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I'm growing up.

by farq4d

I’m growing up.

Things have changed. There’s nothing I can do about it.

It’s been eight years since I lived in the same house as my brother. We sat together in silence at the table for breakfast every morning. On Saturdays, we would wake up early and sneak down to play video games with the sound off before our parents could wake up to tell us to get off. He would call me annoying. I would say the same.

He grew up too; getting married and moving away. Really, really far away. And he still calls. He tells me he loves me. I say the same.

We’ll never live in the same house again.

I’m growing up.

It’s been a year since my dad was first diagnosed. It was the first time I ever saw my mom cry. My mom told me not to cry at home, so I wouldn’t discourage him. So instead, my emotions bleed out my eyes on the drive to work and in empty parking lots.

My mom sat me on my bed as she spoke to me. She told me this will all workout for good, that God would make it all work out for good. I said nothing.

I became Christian at five years old.

But I’m growing up.

It’s been four months since I got engaged. My then-boyfriend took me out to eat at the most expensive restaurant in town. Then he took me to the hill where we spent our first day. He got on his knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes.

I asked my older brother if he would get his license to wed us. I played the song for my dad that he and I would dance to. My Girl by The Temptations. He says he’s never been much of a dancer.

Neither have I.

I’m growing up.

It’s been two weeks since my dad’s hair all fell out. I bought him a hat with a frog on it. He had to stay in the hospital for 96 hours of nonstop treatment. My mom and I would go visit him and bring him lunch and dinner. He wasn’t hungry. The nurses say the treatment kills their appetite.

My mom would track my dad’s diet. No sugar. No carbs. He texted me and asked me for baklava, so I sneak it in like candy to a movie theatre, the way he taught me. I’d rather he eat than starve.

My dad is thinner than I am.

Because I’m growing up.

It’s been three days since my birthday. The day before, I took my dad to the hospital. They told us the cancer had doubled. His hair fell out for nothing. But I can’t say that out loud, so I’ll write it down here. He told me he wanted a breakfast sandwich. The nurse told us Chick-fil-a is the best as she took out my dad’s IV.

On my birthday, my mom and dad went to meet with the doctor. I went out with my friends until they all had to go. Then, I sat in my room playing video games. My mom came into my room and told me we needed to talk about my dad. I said okay.

She said it could wait till tomorrow.

I’m growing up.

It’s been two days since my birthday. I say good morning to my mom. She said we need to have a family meeting. She called my older brother and gathered the rest of my siblings as she explained the entire situation. The doctor in Utah said the treatment failed. My dad has one month to live. The doctor in town still wants to try another treatment.

My dad didn’t want to go through the side effects. He says he wants to try a treatment down in Mexico. It’ll be three weeks. They’ll leave on Tuesday. They only allow one other person to go, so my mom will leave too.

I will stay and take care of my younger siblings.

I’m growing up.

Today is Monday. Aunts and uncles I haven’t seen for years are at the house. They tell me how much I’ve grown. My dad talks about the treatment. The hat I bought for my dad came in the mail today. He loved it. He's wearing it in the living room now as I write this.

I don’t say it outloud, but I don’t think anything is going to change. I cry in my bedroom to the song I wanted to dance with my dad to. I wonder who will walk me down the aisle. Because I’m selfish. I worry tomorrow is the last time I'll ever see my dad. How many weeks are in a month?

My parents leave for Mexico tomorrow.

I don’t want to grow up.

Is this a review?



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227 Reviews

Points: 9581
Reviews: 227

Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:04 pm
foxmaster wrote a review...

Hi there! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!
WOW, I'll just say this. This was an incredibly sad, amazing, descriptive story, and it almost had me crying too. It was so amazing, I just loved it so much! Now, to the review!

Top Graham Cracker - What I Know
It looks to me like a woman speaks about her growing up, showing memories about sadness, and slight happiness. Her dad got cancer, and it really impacted her life, made everything hard for her.

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - Room for Improvements
I didn't really find any mistakes in this, except for a quick grammatical error:

I don’t say it outloud

out and loud should have a space between them.
The only other thing I basically found was that the constant spacing between her saying something and "I'm growing up" seemed to make this kind of disjointed and made it a bit hard to read.

Chocolate Bar - Highlights of the Piece
I absolutely loved this sentence:
My mom told me not to cry at home, so I wouldn’t discourage him. So instead, my emotions bleed out my eyes on the drive to work and in empty parking lots.

the analogy with her eyes "bleeding" tears absolutely impressed me, and it was just so cool.

Closing Graham Cracker - Closing Thoughts
Overall, this was one amazing sad, sad, story. It was amazing, descriptive, moving, anything you'd want in one thing.
happy writing.

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14 Reviews

Points: 210
Reviews: 14

Mon Sep 18, 2023 6:58 pm
RazorSharpPencil wrote a review...

