And Lucy | Teen Ink

And Lucy MAG

September 3, 2009
By Berrylublee BRONZE, West Palm Beach, Florida
Berrylublee BRONZE, West Palm Beach, Florida
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door." ~ Paul Beatty

I sit in the afternoon sun with my ­father, eating Strawberry Sensation Sherbet. This is a treat – not the sherbet, him. Since he's been back, my mother says that the less I see him the better. The park bench is uncomfortable on my backside, and if I lift my thigh, I can see where kids have carved things like “TJ & NM 4 EVA.”


I watch the sherbet drip down the cone and over my fingers. We didn't have to be in a park; we could've been anywhere, preferably somewhere with air conditioning. But this is our spot. It's the bench we come to whenever there is “something important to discuss,” and I think there is. Just then, he pipes up: “You see that girl over there?”

He points across the cobblestone path to a bench a few yards away, just out of earshot. A mother sits with her daughter, who looks about three or four. She's wearing an ironed beige dress, knee-high socks and a pair of Mary Janes. They share the same treat we do.

“But Mommy,” she whines, “I wanted orange.”

A piece of me whines with her. What's this about?

“I used to dress you both like that,” my father continues. “You and your sister.”

Bingo. “Stepsister,” I correct him. I haven't seen Lucy in a while. “How is she?”

“Good. She's been traveling this summer.”


“In fact, she may be coming up to see us soon.”

I don't hear myself, but this must be when I ask him just how soon soon is, because from faraway he says, “Her plane lands early tomorrow.”

Unfair. The word gets comfy in my mind as I watch the sweetness of summer fall and splatter on the sidewalk, and someone starts to cry.

I think I'm in the mood for orange, too.


When Dad drops me off at home, there's a plate of warm ravioli sitting there for me, courtesy of my mother's husband, who can only make this and TV dinners. Their son, Peter, sits across from my bowl with one of his own. He jumps when he sees me. Peter already knows.

“Terri!” he chirps. “Tell me about your sister, please?”

I roll my eyes and stick my pinky into his lunch. “Go stand in the street, please?”

“You don't have to be a jerk about it.” His tiny features turn to a frown, then twist into a smile. “I'll ask your dad. He'd know more about his favorite daughter anyway.”

He wins, and he knows it. He saunters out of the room a little taller than usual, and I feel my face turn the color of ravioli. I think about what I would've told him. What did I know? I knew that she was only a year younger than me, and that for the last 16 years, Dad had been with Lucy and her mother in California until that family, much like his first, fell to pieces. And now he was here in Florida with me, Plan B.

Now Plan A was on its way here to do what I still couldn't, which was stay with him. “He better not let her in my room,” I mutter into my bowl. I had helped Dad pick an apartment when he moved back a year ago. Someplace cozy, I thought. Just for me and him.

And Lucy, of course.

Suddenly, I'm not in the mood to eat. Not sherbet, not ravioli. I sit back in my chair and sigh. I can hear Peter and my mother coming down the hall toward the dining room.

“Don't bug Terri about it.”

This was supposed to be a whisper, but it sounds more like her hissing at him. Being bugged is the least of my worries. Then the idea hits me like a plane from California.


She enters the room with Peter, wearing her you-didn't-hear-what-I-just-said look. “What is it?”

She looks hopeful and wide-eyed, like I'm going to dump my 16 years of baggage onto her. “Can I spend the night at Dad's?”

Peter clears his throat so loudly, it turns into a cough. We ignore him.

“Why?” she asks.

I don't want her in my room. “I want to welcome her to Florida.”

Peter is still coughing, and turning a little red. She raises a plucked eyebrow at me.

“Fine. I can see this is important to you,” she says.

Then she says the two words I never thought I'd hear: “Call him.”


Dad's happy to drive back for me, telling me the whole ride how Lucy and I are blood, and that it's thicker than anything.

“'Cause you and Lucy are blood, and that's thicker than anything,” he repeats, opening my car door. I smile at him, and wonder if he does that for her, too.

We eat spaghetti before bed on the plates I helped him pick out, and I wait until I hear him yawn and close his bedroom door. Then I grab his family photos. The album is black with lace trim on the outside and the word “Memories” in cursive on the front.

I'm only in one picture, since he left when I was a baby. The rest are Lucy: him and Lucy at her fifth birthday party, he and Lucy at her volleyball game, he and Lucy saying good-bye at the airport. Soon there will probably be one of him and Lucy here. The next morning, I tell him that I'd rather not join him to pick her up.

“No, thanks. I want to stay here. Get everything, you know, ready.”

He frowns, but doesn't argue. “I'll be back with her in an hour.”

One hour. For one hour, I keep my world to myself.

But an hour doesn't pass as quickly as you'd think. I came to find that in an hour, I could clean my room and mess it up. I could make three sandwiches and eat them. I found that I could take photos of my father's family, the one I'm not a part of, rip them to shreds, and hide them.

And at the end of an hour, when I'm full of mayonnaise and covered in paper cuts, I can bandage myself, pull out the couch bed, and let them in.

Him and Lucy, the two of them ­together.

