Standing Room Only

A World of Short Stories


I always felt like the park next to my house was my sanctuary.  When my parents started fighting or I was feeling claustrophobic in our tiny house, I went to the park.  There were plenty of benches to do my homework and for the most part, the families who frequented the park were dog friendly.  I never felt comfortable leaving Maisy home with my father because I never knew what he would do. 

My friends knew to look for me first at the park.  No one bothered to call my house anymore and my parents were convinced thirteen was not old enough for a cell phone so most  wandered down to the park before trying to find me at home.  I often debated trying to convince myself to sleep in the park just so I could spend more time outside, but decided it probably wasn’t the safest place to be when the sun went down.   

Everything came crashing down on the last day of summer.  I knew something had happened when the police cars came barreling down the street and stopped in front of my house.  When the police wouldn’t let me inside, I knew it was finally over.  My tears and heartbreak were over.  I could finally move back in with my grandma.  With someone who loved me.  Someone who cared.  Someone who wouldn’t let me spend my entire childhood in a park by myself.  I knew she probably orchestrated the whole afternoon and I thanked my lucky stars. 

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