Hope Saved Me From Being a Statistic

zayla dogs

**This piece is a dramatic monologue and is read as a playwright piece. **


Fourteen-year-old girl, Zayla enters wearing jeans and her favorite blue shirt with the words “Science Olympiad” on the front and had clip art images of a microscope, an atom, and a ruler. Zayla stands in the middle of a dark stage with one spot light on her.  She carries a stuffed dog in her arms.

            In the U.S. there are over 18 million alcoholics. Those 18 million alcoholics are affecting about 26.8 million children. I am one of those children. Just because my father is an alcoholic that makes me more likely to follow his footsteps and develop a drug abuse problem when compared to other children without alcoholic parents.

[Zayla starts moving her hands when talking. Keeping motions light and within her body frame.]

Also, I am more likely to develop depression or anxiety, antisocial and behavioral problems, just because my dad decided that this liquid is more important than his own family. All the times he yelled at us because he ran out of beer. All the times that I stayed in my room crying because my mom was at work, and Dad was too wasted to drive for a beer run. But, you see, I won’t be another statistic.

[Zayla starts evenly pacing while looking focused, almost thinking out loud. The hand motions continue]

My mother words too hard to support my father, his habit, and myself. She always makes my education a priority. She always loves to hear the nerdy things I learn in class every day or how I am preparing for the Science Olympiad competition coming up.

[Zayla lets out a small chuckle, followed by a brief pause.] We both have seen the effects of what alcoholism can do. [Zayla adds emphasis to the words ‘refuse/refuses’ every time] My mom refuses my future to become dependent on alcohol. She refuses to let this monster consume me and even consume herself. I refuse to let myself fall into that hole. I refuse to be consumed by this nasty disease. I refuse to be another statistic.

[Zayla holds up her stuffed dog at chest level. Admiring the dog’s short brown fuzz and floppy dark brown ears. She lifts one front paw and lets it fall back down]

This dog; is just not a stuffed dog that a fourteen-year-old girl is attached to for materialistic reasons. This dog represents hope and strength. When I was five, my dad was on a drinking binge all day. He consumed more than usual and he also became madder than usual. Mother just got home, she was late because work made her stay over. My dad had been out of beer for about two hours too long. [Zayla’s hand motions become larger and more frequent. The motions extending outside her body frame.] The yelling… the cussing… made our living room seem like a battle field. I covered my ears behind my closed bedroom door. Mother came to my room and told me with a sob in her voice… [Zayla stands still in the middle of the stage, her tone is depressed. Both of her hands grasp the dog and lowered to her waist.] “We’re going on a beer run.” I remember looking in her eyes and it looked like an ocean was going to pour out.

[Pause, and starts with a calm tone]

We walked up to the gas station that was down the street from our house. There I found this dog [Zayla brings the dog up to eye level, then lowering the dog and hands to a more relaxed position at chest level.] I named it hope. My mother bought a six pack for my dad instead of a twelve pack so she could buy me this stuffed dog. She got down on one knee in that gas station and told me that if she buys me this dog, the dog will protect me from dad’s actions. She told me the dog will keep me safe and always be there when I need someone to talk to. My mom told me that Hope, the dog, will always be there for me when she’s not there.

Since the age of five, Hope has been there for me. Hope has never left me nor I left it. Hope is there making sure I do not become like my father. [Pause] Hope makes sure I do not become another statistic.

[Zayla hugs the dog and exits the stage.]

Ode To Softball

I grab my helmet and my lucky bat,

High five my team on the way out,

I run to the plate and get into my stance.

Knees bent and hands close to my ear; perfect.

While the crowd cheers on for my homerun chance,

The cheers from my teammates echo from the dugout.

 

The games on the line,

The scores 8 to 9.

Two outs and my last at bat,

Here comes the ball,

Strike one,

Strike two.

 

My heart’s beating like tap dancing shoes,

One more strike and my team will lose.

The pitcher starts her wind up,

Here comes the ball, again.

I see the neon ball hit my bat,

POP!

 

I smack the ball,

Like a rocket ship through the skies.

It flies and flies and flies.

I run and run and run.

Rounding third base my coach tells me to head home,

It’s risky, head down and pumping my arms with every leap I take.

 

The ball rolls in,

Looking at the ball, then the plate, then the ball,

Will I make it home?

The catcher, ready to catch the ball and block my slide,

Inches away I am from home,

Teammates cheer on for a homerun.

