The Night

by Nathalie N., Age 12 , Grade 7, South East Junior High, Iowa City, IA USA
Teacher: Mr. Keller-Wilson


I couldn’t believe what was happening before my eyes. It’s as if my family forgot what had happened a minute ago.

It was a swell evening at my cousin's house in El Paso, Texas. We were just getting out of the refreshing pool, getting out of our soaked up swimsuits, and into our warm clothes to watch some t.v and calm down.

“So what do you want to watch?” I asked my brother.

“I don’t know.” my brother responded.

I was scrolling through the channels, when a scream came in through the open

door. I got up in a flash, and went straight to the door. That’s when I noticed that my aunt was slapping my cousin. But that wasn’t the end of the scene, my cousin was slapping back at my aunt with my cousins son right in the middle of them, seeming like he was about to cry.

“Why are they shouting and slashing at each other?!? They seem like a pack of wild rats out there.” I said with shock in my voice. I kept on staring out the open door, watching my family tear each other down in horror.

“Just close the door, this happens a lot.” Nathan (my second cousin) replied, as if nothing was happening.

I closed the door,  because I couldn’t keep looking out the door. I sat back down on the couch and tried to get my mind off of what I just saw. But I just couldn’t seem to get it out of my head. Along with that I was ticked off because I kept retracing what Nathan had said to me. Just close the door, this happens a lot. That’s not a good thing, I thought. But I was too tired to think about it anymore, so I just feel asleep.

The next morning, when I woke up I went straight to my sister for answers about last night's scene.

“What exactly happened last night? Why were they screaming at each other? Why were they hitting each other?” I shouted so quickly, sounding like gibberish.

My sister told me how they were talking about not feeding dogs to talking about a beer bottle in the trashcan.

“So they were slapping and yelling at each other for not feeding dogs?!? That’s it? That’s what it all was about?” I nearly shouted.

“Yes. I know it’s crazy.” my sister said in a tired voice.

I learned to value how well my parents know how to control alcohol. And how different my life is compared to my second cousins lives. I also am happy that I don’t have to get used to this happening all the time to my siblings and I.


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