The Journey Home

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hi, my name is Sarah Lynn. Right now, I'm in a living hell. That's why I'm looking for a place called, "home."

Submitted: March 10, 2014

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Submitted: March 10, 2014

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Part 1

They say home is where your heart is. I'm looking for that place. Right now, I'm in a prevailing hell. That's why I'm on a journey. I'm on a journey home.

 

Part 2

Welcome to my life. The life of Sarah Lynn. Sarah Lynn; the nobody. The outcast. The girl who cries herself to sleep every night. Want to hear my story? Only girl of 4, divorced parents, 15 years old. It sounds normal, but it isn't. What does "normal" even mean? It's what people expect. "Dad, I want to be normal," I wound say, "everyone else is." Every single time he would reply, "Sarah Lynn, you don't need the be normal. God made you special, he made you what you are today for a reason." My dad truly loved me. Love doesn't have an expiration date, but I do. I'm Sarah Lynn, and my expiration date is October 15, 2014, 10 days from today.

 

Part 3

Parents fight, that's a given. My parents, however, weren't like most. I remember hearing their muffled voices through walls. I remember hearing the loud bang of doors slamming shut. It seemed as though there was never a moment they didn't fight. Well there was one. That was the time I almost lot my life, for the first time. 
It was my second birthday. My mom spent countless months planning for it. The plan was to have a nice picnic in the park. No worries, no stress. Texas weather in October was beautiful. It was warm with a slight breeze. My mom invited all of our relatives, and some of her personal friends. The day was going great. Friends were enjoying cake and watermelon. Kids were running around free. The day was was perfect. Until I stopped breathing.
All it took was a second. I was sitting up on a picnic table with my mother. She turned away for a second. A second. I stared coughing. It wasn't just your usual cough, it was a hacking-up-your-lungs kind of cough. When my mother looked back at me she saw my purple face. My lips were turning blue. My body started shaking. I was just a helpless two-year-old. 
"HELP!" My mother wailed. "My little Sarah Lynn is dying!"
Of course I don't remember this moment very well but I do know what my mom and dad have told me. The world went into slow motion in that moment. Everything was a big pandemonium. My mother took me into her arms and she didn't let go. Someone called 911. The ambulances came and I was strapped to a stretcher. They placed a mask on my pale, purple face. Not once did my mom lt go of my hand. If anything, her grip got stronger. 
The ambulance reached the hospital in 6 minutes and 30 seconds. It was just enough time. Just enough. I barely survived that day. Once I started breathing again, my mom called my dad.
"John David, you idiot where are you?" My mom relayed in a state of heavy anger.
"Whaaaaa.... happened? Honey I lo....... you." My dad was drunk. It wasn't unusual for him.
My dad arrived at the hospital within an hour. He stumbled in, with the smell of whiskey in his breath. My dad loved me, he really did, but he love his alcohol even more. He still is an addict to this day. He says he "needs it." I say it's a crutch. 
I remained in the hospital for three months. I had every test possible done. I got poked and prodded with more than most humans do in their life. Finally a diagnosis came. The doctor said I had Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects your lungs. He said that I was really sick. That's when the expiration date came. The doctor said that I would be lucky to live past the age of sixteen. 
Here I am, almost there. It's hard to thing that I'm going to die. I try the make the most out of everything but sometimes that just isn't enough. 
 

 Part 4

"There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home." -Rosalynn Carter
 
It's day 10. As of today, I have 10 days to live. I believe that you can live a full life in a short amount of time. I've been living with the fact that I'll have a short life for almost sixteen years. Am I scared? No. I know that God made this happen for a reason, he has a plan for me. The only problem is that I don't know what that plan is, so I'm creating a bucket list. Well, here it is:
1. Find "home"
I know it's short, but it's all I want to accomplish in these upcoming days. I want to get started with this as soon as I can, because obviously I don't have a lot of time on my hands. There's one thing I must do fist though. As a responsible young adult, I need to go tell my mother, the only person I have fully trusted in my life, that I don't need her assistance anymore, and that I'm going on a journey to find where I belong. I'm not a responsible young adult. There's no way that I can face my mom and tell her this. I'm  going to write a letter.
Jennifer Brooke,
You're probably wondering why I didn't address this with "mom." Well here's why:
I feel like I don''t belong here. I know you love me and all but you have to realize that you're the ONLY one who loves me. All I'm asking is that you let go. Before my time on this Earth is over, I want to find my real home. Where I feel safe, where God wants me to be. Please know that I love you more than words can describe, and I will be thinking of you on my journey. Please tell the doctor's to stop trying to save me. Tell them that I don't need anymore medicine. I know I'm "sick," but I don't want that to define me. I want to be known for more than just being sick. God has a plan for me. I want to fulfill that. I'd rather die trying to find where I truly belong than live and be known as the "sick outcast."
I hope you understand,
Sarah Lynn
I can't read over it. I just can't. l'm leaving the note on my mom's desk. The first place she'll go when she gets home from work. I need to pack. I don't need much for 10 days. I'm shoving as much as I can into my backpack. One backpack. And I'm gone. My journey begins here. I have no direction, no information. I just walk. I'm aimlessly walking. I find myself closing my eyes periodically. This is it. It's me against the world now. Just me. People around stare. They stare at the slim, weak, pale, sick girl wondering around with nothing but a backpack. Let them stare. I'm on my journey home, and nothing is going to stop me.
 
