White. That was all she saw. White walls, white ceilings, white doors. She had never noticed before just how white her room was. Other than one full sized mirror, her room was void of any decorations or wall art. It was enough to make her go crazy. The whiteness of it all was giving her a headache. Why hadn’t she ever realized this before? Probably because she’d been too busy before. In fact, she hardly went into her room unless it was to sleep.
But things changed. Now, she spent the majority of her time in her white room. Alone. Just staring up at her white ceiling. Over the past three weeks, she’d come to know her ceiling quite well. It wasn’t something she particularly enjoyed. In fact, she had come to hate her room in the last 21 days. But it provided a sanctuary for her. A safe hiding place where she could lock out the rest of the world. And right now, she needed that escape.
Confronting her dad had been a mistake. Now, he felt guilty. Guilty enough to break it off with his mistress, or so he claimed. He was now coming home after work and eating dinner with the family. Heck, he made dinner half the nights. Sam, of course, was happier than ever. The two of them would have their quality “guy” time together for an hour every night. Her dad was also currently helping Taylor look for a part time job. And at night, he slept on the sofa.
Even her mom was improving. Not significantly, but just ever so slightly. Sometimes, she’d come out of her room and sit in the living room with the rest of the family. She hardly contributed to the conversations, but at least she was making an effort to be there.
That’s more than what Allison was doing. She didn’t want to make an effort. There was too many painful memories with her dad. How could he expect her to welcome him back with open arms? And so she hid in her room. In her mind, she was justified. Justified to feel angry and want to avoid her father. But it was also selfish. Sam was usually caught in the middle. It wasn’t fair to him to make him choose spending time between their dad or her. It wasn’t fair that she still didn’t acknowledge that Taylor was trying to be productive with her time. It certainly was unfair to compare herself to her mother.
But who said life was fair?
Deep down she knew she was being ridiculous. This was what she had wanted after all. Her family to act more like… a family. Her dad was making an effort, that had to count for something. Forgiveness never came easily to her. Trust came harder. So once the trust was broken, she wanted to hold that grudge forever. To remind herself that she made a mistake.
She wasn’t sure if she was still thinking about her dad. Alex’s face flashed through her mind. Their last conversation hurt her. That was 3 weeks and 2 days ago. Now she only saw him in the school hallway, usually with a new girl hanging on his arm. She pretended that it didn’t affect her. But then she’d remember their last kiss. It was supposed to have changed everything.
It had been her own stupid fault. She pushed him away. That’s what she was best at. And now, now she was left alone. Staring at white walls. Full of self pity. Friendless. Then it hit her; she was turning into her mother! This depression was an addictive cycle. One she refused to be a part of. That was it. She was done moping. Jumping off her bed, Allison was back into action.
The first thing to do?
She was going to buy some paint for her walls.
This was going to be the start of her healing process. She knocked on the door to her parent’s room. “Mom?” And then as a second thought added, “Dad?”
They were both in the room. Her dad was talking, her mom just staring out the window. At the sound of her voice they turned their heads to face her. “Allison!” Her father jumped out of his seat, both shocked and delighted that his daughter finally acknowledged his existence.
“I’ve decided I want to paint my room. I was just headed to the store to pick up some paint samples… and I was wondering… hoping, that maybe you’d like to come with me? It’d be nice to get a second opinion on what colors to use.” Talking to her parents shouldn’t have to be so forced. But it was. Oh well. She was making an effort. Even if she ended up stuttering out the entire time talking.
Her parents didn’t say anything at first. They simply stared at her, and then at each other. Allison was getting a tad uncomfortable just standing in the doorway. Perhaps this wasn’t such a great idea.
Surprisingly enough, her mom was the first to break the silence. “That’s a nice thought. In fact, this whole house could do with some color. We could make it a family project.” Her voice was soft, and still very much sad, but Allison loved it nonetheless. It was a rare thing to hear her mom speak. But since her father had been back, it was happening more often.
“I’d like that.” Allison agreed. A family project was sure to end up in fighting, but it was worth a try. Anything to keep her mom motivated. “What are we waiting for? Let’s go get some paint samples tonight, before the store closes!”
Her dad chuckled. “Sweetie, the store is already closed! It’s almost midnight.” To prove it, he pointed to the digital clock. Sure enough, it was 11:54 pm. Strange, Allison didn’t think it was that late. Then again, there’s no sense of time when staring down white walls all day. Now she just felt embarrassed. And extremely unproductive.
“We’ll go tomorrow, I promise.” He assured her, noticing her disappointment.
For the first time in 3 weeks, Allison was excited for tomorrow.