Life Between the Lines

Caiseen KelleyNovember 20, 2013
Photograph by Merrell Hatton

Half asleep, we picked up a moving truck when I was just three. I’ve inner-tubed through an icy Oregon river. Before I could walk, I talked. I’ll never forget climbing the Great Wall, the huge steps and the fire in my legs. My grandma taught me about competition. We dug holes in search of Indian clay. And I’ll forever remember that rush of relief and excitement after winning for the first time. I’ve seen the Mona Lisa, tucked away behind glass, security guards, and hoards of people. I learned to swim. My lucky bracelet was stolen, twice. We won the debate and so we chose Ella, our cat from the local rescue shelter. We tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Only once, I found myself lost in a city too big to call home. I’ve skipped through aisle ten. I’ve cheered so loud I lost my voice. I’ve failed to learn another language but benefited from the experience. We laughed and laughed like recess would never end. I was never lonely with my sister by my side. I skipped a grade for a week. I’ve tiptoed in darkness, cautious of monsters. We went out to dinner for sushi. Forced onto a roller coaster, I cried so hard my eyes swelled shut. We danced in rain puddles. With the passage of the sun, we hid in forts. No school day elapsed unconquered. I cart wheeled all summer long and somewhere in between I grew up.

Caiseen Kelley is a 15-year-old sophomore from California. She enjoys playing the piano, swimming, and trying different dessert recipes.