 

I slide; I slide under the tag,

I’m safe and the score is mine,

The score is ours; my team’s.

I couldn’t have done it alone;

Teamwork is what I needed,

To make it home.


This was an assignment for my creative writing class; I had to write an Ode to a hobby or an object. I chose softball because it was such a big part of my life growing up. Starting at the age of five with tee-ball, I grew up spending my summers on dirt and winters inside on turf. Softball allowed me to be on many teams, meet a lot of other girls, have great coaches, and travel all over the country. This sport also allowed me to experience collegiate softball until medical issues occurred and I had to end my career.  I miss this sport, I miss the weekend-long tournaments, and I miss the sound of the ball hitting the bat.

One Patient At a Time

Nurses fill the hospital with a sense of hope,

The bright blue scrubs radiate in the chaos,

But the nurse is trying to save the patient’s life.

Doctors fill the patient’s families head with worry,

But their white long coat ensures they are trustworthy

And the family allows the doctor to continue treatment.

The hustle of the hospital stresses the workers,

the scrubs tell the story of their 12-hour shift

while they work as a team to save lives

The doctors stress over the loss of their patients,

Their scrubs are soaked in blood,

The doctor tried everything they could do

The family in the waiting room is filled with disbelief,

the bright colors of their clothes cannot even brighten this moment,

the family is morning the loss of a loved one

The lifeless body lays on the hospital bed,

Their clothes are ripped, torn, and soaked,

The team steps away to catch their breath

The room is cleaned and prepped,

The doctors change to fresh scrubs

And prepare for the next patient.

 

The Girl and the Ocean

Along the peaceful ocean, a girl sits in the sand while being overwhelmed by the thoughts raging in her head. She looks around not understanding why everybody is so calm and relaxed while she doesn’t remember what that feels like. The sound of the waves gently crashing along the shore invoke a sense of calmness like those recorded therapeutic CDs. The people are laying in the little sun that is left before it disappears under the horizon. The occasional couple passes while walking barefoot in the ankle-deep water. Their voices relaxed and are focused on the other person; too focused to notice the girl in sobs as they pass. The girl wishes to be normal and not have so many issues. She doesn’t know what normal means but has been told she isn’t it. The girl wishes to be able to engage in a normal conversation without her emotions getting the best of her. The issues come from what people have told her, but it’s not what she truly thinks of herself. The sun sets and the sky is filled with oranges and yellow, but inside she is filled with blues and blacks. Just as the sun leaves the sky, so do the people around her.The darkness is consuming the sky and she misses the feeling of light on her face. The girl wishes should

The darkness is consuming the sky and she misses the feeling of light on her face. The girl wishes should could run away from all those drowning thoughts as she nears the ocean. With her feet in the salt-filled water, she feels the individual waves hug her legs as they pass through. She now feels one with the large body of water that surrounds her. Not far from the shore, a sense of belonging radiates across her mind and fills her body as she slowly starts to accept herself for who she is. The girl found herself in the ocean instead of staying lost on land.

The Last Game

It’s game day,

The last softball game of my high school career.

Taking one last glance at the field,

Nothing has changed over 4 years.

The same old beaten up scoreboard,

Standing tall over the high fence that I’ve hit my share of balls over.

The outfield with that large indent in center field I always hated

Will continue to be there when I leave.

My four years were spent in the infield,

I know it like the back of my hand.

The dried groves in the dirt made it harder to field a ball,

But they taught me how to react better on defense.

The place that I truly loved,

Was the most important place on the field; home plate.

What seemed to be two ditches were only the batter’s boxes,

Where everybody had their own chance to do something big for their team.

Home plate was covered with scratch marks

From the player’s cleats that reached home plate to score.

I thought I would never miss a field of rock solid dirt,

I even happened to left a piece of myself out on that field.

The Heartbreak that Made Me Realize I Don’t Want To Grow Up Yet.

Whether you were the dumper or the dump-ie, doing through a break up is tough. I was recently dumped by someone who I was dating for about a year. Within one year, we had our own rental house, phone contracts, a dog, and a bank account. We did move fast, and I see that now, but it felt so real. He was supposed to be the one or at least I thought he was. Looking back at the relationship I saw a lot of problems that I ignored. This breakup did not destroy me, it made things in my life more clear.

