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.
“How about I have you’re sorry ass thrown into jail?” he screams at her. “How about I throw that bitch of a daughter of yours out on the street?”
The shouting continues and I pull a pillow over my head. Why can’t they just stop?
“You are so fucking stupid,” he screams, and it echoes off the walls.
The article reeked of misquotations and over exaggerations. Chris and I both discarded it after reading, but my grandmother cut it out and hid it in a box for me. My English teacher, Mrs. Rector, posted it on her bulletin board, exclaiming how she had never known that I had come through so much.
“That’s funny,” I said to her, “neither did I.”
“Chris has gotten so pudgy,” I say through bouts of laughter as I pull the pumpkin pie out of the oven.
“I know,” my mother cries. “That boy can really pack on the pounds. Makes me wonder how good of a cook that wife of his is.”
“She’s not,” I say, “they just eat out a lot.”
There is a long pause while I think about the meal at a relative’s house yesterday where I ran into my older brother and his wife. For a moment I look towards the picture of him and Amy on the counter, one where Chris leans against the rails of a boat in shorts and a t shirt while Amy rests her head on his shoulder. His face has filled out, his waist has thickened, and there is a vibrant glow in his eyes. His forearms still bare those faint scars, but they are mere memories of a worse time.
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