This I Believe

Brittney - Ventura, California
Entered on April 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Don’t Make an ASS out of U and ME

Don’t assume. It is the worst thing that you can ever do in a situation. Assuming leads to disappointment and it can make you ignorant. I assumed that I could do and act however I wanted without affecting other people; but then I found out that I wasn‘t only affecting other people, I was also ruining a relationship. A relationship that would affect the rest of my life; I had to make the right decision or things would go terribly wrong.

A twelve year old girl in sixth grade, I was just beginning my journey on discovering who I was, who I was going to be, and who I wanted to be. I was a little brat, I talked back to my parents, I hardly ever listened to anyone with authority over me, I barely ever showed respect to anyone; not even myself. My excuse was my parent’s divorce but it is so common in this world nowadays that it makes people think that the torment it puts everyone (mainly the children) through is normal and not a big deal. If I was mean to my mom I would tell her that the reason that I was acting that way is that it was the “adjustment that I have to go through from going back and forth from house to house every Wednesday and every other weekend.” I assumed that I could get away with anything, until one day, my step mom got sick of it.

It was a clear blue-skied morning in November. The air was hot and humid. Outside the mall it smelled like gasoline and hotdogs. My step mom (Tracy), my dad, my half sister (Emily), and I walked hastily to the front doors of the mall. The first store Tracy walked to was Old Navy while Emily stayed close behind her. My dad and I followed them. Eventually, Tracy told me that I had to wear a skirt (that she had just picked out) to church the next day. I replied angrily, “You can’t make me.” The rest of that conversation is a blur to me but I remember vividly the part when she told me that I had to walk home with my dad because she did not want to be in the same car as me on the way home. It was an eight mile walk. It took me and my dad around four or five hours to get home and we never stopped walking once we had started.

I assumed that I would not get into any more trouble because I thought that was the worst punishment that she could give me. About a week later Tracy was so tired of my attitude that she decided to make me sleep in Motel 6 on a school night. Her words shot through me like needles. I cringed at the idea that I could actually be kicked out of my dad’s house by my step mom. Then all of a sudden optimism raced through my mind. I thought, “A motel? On a school night? I love motels and I won’t have to clean my room or make my bed in the morning.” I felt relieved that I could still look on the bright side of things. We arrived at the motel around 8 pm. The air was so cold that when I stepped out of the car I could see a cloud of grey fog flowing from my mouth. The only light I could see was the flickering “Motel 6” sign and a lamppost in front of the entrance way. I grabbed my jacket and suitcase and headed towards the door. My dad paid for the room and got the key. I followed him up the creaking metal stairs to our room. When we finally got to the correct room my dad opened the door and I quickly walked inside and turned on the light.

I decided to sit on the bed and watch the little TV that was sitting on a small wooden nightstand. I was suddenly mesmerized by the flickering picture on the TV. Then my dad looked at me and said, “Tracy said that she wants to leave me because she does not like how you act around her.” Teary-eyed I replied, “Ok.” Thoughts were flying through my head like leaves in the wind, scattering all of my emotions. He then sat up and said, “I’m not supposed to tell you this yet but I feel that this might change the way you see things.” I look up and nod my head, hinting that it was ok to tell me the news. He sighs and says, “Tracy is pregnant.” All of a sudden it felt like my stomach was tied into a series of knots that were trying to choke me, I gasped for air and replied, “Oh, that explains some things and I don’t want this new child to have to go through what I am going through so I will try to do my best to make Tracy happy and apologize to her.” The weight of guilt was lifted from my shoulders as I hugged my dad and we cried together for the first time. Things got better and my new baby brother Benjamin was born.

Then years passed and things worsened again. My ninth grade year was probably one of the hardest years of my life. I was trying to get emancipated, I got bad grades, and I did whatever I wanted no matter the consequences. I eventually got through it all and I improved myself. I assumed that I would never be blamed for my parents almost getting a divorce again but two weeks ago it happen. I think that my parents are just trying to threaten me to make me be a better person, but they do not understand the pain they are causing me. That is why I believe that you should never assume that something will or will not happen.