"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your front door."

seventeen years old
joined June 2020
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Years of My Life

March 1, 2021

PROMPT: Year by Year

Year 1: A New Home, Again
“You have now arrived in Tokyo, Japan. Local time is 1:38 pm. Thank you for flying with WestJet.”
My six-month old self was unfazed. I snuggled deeper into my mother’s arms, relishing the feeling of the soft baby pyjamas moving against my skin.

Year 2: A Claiming and a Naming
We peered down at the two babies in the crib.
“Lucas is mine,” my older brother said, looking at the dark-haired one. He pointed out the single brown hair curling up from the back of the baby’s scalp. “I’m going to call him my little curl.”
I nodded solemnly. “James can be mine,” I said, eyeing the blond-haired baby.  “I’ll call him my little monkey.”
And so it was settled. 

Year 3: I’m Stuck
“Help! I’m sthuck! I’m sthuck!”
“I’m comin’ Avril!” Isaiah came running, fully decked in his shiny bright-red firefighter suit and boots. Throwing his plastic firefighter axe to the ground, he reached for my hands and started pulling me out from underneath the bed.
“Pull harder I’m still sthtuck!”
With one last tug I was free. 
Isaiah looked at me with bright eyes as I came to my feet. “Play one more time?”
I nodded. Grinning, my older brother ran out of the room and I fixed myself back under the bed.
I made sure I was good and stuck.

Year 4: Yochien*
I sat perched on the arm of the couch, staring out the window. 
“He won’t be home for another three hours, Avril. Come have lunch.”
I sighed. Taking one last long look at the window, I followed my dad to the kitchen. 
*Yochien is Japanese preschool

Year 5: Are there parks in Canada?
I sat in an airplane again. This time, on my own seat.
I looked up. “Mommy?”
“Are there parks in Canada?” 
“Yes of course, honey. There are parks everywhere.”
I smiled. Good. 

Year 6: Someone New
Four little hands reached out to touch my mother’s round belly. 
She smiled. “One at a time, guys.”

Year 7: Hospital
“Avril, your brothers are here.” A gentle voice cut through my sleep. 
I opened my eyes, and there they were. My dad held the littlest. The other three stood, eyeing the tubes stuck in my arm and foot.
“Hi,” I said weakly.

Year 8: Katelyn
At recess, all the swings were taken. I stood watching, waiting for my turn. The swings went back and forth, back and forth. 
One swing stopped. A girl stepped off and walked toward me slowly, clutching the chain of the swing in one hand. “Here,” she said as she passed it to me. 
I smiled. “Thanks,” I whispered.
She ducked her head and smiled before walking away.

Year 9: A Catch
There was a soft smack as the yellow ball landed in my glove. I heard the screech of the umpire’s whistle, and the cry of “out!”
Looking up, I saw my dad cheering from his lawnchair. I closed my glove around the ball and lifted it up above my head, triumphant.

Year 10: Surgery
“Yep, he definitely needs surgery. In fact, I think it’s cancer.”
James gently stroked the mane of his small stuffed lion. “Just make sure you don’t hurt him, okay?”
I pulled out the scissors and my needle and thread. “Of course.”

Year 11: To be the girl
“New toothbrushes for everyone!” My mom tore open the package and handed out the colourful toothbrushes.
I stared down at the one in my hands. “Why do I always get the pink one?”

Year 12: Immersed
I looked up from my book at the knock on my door.
“Wanna play stuffed animal land?” James was holding his favourite cow by the tail.
“Um.” Harry Potter had been just about to reach the end of the maze. “Yeah sure.” 
I put the bookmark in slowly and left Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on my bed.

Year 13:  Max
“No way,” Isaiah said.
The five of us were staring at the small blue collar in my mom’s hand.
“He’s a golden retriever,” she told us. “He’ll be ready for us by the summer.”

Year 14: When it really hit me
I sang the words on the screen.
“He loves us, Oh how he loves us, Oh how he loves.”
Wait. He loves me?

Year 15: That’s not enough
“A boiled egg, half a banana, and some cucumbers.”
The doctor stared at me. “That’s all? For the whole day?”
She typed something into her computer. “How long has this been going on?”
I looked at the ground.

Year 16: Sleepover dreams
We lay on our backs in the tent. 
“What do you want to do after high school, Avril?” Katelyn asked.
 “I want to be a doctor.” I rolled over to face her. “Or maybe a nurse.”

Year 17: The second time he left
“Grandma told me to tell you not to talk to strangers on the plane.”
He laughed. “I’ll try my best.”
He kissed his girlfriend goodbye before walking past the security gates. He turned and waved once before disappearing from our sight.
I smiled and waved back. A single tear rolled down my cheek.


See History
  • March 1, 2021 - 9:44pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Nyla

    Oh my wow! I love the description and emotion put into this. I love how you named all the years and I love the pacing. It feels like a story and I love how you hint at things rather than explicitly say them! You're so strong for getting through 15! :)

    6 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    ohhhhhh... this is beautiful <3

    6 months ago
  • don't you see the starlight (#TS)

    oh my gosh. i loved the way this was written, the rhythm, the feel of it. it made me feel so many emotions.

    7 months ago
  • Wisp

    The whole structure of this is so cozy. There's a sentiment in it that made my heart ache throughout the whole piece. It feels like I'm watching you grow reading this and it's like you're sharing your life story with us. This is so beautiful and honestly I love it a lot. Your experiences are so darling and the way you write of your family, it's just breathtaking. Beautiful work!

    7 months ago
  • Zirong

    OMG this is so intriguing and really tugs at my heartstrings.

    7 months ago
  • SamRose

    I LOVE IT SO MUCH! The way you write is so entertaining!

    7 months ago
  • doodleninja

    awww this is so sweet and heartfelt! love how you gave titles to each year. year 14 and year 17 got me in the feels <3

    7 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Aaa this is great! And wait, are you a Christian?

    7 months ago
  • journal.scribbles

    re: Thank you! Nice, my dad taught English in Japan and now teaches Japanese here in the US. Lol it's okay, I have the same issue myself pretty often :)

    7 months ago
  • Ellington Stone

    This was super unique!! I really liked it.

    7 months ago
  • journal.scribbles

    This is so beautifully written. Wow, you lived in Japan and now live in Canada? It's kinda funny: I'm half-Japanese and want to move to Canada when I'm older. Anyways, amazing piece with such a powerful ending! Incredible job!

    7 months ago