door creaked open, she saw who it was: Colton.