Tyanna walked into her apartment and threw her backpack onto the floor, like she did every day when she got home from school.
“Mommy! I’m home!” She yelled out as she plopped down on the living room sofa.
Picking up the remote control, she flipped through channels not really sure what she was looking for. There was nothing on at that time but the news. But she continued flicking.
Channel 4… channel 5… channel 7…. She went up to channel 50 and then back to channel 4… and back up to Channel 50.
She found herself in a daze, not able to get off her mind the news she found out earlier that day.
“How am I going to tell my mother this?”
That morning had been like any other morning. She got herself up that morning, showered, got dressed, and kissed her mother goodbye.
‘Too much to drink again,’ Tyanna thought as she placed a blanket over her mother and left out the house.
“Ty!” Great. Her again, she thought rolling her eyes. She tried to speed up her walking but Melanie, her annoying neighbor, had already caught up to her.
“You mind if I walk to school with you?” Melanie asked in that sweet bubbly voice that annoyed Tyanna.
Of course I mind, Tyanna thought. “Sure come on.”
“Great!” Melanie was so excited, she didn’t even notice Tyanna rolling her eyes.
The two girls walked the 4 1/2 blocks to their high school, Tyanna mostly quiet. Melanie going on and on about how excited she is about the school play she has coming up and how some of her family members are driving all the way to Washington D.C. to see her perform.
I don’t care about no school play. I’m just trying to past my classes, Tyanna thought as she half-listened to Melanie.
She breathed a sigh of relief when they got to the front door of the school.
“Bye Melanie!” She faked a smile and walked quickly into the building toward her first period class. She didn’t even wait for Melanie’s response.
Her morning classes flew by pretty quickly and before she knew it, it was lunch time. She made a dash for the cafeteria as soon as the bell rang. She hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning so she was starving. Just as she was about to get in line to grab her lunch, her English teacher motioned for her to come over.
“Yes, Mrs. Smith?” She asked nervously.
Mrs. Smith was very intimidating. She was at least 6’1 and had a deep voice so whenever she spoke, people couldn’t help but pay attention.
“Tyanna, I wanted to tell you I read the poem you wrote last week and it was exceptional. Are you sure you wrote it yourself?” Mrs. Smith asked smiling.
Tyanna nodded her head yes.
Seeing Mrs. Smith smile was funny but felt uncomfortable at the same time. She was almost always frowning.
“I know you did. I’m just toying with you. I wanted to tell you how great it was. In fact it was so great, I entered you into a poetry contest. And guess what? You won 1st place in our school and 2nd place city wide!”
“Wait, you’re ‘toying’ with me again right?” Tyanna couldn’t believe what she had just heard.
“Not this time. If I’m lying, I’m flying!” Mrs. Smith broke out into some weird laughter that sounded like it hurt.
When she realized Tyanna wasn’t laughing with her and that people were staring at her, she gathered herself.
“I’m sorry. I tend to crack myself up. But anyway. No Tyanna, this is not a joke. Your poem was really that great. The awards ceremony is in two weeks. You will recite your poem and they will present you with your prizes. I’ll give you all the information when you come to class this afternoon. See ya then.”
Before Tyanna could say anything else, Mrs. Smith walked off. She stood there, still in shock about the news she had just received.
‘Contest? 1st place? Me?! No way!’
After lunch, she went to her afternoon classes, Mrs. Smith’s class being her final period. Once Mrs. Smith gave her the awards ceremony invitation, she realized this was no joke.
“I really won?”
“Yes you did, Tyanna. You really won.” Mrs. Smith was all smiles.
“But I’ve never won anything in my life. I’ve never been good at anything. Well except for getting into trouble. I can do that really well.”
“I don’t know what kind of student you were at your last school, but I see the kind of student you are now. And I see how gifted you are. And I promise you, if you keep writing the way you did when you wrote that poem… this is the first of MANY contests you’re gonna win. Now go ahead and get out of here. Run home and tell your mother the great news.”
Just as she said that, the excitement she was just beginning to feel went away. She gathered her things and quickly left so Mrs. Smith couldn’t see the tears welling up in her eyes.
Tyanna knew her mother cared more about getting drunk and high than her daughter. She wanted her mother to be proud of her but it seemed like nothing was ever good enough. Hopefully once her mother heard this news, she would finally be proud.
Tyanna got up from the couch and began pacing back and forth, trying to come up with a way to tell her mother she had won her first poetry contest.
“Mommy I won a poetry contest!”
“Mommy, my teacher entered my poem into a contest without my knowledge and I won?”
“Mommy, remember that poem I was working on? It won 1st place in a contest!”
After practicing a few times she said to herself, ‘this is crazy. Let me just go tell her. Shouldn’t be so hard.’
“Mommy!” She yelled out again.
Still no answer.
She quickly glanced around the room
and realized the lights were all still off. Normally, her mother would at least have the kitchen light on.
Maybe she left out, she thought.
She walked into her mother’s room.
Her mother was lying exactly how she had left her earlier that morning.
She walked closer.
“Mommy, I gotta tell you something”.
She walked up to her mother’s bed.
Nothing could have ever prepared her for that moment.
Her mother lay there lifeless.
If you read this until the end, thanks. I literally just laid in my bed and made it up. Tyanna is a character I made up when I was high school. I would write short stories about her and end them on a cliffhanger to make people want more. I was often asked, “When is the next issue of Ty coming out??” Lol
I lost all those stories but tonight I resurrected Ty. People who knew Ty before knows her mother was an alcoholic and drug addict. Maybe I’ll make a book out of this excerpt to expound on how she died and what happens to Ty now. Idk we’ll see
~Mizz K 💜