Flashback Friday is where I post some of my original writing of my life as a younger me. I’m sorry that I don’t have any pictures this week. Hope you’ll still enjoy it :) I am about 5 or 6 years old in this story.
Most of my vacations stick pretty well in my memory, but there’s one vacation where I remember more what happened when we got home than what happened on our trip.
We pulled up to our house in either our Dodge Dart or our Colt Vista. I don’t remember which car it was, but those are the two cars from my childhood. My dad had awesome taste in cars. My sister and I bounced out of the car and then jumped up and down impatiently while we waited for them to unlock the front door. As soon as the door was open, we ran in the house while my parents went back to get stuff out of the car. My sister and I ran through all the rooms, but we stopped short when we saw my parents’ room. It was a mess. I couldn’t believe it. I’d never seen my parents’ room a mess. MY room is the one that is always a mess. Delighted, I bounded back outside and yelled the whole way, “Mommy! Daddy! Your room is a mess!”
“What?” my parents say, confused.
“It’s a mess! Come see!”
I’m so excited to show them that I’m not the only one with a messy room that I run in front of them back to their room. I reach their room before them and when they get there, I’m caught off guard by their reaction. I don’t know what reaction I was expecting, but their upset faces was not it. I wanted them to say something like, “You’re right Jessica!” Playful nudge. “We didn’t clean our room this time! I guess you’re not the only one who doesn’t like cleaning their room.”
Instead, they are upset and shocked and my mom starts crying. Now I’m scared that I’m going to get in trouble. They’re going to think I did it because I’m the one that told them about it. In a timid voice, I say, “I didn’t do it.” I can’t tell if they heard me. They’re not paying attention to me. Puzzled, I try to walk in the room to see if I can figure out what’s so upsetting about this but they both firmly and immediately tell me to stay out of their room and then they leave down the hall.
From the hall I look around my parents’ room more closely this time to see if I can figure out what is wrong. But it just looks messy to me. Still puzzled, I walk over to my room, which is kiddy-corner from theirs. My room is covered with clothes and toys all over the floor, and my bed isn’t made. My Little Pony sits next to my foot by the doorway. Same as usual. Slowly, I walk back to the doorway of my parents room. Their bed is made and there are no clothes or toys anywhere, but there are lots and lots of things scattered everywhere on the floor.
I look up and notice that the window is wide open. This is the first thing that I find odd. My dad never lets us open the windows all the way. We can open them a crack in the summer so the cool air from the swamp cooler will come in our rooms. We’re not allowed to open the windows at all in the winter. I wonder why my dad would leave his window wide open. It doesn’t seem like something he would do.
I hear the front door open and a man all dressed in black walks past the end of the hallway. I hide at the end of the hall because I don’t know who he is. I can hear some of my parents’ conversation with him filled with words like “perfume,” “money,” “teenage boys,” and “missing.” I know all of those words but they don’t make sense together. I glance back in my parents room and it dawns on me that maybe some things are missing in there. The bed, nightstands and dresser are all still there. I can’t tell if anything is missing or not. It doesn’t seem like it. Curiosity gets the best of me and I walk down the end of the hall and peek around the corner into the dining room where they are all talking. I arrive in time to hear the man in black say, “I’m sorry. There’s nothing more I can do.” And then he leaves in his white car. Why did my parents call him if he can’t do anything? Do they need help cleaning their room?
My mom’s not as upset anymore and when my mom and dad see me, they tell me that everything is all right and not to worry. I’m comforted at first until I realize that there was something to worry about. They clean up their room carefully and slowly and shut the window. If I took that long cleaning my room, they’d probably get mad at me.
After that, my dad bought these silver locks for all of our windows and we were told to never take them off. Now, every time that we went on vacation, my dad would set up elaborate lights and timers all through the house. He’d stick lamps in the hall and get lots and lots of extension cords. It was a lot of work and I didn’t like helping. Not only that, but I didn’t see why we had to do it in the first place. I still remember standing outside right before we were going to leave somewhere while my dad tested all the lights and timers.
It’s funny how being an adult makes you see things that you didn’t before. Looking back on what happened that day makes me sad mostly because of the innocent and self-centered way I saw everything. It’s a reminder to me that kids just don’t see things the way that we do.