THIS IS SO GOOD. Firstly, I love how you go through the events. Honestly I do not think I will be able to ever write this way. This shows so much emotion and reading it made me go into the story and feel those emotions as I read the words here in front of me. I almost cried. Your writing is pure....PURE TALENT. Do not ever give up writing. This is actually one of the best works I have seen on this site. I hope you have a long...long...tenure on this site and look forward to seeing what you do next. keep Writing, and never stop dreaming about what YOU can become.

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1405 Reviews

Points: 141485
Reviews: 1405

Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:47 pm
IcyFlame wrote a review...

Hey there farq4d, welcome to YWS! I hope you're enjoying the site so far.

I'm swinging by today to leave a quick review for this piece, so let's get right into it, shall we? I’m not sure if this is written about you or a character but I’m going to address it as though you’ve written it about yourself!

I really like the way you used repetition of the idea of growing up for both you and your brother because that gives a really cool view of him going through the same thing that you will then go through in kind of a right of passage type way.

I also enjoyed the way this was told in such a simple way, letting the story and narrative speak for itself without relying on lots of techniques to tell the story.

The snapshots of life really work well too, it’s like we’re viewing this life and story through moments like photographs and I think it’s pretty effective.

The only small improvement suggestion I have is this:

My mom told me not to cry at home, so I wouldn’t discourage him

I thought discourage might not quite be the right word choice - perhaps dishearten? Or something similar?

This was well written - thanks for sharing!


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658 Reviews

Points: 82143
Reviews: 658

Tue Sep 12, 2023 6:24 pm
RandomTalks wrote a review...


RandomTalks here with a short review!

I am not sure whether this story is fiction or personal, but it pulled at my heartstrings nevertheless. You used such simple language to convey emotions and portray the narrator's mental state. There were no big words or flowery language - just plain narration that is moving and powerful, storytelling at its best.

I really liked the way you chose to narrate the story. Despite its short length, I feel like we covered a person's important part of life. It felt like flipping through an album of moments. The first one set the picture of the family and I really liked how normal and bittersweet it was, especially when taken in context of the rest of the story. The rest of it was like a crescendo - with each of the separate narrations increasing in impact and stakes for the family. And even though you don't show, but rather tell us of the feelings of the narrator, the emotions portrayed were raw and real.

I also liked the references that you made to previously mentioned topics like the hat the narrator bought for her father and the song they were supposed to dance to at the wedding. It made everything feel more real and highlighted the sense of despair as the narrator has to reimagine the scenes that won't be possible anymore.

I don’t want to grow up.

I liked the repetition of the sentiment throughout the story as it ties well with what the narrator is feeling and going through. But this one at the end just pulls out all the emotions because now that time is almost up, the narrator cannot be strong anymore. The narrator knows what is going to happen and she doesn't want to grow up. It was a really poignant way to end the story.

Overall, this was strong and impactful and it made me feel. Again, I am really sorry if this was something you had to go through and you have my deepest sympathies. But if not, then it was a really realistic and moving portrayal of what it means to wait only to lose someone!

Stay safe and have a great day/night!


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664 Reviews

Points: 79686
Reviews: 664

Tue Sep 12, 2023 4:54 pm
Plume wrote a review...

Hey there! Plume here, with a review! And welcome to the site!

I enjoyed reading this piece. First of all, if even some of this is based on reality, my heart goes out to you and your family. It's never easy losing a family member, especially to something as devastating as illness. Please take care of yourself and allow yourself to have feelings. It's interesting to review a piece like this, since, from your description, it seems like this is a space to organize your feelings, so I'll try to be mindful of that as I review!

I think you really nailed the emotions in this piece. The way it's told in vignettes really works to that advantage, since you introduce things that come up later on, but in a more heartbreaking way (like the song, the brother, etc). The concentration on those specific details is also one of the best ways to show the emotions, because it makes it all the more believable.

Another thing I really liked was your usage of repeating motifs throughout the story. It almost made it feel more like a prose poem, in a way; the repeated references to "growing up" really help encapsulate the oftentimes hard feeling that aging has, just because of the increased burdens you're expected to bear. Combined with the terminal illness, "growing up" also serves as a symbol for the passage of time, and with it the inevitable tragedy of watching loved ones grow old as well.


She told me this will all workout for good, that God would make it all work out for good. I said nothing.

Here, I think that "workout" should be two words; when it's one, it's the noun that refers to an exercise routine.

I don’t say it outloud, but I don’t think anything is going to change.

Same here; "outloud" should be two words.

Overall: good stuff. Remember to take care of yourself, and though stuff like this is never easy, I hope you can find some comfort in family, friends, writing, or elsewhere. Until next time!

Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!
— Allen Ginsburg