 
Part 5
 
I've always been an outcast. I've learned to tolerate the mean, hateful, words. Whoever made up he saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me," is wrong. Pitifully wrong. I go to bed every night with people's hateful words ringing in my ears. For all those that have experienced the same, I'm here for you. I've been there. trust me. The damage those words have done to me is impeccable. To make it worse, I haven't just experienced verbal abuse. I've been through some pretty physical situations as well. 
It was the first day of middle school, all I wanted was to fit in. When my parents got divorced, they moved to separate houses. In separate states. My dad stayed in Texas with two of my bothers. My mom moved to Washington with my other two brothers and me. I didn't know that being the "new kid" would suck so much. 
I immediately felt consumed when I walked through the front doors of my middle school on the first day. I was a minnow, in a sea full of sharks. I was the smallest, weakest, person in the school. I was at the bottom of the food chain, so I did what my eldest brother, Matthew Thomas, recommended; stay out of everything. 
I sat towards the front of every class; close to the teachers. At lunch, I sat alone. I could feel the wondering eyes focus on me, but no one said a word, so everything was okay. The after-school bell rang. It was over. I survived my first day. A big wave of relief flushed through my body. I could do this. But I couldn't.
As I walked out of the school, I heard voices behind me. They were whispering my name. I tried to ignore it but it kept getting worse. Vulgar names were coming out of their mouths and suddenly, it felt like everyone was against me. I turned around to face the group of tall, skinny, beautiful girls that were giggling and laughing. Tears started to come. No. I couldn't let that happen, I needed to stay strong. I blinked them away and just looked. I looked at the girls. I just thought. How could  a group of people have the will to torment someone else. It was sick.
"What are you looking at? You freak?" The tallest blonde girl snapped.
I stayed silent, motionless. 
"Who do you think you are? You're worthless. Girls, we need to stay away from her, I heard she has some contagious disease that might make us ugly like her."
The words penetrated, like an arrow. I took a deep breath and tried to turn my cheek, but I couldn't move. The tears started flowing.
"Oh, so now the thing's gonna cry. Let's toughen her up."
That's all it took. The bully picked up a rock. I could of darted away, but I didn't. Who in the right mind would have the mental strength to pelt a rock and a weak, 12 year old that didn't do anything. She did. She threw the rock. It hit me in the chest, knocking me over. I still couldn't move. I just sat there. Another girl followed suit by picking up a bigger rock and throwing it. It hit my temple.
That's the worst pain I ever felt in my life. Not just physical pain, emotional pain. I layed there, helpless, bleeding. It felt like I had been run over by a train. My vision was starting to go fuzzy. A teacher eventually came and called an ambulance. That was the second time I almost died. I felt worthless.
Snap out of it. I can't keep thinking about these old memories. They make me doubt my purpose in life. I feel the scar on my left temple. I have to move on. I have only 10 days.
 
Part 6
 
"Home is where you feel at home and are treated well." -Dalai Lama
 
I have 9 days. I don't know exactly where I am. All I know is that I'm walking. I'm moving forward. Things are going to get better. 
Last night I slept at the local train station. No one questioned my, and that's how I wanted things to be. I'm hungry, I haven't eaten since yesterday, but that's okay. I have 9 days. I can wait. I haven't exactly found home yet but I've found something that I want at home. It's prayer. 
Prayer makes me feel safe. It gives me hope. I have a lot of time to pray. I pray while I walk. I pray for my mother. I pray that she's safe and isn't worrying too much about me. I pray for my father. That he is taking good care of my brothers. That he has let God lead him away from his addiction. I pray for myself, that things will get better, and they are. Lastly, I pray for you. I know you've been hurt in your life one way or another, everyone has. 
I think the prayers are working. I haven't coughed once on this whole trip and nothing bad has happened. Prayer belongs at home.
 