I still am in college and have about 2 more years till I finish my bachelor’s degree. I decided to just go to local community colleges for my associate’s degree, but growing up that is not what I wanted. I had dreams of going to a good sized college and experiencing the college life. I envisioned myself living on campus and going to college parties while getting a degree in something I love. You know what happened to that? Being to consumed with guys and what I thought “love” was, I disregarded my dreams about college. Thinking about it now, I don’t know how I could let someone else keep me from something I wanted so bad.

I took a trip up to see my uncle’s family in the twin cities for a few days. I discovered that I have still so much to do in my life before I settle down. I mean, I’m only in my 20’s and I don’t want to settle down yet. I thought I wanted to get a house with my boyfriend and start our life together, but now I see that I still have things to do.

Things I feel like I need to do before I settle down are personal and adventurous. Personally, I need to find myself. Finding myself has always been tough for me. Growing up, my self-confidence was always a struggle to have and always a challenge to be happy with myself. I also need to focus on what I want to do as a career. I have a great idea of what I want to do but need to really think about the future. I have always loved traveling, even if it is a short road trip to Chicago. I love getting out there and seeing new things. I want to travel more and see more of the world. I’m from a small midwest town and love that big-city feel and feel as if I haven’t seen the beauty of the country.

I get that these feelings are because of the breakup and usually a part of going through the emotions after said breakup, but I don’t think so. I am done putting my emotions and dreams on the side for others. I’m still young and want to experience as much as I can before it is time to settle down.

 

 

To My Brother Who Let a Girl Get Inbetween Us.

Growing up we had our difficulties as any normal sibling duo has. We fought over what cartoon to watch, what radio station to listen to, and even where to sit on the couch. At that time, I would of rather of had a pet then a brother. Things changed for the better once we grew up.

I matured and realized that your pretty cool once you had a car and could take me to Taco Bell. We really started becoming close right before it was time for you to head off to college. I remember the months leading to you moving about 3 hours away; I didn’t want you to leave. With other issues going on at home, we both you wouldn’t be there to keep the peace. It felt like it was them against me without you there, but I got through it.

A few years later, you start talking about your new girlfriend. With you schooling based in Chicago, we didn’t see each other most of the time other than special trips there or you came home. The frequency of your trips home declined due to her and spending most of the time in her company. Less than a year and plans to propose to her arise, and it’s a shock to the family. It’s a shock due to use not knowing her other than what you tell us. With you being in love with her, what we hear from you is bias in every way. The family believed every word of your biased opinion and made her out to be this beautiful and intelligent women. The family met her twice before the wedding with this biased made opinion of her.

Without knowing who she really is or spending a lot of time with her to get to know her, legally she joined our family. People in our family had their hesitant thoughts about it being too soon for you two to get together: but you should know that our family makes this facade of happiness and reassurance. The wedding was beautiful, but the start of a whirlwind of problems that would hurt all of us later on.

The problems that occurred at the wedding are not significant in anyone else’s eyes. It was miscommunication between you, her, our parents, and her parents; and somehow it’s only our parents that you blame. From that day, there have been sides and I’m tired of it.

By no means am I saying this is her fault or anybody’s fault; that’s beside the fact. I am writing this to show how our relationship, as brother and sister, has gone astray due to all of these issues and problems. I wish that who we choose as our significant other would not affect the relationship I have with my sibling. I know the world isn’t perfect. Growing up it seemed like you were the only person that I could go to and be there for me, and now your not there anymore. I looked up to you, you were the peacekeeper in the house, and now your starting fights. It seems like you left us for her.

When I say you left us for her, I literally mean it. Think about it. When you lived in Chicago and not dating her yet, you came home for holidays and family events, and to see me, mom, and dad. When you started dating her you barely ever came home, period. When you came home without her you were constantly on the phone talking to her that it was rude to us, honestly.  Your excuse sometimes was that she has plans and you both can’t make it home to see us, and it seemed like you HAVE to be with her every weekend and can’t go without her even to see me. Another example, do you know how hard it is to realize that mom and dad have to go through another family member to just hear what you are up to?  Our parents are not meaning to be nosey, but they genuinely care about you. I still don’t know much about her and this is where she is beginning to move to my bad side. The whole family feels that she is keeping you away from us: and it’s obvious. I could go into more detail but I’d rather not because I’m sure you know what I mean.

I miss how close we used to be and hope one day that it can go back to the way it was. You are my older brother and I love you.