Peer Review by AminahMcBina (United States)

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By: Faith Camp


Memories come in the form of bruises. Memories from when Pa had too much to drink and took his anger out the wrong way, memories from Jamie’s jealousy over a text sent to another boy, memories from when I had no choice but to fall to the ground in defeat during fights.
Fights were more verbal than physical when it comes to my father. He learned that words could cut deeper than wounds, so I quickly filled his place in my heart with music. It drowned out the name-calling, the screaming, the never-ending ‘discipline’ over me stepping with my right foot rather than my left. So, surrendering before something could even start became muscle memory. No one ever stopped to ask if I was okay. No one ever wondered about my well-being, if I was being fed at night, no ‘oh, Viv? How’s your day?’ It was shuffle along to your next class and drag your weight with you. Join in on the misery or don’t act at all. Suck it up and stop crying, because others have it worse and at least you have a roof over your head, right?
My brother used to talk about social statuses when he was around. The hierarchy of high school, how to survive or just barely pass. He was my guide to getting through life until he moved. Then our uncle called, saying he needed help at the quarry again. With me in school and Pa having not talked to his brother in six years, he was the only one who could go. Pa wasn’t one for change. He was never one to let grudges go, to move on from past mistakes, to forgive and forget when the time came. Feuds were feuds and lies were lies. No one could shift his mindset even if they wanted to. He was a stubborn man that took his label to high extents.
My escape was the 7ELEVEn on route ’93. People barely knew about it, but the cashiers were nice and the food was cheap. There was the occasional sketchy person, yet they never saw the need to steal. Nothing in that part of town was valuable, and the closest thing that had worth was the broken heater downtown. That thing had been left on the curb for ten years and never got picked up.
Slurpee’s acted as a temporary substitute for anti-depressants. There wasn’t enough money in the bank and I knew better than to find my own drugs, whereas other kids were high as ever and tripping on every sort of acid known to man.
Life was rocky but we somehow made it through. The bruises still lay on my skin, mocking the hard times and every accidental glance making me relive them. But you push through and make it out on the other side pretty damn well.
My past will not define me.

Message to Readers

Feedback is welcome :)

Peer Review

This entire writing moved me. I once wrote a poem, and in it I wrote "Memories are orbs of the past, we can't relive, a look back of times we should forgive." And your entire writing of memories, brought tears to my eyes, because memories aren't always delightful, but they do in a way shape a person.

I think this is a phenomenal piece of work, I think no changes were needed. Well done!

Reviewer Comments

All day I've been reading prompts and free writing(s) and I think so far, this is the best piece I've stumbled upon.