My room always smelt of cigarette smoke and lavender. Books and mismatched socks strewn the floor– all my belongings visible in a five-by-five glance. Goodwill bags scarcely filled the cupboard under our sink.
My mom’s boyfriend traded ice cream for my dolls because they portrayed the wrong body image, and I was left to play with books and mismatched socks. When they became too threadbare, I juggled the Goodwill bags until they blew out of my reach.
For my birthday I got concert tickets to a band I didn’t even like and I watched my father slip a fifty to the dealer behind the bathroom. I couldn’t afford my graduation dress that year, so I taped the tags to my back.
The year we got a puppy was the year we couldn’t pay our mortgage. Fifteen thousand short of stability.
-- Katia Dermott, a high school senior in New Hampshire, is an aspiring writer and photographer. She hopes to work with human rights in the future, but for now writes mostly personal pieces that reflect on human interaction with the world. Katia believes writing is a form of art intended to be interpreted, understood, and liked in many different ways, never with a single style for a single piece. She’s received Scholastic Art & Writing awards and has been published by the Putney School as well as in the literary magazine Layman’s Way.