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OC HIGH: STUDENT NEWS AND VIEWS : The Truth Is, Sometimes White Lies Hurt More

<i> Jennifer Lee is a senior at Westminster High School. </i>

Don’t you hate it when adults tell you things that aren’t true?

They tell you that you play the flute wonderfully when you know that you make it sound like someone with asthma wheezing for air.

They tell you, “Sure, go ahead, I’m listening,” when you try and tell them something that happened to you at school that day, but you know they’re not listening.

You wish that you could just hold their head in between your hands and squeeze their cheeks until they listen--just like they do to you.

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When I was 9 years old, my mom took me and my little sister to San Francisco. “It’s going to be fun!” she told us.

She said that it was just going to be us girls because Daddy had to work. We drove up there in Mom’s powder blue Caravan. It took us a whole day to get there, and we saw lots of sights. In Solvang we saw funny-looking windmill buildings that had absolutely no use as windmills. I asked Mom why they didn’t turn, but she didn’t know.

When we got to San Francisco, she checked us into a really tall hotel. Then we went sightseeing. We rode the cable car, which was a lot of fun because there was a hill so steep that everyone slid to the back going up the hill and slid to the front when we went down the hill. We took a tour of the city in a big bus, not like the ones at school, but a nice one with seats for each person and air conditioning.

We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and looked at a big round rock at the Golden Gate Park that overlooked the bay. I thought that was boring, just looking at a big rock, but Mom didn’t want to leave. She looked over the bay and just stared, like she was trying to trap it in her mind forever.

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When we got back to the hotel I went straight to bed because I was so tired. I think my sister did too. When I woke up I thought it would be morning, but it wasn’t. It was still black outside. I could see all the little lights glittering in the other tall buildings around us. It was dark inside too.

I looked for Mom, but I couldn’t see her. I heard her voice. She was on the phone, sitting on her bed. She was crying. I could see the tears sliding down her face like the raindrops that run down your window during a storm. I went to her, put my arms around her neck and sat on her lap, feeling her warmth. I could hear my grandma’s voice coming from the phone.

“When are you coming home?” Grandma asked.

Mom paused. “I don’t know,” she said meekly. They said their goodbys and hung up.

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“Jenny, I have something to tell you,” she said slowly. The tears came faster in a shower of hurt, now from the both of us. I was scared. She held me close. I could feel her breath. She stared into my teary eyes, holding my wet, red cheeks to make me listen.

“Your dad and I love you very much, but we can’t live together any more. We will still be there for you. We’re getting a divorce.”

She stared into my little-girl brown eyes and squeezed my cheeks and made me listen.

She told me that he loved me. I know she was just trying to protect me, but I wish she hadn’t said that. He left us. He hadn’t been there for us. I would’ve preferred the truth.

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I wish I could’ve looked into her eyes with the eyes I have now, squeezed her cheeks and made her listen.


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