Due to Lack of Interest

Melanie knocks on her daughter’s bedroom door.
“Sam! Have you forgotten we’re going out for dinner?”
“Sam? We’ll be late if you don’t hurry up!”
Shuffling, muffled noise.
The door opens a crack. All Melanie can see is a black mess – Sam’s hair. “Are you getting changed? Come on, get a move on!”
“Whatever,” says Sam.
Melanie stamps down on her irritation with difficulty. It’s always the same. Whatever. Sometimes she wonders if the education she is paying for is really all it was cracked up to be, since the once broad horizons of Sam’s vocabulary seem to have shrunk to one mediocre, noncommital word. She sighs. “Alright Sam. If you don’t want to come, that’s up to you. Next time I’d appreciate it if you’d tell me beforehand so we don’t have to go through all… this.” She waves her hand around in a vague gesture.
Sam shuts the door. Melanie huffs in annoyance and goes to get her coat. Her head is too full of Max and Danny, Sam’s three-year-old twin brothers, to even think about the possible reasons for her teenage daughter’s withdrawal from society. She doesn’t stop to wonder at Sam’s sudden predilection for long-sleeved poloneck tops, or how she gets defensive when anyone asks her why she never wears a t-shirt now. Everyone says odd behaviour is a teen thing, and whatever rules o.k. so she supposes it is just a phase. It’ll pass. She just wishes it would get on with it.
Behind the door, Sam’s knife is out again, and the tears still refuse to fall, burning her inside until she can’t bear it.
Melanie is right about one thing – the expensive education really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. College is a killer.


19 thoughts on “Due to Lack of Interest

  1. How sad for all involved. As a kid, I was upset when my parents were ‘all up in my face’ because I felt they didn’t have a clue. As a parent, I’d like to think I’d pick up on their distress, but I have a horrible feeling that I wouldn’t have a clue…

  2. Pain hidden by the mask of indifference. It is so easy to just dismiss a teenager being surly as going through a “phase” without looking deeper. Sad, but well-done, story.

  3. What a painful story. I felt like I am reading a somewhat newer version of my teenage. I was like that…. I am still like that. When parents don’t develop a communication habit children are left alone in depression like that. Children don’t know what parents think and parents don’t have any idea what children think !! A bitter reality. Brilliant story !

    1. I am truly sorry you have been/are going through something like this. I think it happens far more than most people know, to one degree or another.
      The important thing is to remember you are worth a great deal, even when you feel that you are worth nothing. And to try to gain some sort of joy, however small – from simple but beautiful things like nature and music… but in the end you really need people who love you to help you out of the dark. And they do exist, and they will try.
      I’m glad I portrayed it well enough for it to strike that chord, even though it’s a painful one. Thank you very much for your comment 🙂

  4. I hope that my daughters will always confide in me if they have a problem but, lots of stuff goes on these days in the lives of our children that we can’t even possibly imagine. This family seem destined to have an incredible amount of sadness and regret enter their lives soon. Very good writing. Sad story.

  5. You wrote this in such a convincing, accurate way from what I know of the experience of teenagers who self-harm. The clues are hiding right there in plain sight. Excellent depiction.

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