Resilient is a personal essay about a newspaper article that portrayed my family as being highly dysfunctional and abusive, while looking at how I saw my family growing up.

            I look towards the Arby’s on the other side of court and wonder if I have enough money to buy a milkshake after the interview. The smell of baking pizza, greasy fries, and half cooked hamburgers waft through the air. My stomach rumbles as a reminder that I haven’t eaten in nearly five hours and I’m sitting in place that was designed for food. I look down at my hands on the greasy maroon table and try not to think about all the food.

            “When I heard your story I knew I had to talk to you,” the woman says as she lifts her bag into her lap and continues her search. “I thought how amazing it is that two children can come through so much and still develop into healthy, normal young adults.”

            I can’t help but wonder who she has been talking to about us.

****

            Seth waves his arms in the air, making a banging sound in the back of his throat to imitate fireworks. I sit on the stone steps of the court house watching him rather absentmindedly while our parents meander to all the tents that line the sidewalks during Newark’s annual Strawberry Festival. My parents have decided that at the age of twelve, I’m old enough to watch my eight year old little brother for a couple minutes why they continue their tireless search for something Chris will enjoy when he comes back from his summer at my grandparents.

            The sun is glaring down, determined to punish anyone who has dared to come out in the midst of the ninety degree heat. But nobody misses the Strawberry Festival. All the tents are crowded with people haggling and fighting over the items. The grass surrounding the courthouse is full of families having picnics and teenagers making out. A local church band plays a song about the cross that everyone has heard twenty times before. The music cuts through the air from the pavilion on the corner, the sounds of missed chords and missed pitches make the listener want to run for cover instead of praise God.

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