Part 7
 
I have 8 days. I've been praying and everything's turned out okay. okay. I just keep walking. That's all I can do at this point.
Aside from prayer, home contains peace. I like peace. I don't love it, or hate it. I like it. Peace isn't loud, our quite. It's peace. 
It was August. I  was at my grandfather's funeral. I was only 5 at the time, so the whole your-grandfather-is-dead thing didn't quite process. I went through the motions of the funeral. I did what I was suppose to. I really wasn't paying attention to the whole ordeal until my youngest brother, James Carter, said "rest in peace." The word peace stood out to me.
"What does peace mean?" I asked.
My brother took a deep breath. 
"Peace is when everything is okay. It's not when things are bad, it's not when things are really good, it's when things are okay." James Carter said. 
"So grandpa's okay?"
"Yes, Sarah Grace, he's okay."
That's what I wanted. I wanted peace. When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas that year I said I wanted peace. I never got it. That's why I'm on a journey. A journey home. Home has peace.
 
Part 8
 
"Home wasn't built in a day." -Jane Sherwood Ace
Life is tough, but it gets better. I promise. 
After the first day of school, I didn't want to go back. I was at the point where I'd rather take my own life than go back to school. It was bad, but it got better. While I was recovering from my head injury, in the hospital, I received an email from a girl named Mallie. Mallie was head of the yearbook staff at my middle school. She told me that she was new to the town the year before and she knew exactly how I was feeling. 
I felt loved. I felt like someone cared. Mallie and I emailed each other everyday. She made my recovery so much easier. She told me that she had a plan to get people to like me. She interviewed me and said that she would do a story in the yearbook about me. I was beyond excited. Finally, someone was kind enough to reach out their hand and help.
I had to go through immense amounts of therapy to get over my head trauma. I was still out of school when the yearbooks were published. The school shipped a book to my house. I opened up the cardboard box and pulled out the new, stiff yearbook. The cover was glossy. I flipped through as fast as I could. I found it. I found my story. It left me speechless.
"Sarah Lynn: The Psychopath"
I didn't cry this time. There was no need. I should have expected it. I knew that this was too good to be true. That's when I started writing. 
I wrote to feel free. I mostly composed poems. One of them went something like this:
Once there was a flower
so pretty, so small
She hoped to someday
grow very tall
Then one day, she got hold of a knife
it was the one, to end her life.
Writing made me feel powerful. It gave me the power to make a whole room silent, without speaking a word. God made me to write. Home is where I can write.
 
Part 9
 
I have 7 days. Everything has been okay. Everything has been peaceful. 
I have been writing.
I have been praying.
I have been walking. 
I still haven't  eaten. My body's growing weaker, but God is giving me the strength to carry on. I'm still looking. I'm still looking for a place called, "home." I've coughed seven times today. Seven. But I'm okay. I'm not going to stop. I am going to keep walking until I find it. I continue to aimlessly walk with my eyes closed. I rarely open them anymore. I've found faith.
Faith is believing in what you can't see. Trusting in it. There's faith at home. I have faith that I do belong somewhere. Faith is a strong think. It's hard to believe in something that you can't see, feel, smell, hear, or touch. I know that I have a home. I know it. And I'll get there. I just have to keep walking.
 
Part 10
 
I have 6 days. My time is narrowing short. I cough, cough, cough. Sometimes, I don't know if my lungs will make it, if they'll last. They do. I'm still not home. But I'm okay.
Home has writing.
Home has prayer.
Home has peace.
Home has faith. 
I'm still searching though. I'm still searching for home.
It was Valentine's day. I was 14 years old. After my traumatizing school experience, I turned to homeschooling. My mom was an okay teacher. She was okay. School was boring. I complained through geometry, moped through science, and whizzed through history. What got me excited was English. My mom didn't even bother teaching me English. I taught myself. I wrote. I wrote for hours. It's what made me feel safe. It's what made me feel at home. I often substituted writing for the loss of love in my life. 
Since it was Valentine's day, I decided to write a poem about love. Love is a powerful thing, but I felt like I was missing it. My mother loved me. I thought my father loved me,but there was an absence. An absence of love.
Here's the poem I wrote:
L is for the lack of love I receive.
O is for the outcast I am.
V is for how vulgar people are to me. 
E is for the endless cycle of sadness.
I didn't show anyone the poem. I don't like to draw attention to myself. I wanted to feel loved. 
My mother found the poem in my room one day. She said that she wanted me to go see a councilor. I told her that I would have nothing to do with it. 
My mother worried about me. She worried about how I didn't feel loved. 
Everything's okay now though. She doesn't have to worry anymore.
 
Part 11
 
I'm suppose to have 5 days. 5 days. But I don't think I do. I can't stop coughing. My lungs won't work. 
I've stopped walking. 
 
Part 12
 
I'm not walking anymore.
I've arrived. I'm home.
I'm praying.
I'm writing.
I have faith.
There is peace. 
I am loved.
I am in God's hands now. I have arrived to my destination. I am in heaven.  It's where I belong. It's where I always have belonged.
It's my home.


© Copyright 2017 Zoe Elizabeth. All rights reserved.

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