by Annaliese Quincy


Annie Quincy
That's why Kamala kept scrolling. 
Christmas day, 2017
“Merry Christmas!” The girl was just 8 when she was handed her first rectangle box of doom. Kamala was sitting on the floor when she’d been given something that was a too-bright-glistening-box because of the metallic wrapping. It was one of the last presents that she hadn’t opened yet because back then, the big boxes were more thrilling. Kamala began to unwrap it. She was young so when she saw an apple logo with a bite out of it, she didn’t find it as compelling as a brand new doll. 
“Open it up,” they told her. So she did. And inside was a small pink iPhone 4. “Now Kamala, we got you this to use well. We won’t let you have texts quite yet but there are games on there.” They thought they were protecting her. Looking down at it she didn’t realize how much it was going to ruin her life. 

April 15, 2020
Kamala was sitting in her room, scrolling through her phone. “Get off your phone,” her mother scowled with her teeth clenched, “Don’t be so lazy! Go do something with your life!” She kept scrolling.
“Why aren't you listening to me?? Give me that phone right now!” she while grabbing it, “You are spending way too much time on this thing, you need to prove yourself worthy before you can get this back!” And just like that, it was taken away, just as easily as it was given to her. She watched as her mother put it in her back pocket and walked away, grabbing her computer too. Thoughts of how Kamala could make her mother pay for this rushed through her head, unpleasant ones at that. 

This is my fault, she began to think. Why can’t I be responsible . She walked over to her vanity and watched herself in the mirror as an unexpected tear ran down her face. She wanted to scream, mostly at herself. All this over an inanimate object that was meaningless? Except it wasn’t. It wasn’t meaningless because it gave her something that nothing else gave her. An emotion that is unexplainable but yet so common. It gave her hope. Hope that someones gonna text her, or hope that her crush, the reason why she posted that one photo might comment. It gives her the adrenaline of not expecting what's going to come next. Kamala didn’t realize that she was no longer in control of her life. She was the apple on the phone, and the internet was slowly biting her away. They had her in a trap because she wanted to know what came next. She didn’t want to miss that video that she wouldn't have seen if she had listened to her mom and put my phone down. 

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