Young Eyes


Ring!! The bell rang for lunch. My friends and I rushed to our table and did our normal lunch things. 

Our conversations were a surprise everyday.

We could be talking about cooking one day and what kind of socks we wear the next.

“Where do you live?” One of my friends asked.

“Right across the street, right there,” I pointed to my house, which you could see from the lunch benches.

“Dang that’s close,” said another one of my friends.

“Yeah,” I responded.

I’m happy about where I live. We’ve had neighbors come and go, and none of them have been problematic in the slightest. The neighborhood’s nice and safe, and it’s conveniently close to the schools I’ve attended. Well… until I’m in high school. 

I live on Liatris Circle. A cul-de-sac. My house is the one on the right, two houses down. A medium sized one story house with a beat up basketball hoop in the back.

I’ve always lived there. Liatris Circle is the only street I’ve ever had to know for the shipping address of my online orders. Pretty nice huh.

Image Courtesy of PublicCo on Pixabay.

Blue Swings

My brother and I laugh. A lot.

Sometimes I don’t even know why we’re laughing. It just feels right to.

One time we were laughing so hard that my dad could hear us from inside the house. He came outside to check on us. We were in our backyard. The chains of our swingset rattled. But that’s not what you could hear. It was all giggles and belly laughs.

“What’s so funny out here,” said our dad with a small smile across his face.

We were too busy laughing to respond.

Each of us twisting up our blue swings and holding them above our heads. We let go, stepped back, and laughed until our stomachs hurt.

What’s so funny about throwing and spinning swings? I couldn’t tell you, but my brother and I found it funnier than a five year old finds potty humor funny.

Image Courtesy of sweetlouise on Pixabay.


Shot. The most dreaded word to ever be heard.

Mom woke me up with the news that I had my annual doctor’s check up today. She didn’t specifically say I was getting a shot, but in my guts I had a feeling I was. I always did.

I don’t remember a single doctor’s visit where I didn’t get a shot, or as Mom called it, “a S-H-O-T.”

We walked through the infamous glass automatic sliding doors and felt the cool air brush against our bodies. It smelled cold and fresh like that feeling when you drink water after you’ve chewed mint flavored gum.

After checking in with the receptionist, we took a seat on the worn out blue cushioned chairs. We sat and waited.

“For Samantha,” I heard as a nurse walked through a creaky white door.

Mom and I stood and followed the nurse. She took my weight, height, temperature; she did everything a nurse does. Afterwards, we were seated in the room where my check up would take place.

The check up is never the bad part. It’s the shot that I hate. I was nervous. Every minute that passed just gave me more time for my anxiety to worsen.

My check up with my doctor was finally over, and the nurse walked in. It was time. I saw the tray. The little metal tray lined with a light blue paper that held the one dreaded needle I hated to see.

“You ready?” said the nurse.

I was about to start making a run for it and start bawling my eyes out like usual, but I didn’t. Weird. For the past eight years of my life, I would have lost it at this very moment. But I didn’t.

I was nervous, but not to the point where tears were streaming down my snot dripping face and my mom had to hold me from running across the room.

I held my mom’s hand, like I always did and closed my eyes.

I felt the needle go in.

“All done,” said the nurse.

I looked up to my mom. She looked back at me. I can see how proud she is from her eyes. I did it.

Image Courtesy of fotoblend on Pixabay.

Not a Quitter

It was a normal day at basketball practice. Nothing new. Except that was my problem. There was nothing new to be happy or proud about. I hadn’t been improving in my games for quite some time. I would listen to the same thirty minute lecture in the car rides home from both practice and games.

I was stuck. I hadn’t picked up any new skills in the past three months, but I could see my teammates improving and understanding what they needed to do to improve. I don’t know what to focus on. I don’t know how to improve. My dad will nitpick every single game of mine, yet I don’t know what to do to fix the small problems he sees in my games. I feel like my mind goes blank every time I step foot on that wooden floor. I don’t want to become complacent.

I feel pressure to become great. Yes, I know basketball will most likely never become my career, but I want to make my parents proud. I want to be proud. I crave athletic validation. I strive to be as good as my brother. We started playing the same year, so I feel the need to keep up with him. And when I can’t live up to my expectations, it’s hard to keep fighting. I’ve had this talk with my parents, and I know they would be completely fine if I told them I wanted to quit. But that’s not me. I’m not a quitter. My dad knows me. He knows me as that little girl that would finish anything she started, and I’m not letting anything change that.

Image Courtesy of StockSnap on Pixabay.


My name is Samantha, but some people call me Sam. I like the name Sam. It feels very neutral to me. You wouldn’t know if Sam was a guy or girl if Sam was brought up in a conversation. They’re just Sam unless you actually know them.

My mom actually picked the name Samantha for this very reason. She always tells me that ever since she could remember, she had wanted to name her daughter, if she ever had one, Samantha. She said it was a name that I wouldn’t get picked on for, and it was a name that she knew would eventually shorten down to Sam. She tells me it’s not too feminine and not too masculine, so it would be easy to suit anybody.

“Sam” perfectly describes me. I’m not hyperfeminine nor hypermasculine. I could be twirling in a dress one day, and playing basketball with lots of trash talk the next. I’m a mix. I’m me, Sam.

Image Courtesy of myself.

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