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This article has 22 comments.

on Jun. 29 2013 at 11:46 pm
oliviajocson SILVER, Normal, Illinois
6 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Learning to love the process."

Awesome. Keep writing.

on Jan. 20 2012 at 10:56 pm
otherpoet SILVER, Wayland, Massachusetts
6 articles 9 photos 254 comments

Favorite Quote:
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." - Audrey Hepburn

I really like this story. You do a fantastic job capturing your characters thoughts and emotions. Congrats!

on Oct. 19 2011 at 1:34 pm
VioletsandVoice, Spiritwood, North Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 170 comments
this reminds me (in a good way) of the book "Perfect" by Natasha Friend, have you ever read it? Great piece overall, you really make us sympathize with your character

on Sep. 5 2011 at 8:41 am
singinginthegardn GOLD, Cowell, Massachusetts
16 articles 2 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." ~Anaïs Nin

THIS IS AMAZING!! <3 and I just realized how perfect the picture is.. :)

on Jan. 11 2011 at 2:47 pm
nascar48jj SILVER, Cicero, New York
6 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?""-Ferris Bueller

wow this is such a great story line! I feel so bad for Terri though! overall amazing story!! <3

on Sep. 18 2010 at 10:04 am
Berrylublee BRONZE, West Palm Beach, Florida
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door." ~ Paul Beatty



Sure thing :)

AsIAm PLATINUM said...
on Sep. 18 2010 at 7:07 am
AsIAm PLATINUM, Somewhere, North Carolina
48 articles 3 photos 606 comments

Favorite Quote:
"According to some, heroic deaths are admirable things. (Generally those who don't have to do it. Politicians and writers spring to mind.) I've never been convinced by this argument, mainly because, no matter how cool, stylish, composed, unflappable, manly, or defiant you are, at the end of the day you're also dead. Which is a little too permanent for my liking." — Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate)

The Good: This has a really great story line, and I love how you developed the situation.  I feel so bad for the main character - she is so real I can feel her pain.  Very good job!

The Bad: No complaints here! :)

The Random: Would you read some of my stuff? Thanks!


on Aug. 14 2010 at 7:51 pm
DiamondsIntheGrass GOLD, Martinsville, New Jersey
14 articles 1 photo 278 comments

Favorite Quote:
Worry is simply a misuse of the imagination.

i feel sort of devastated right now.  feel so bad for terri.  love this story.  write more???  :) 

on May. 31 2010 at 5:48 pm
SarClark BRONZE, NC, Connecticut
2 articles 0 photos 534 comments
I WANT MORE! :) lol 

on May. 24 2010 at 9:49 am
ambretta BRONZE, Uhrichsville, Ohio
2 articles 12 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
there is never a single moment when you grow up but there is that one moment when you realize you have.

this is such a great story! i wish you would continue it.

Mommy said...
on May. 10 2010 at 8:24 pm

Deborah, what a great story, I read it this first and loved how fresh,new and exciting the story is. Keep up the great work!!



gigi said...
on May. 10 2010 at 8:21 pm
Awesome writing!! This young lady has a blessed insight. Keep writing, I want to hear more!

on May. 7 2010 at 9:39 pm
silenceandnoise SILVER, Chicago, Illinois
9 articles 0 photos 5 comments
so good! the end and the beginning are especially well written.

on May. 4 2010 at 2:51 pm
missalice BRONZE, Fall River, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 4 comments
Stunning work. I like the symbolism behind the author wanting orange sherbert too. Keep writing.(=

Kimbla said...
on May. 4 2010 at 1:10 pm
Kimbla, G, Mississippi
0 articles 0 photos 22 comments
i like it.  no theres some stories that you read andthey're like the same plot and type but this one is different which is good!!;P

on May. 1 2010 at 8:56 pm
TrulyRosa BRONZE, Beaverton, Oregon
2 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Play the wrong note and we'll all b[e] flat."

good work! i love the expression/feeling u added. great work! i want to see more soon!

Nyrihaz said...
on Apr. 30 2010 at 10:24 pm
Nyrihaz, Isabela, Other
0 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Listen to the screams a silent room makes"

I liked this. The emotions are very real, poignant and sharp. The ending leaves you wondering. And now I want to meet Lucy, see her side of the story.

Great Story! ^.^

on Apr. 30 2010 at 10:14 pm
Star_In_The_Sky BRONZE, Isabela, Other
4 articles 0 photos 12 comments
I like this.  It's so real and emotional. And your use of imagery is very good. =]

-Kristy BRONZE said...
on Apr. 30 2010 at 8:40 pm
-Kristy BRONZE, Cape Coral, Florida
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth the hurt." -Bob Marley!

Very good! I like it a lot :) Please write more!

Sevanna BRONZE said...
on Apr. 30 2010 at 3:13 pm
Sevanna BRONZE, Khartoum, Other
4 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life isn't about the number of breaths we take. It's about the moments that take our breath away.

lol the end is kind of scary..the part about when you are covered in mayonnaise and paper cuts..and when you tore the pictures that you're not in. But still, pretty good! :)