John Marsden Writing Topic #247

Write a piece in which an object binds the story together**

I Need to Use the Computer

The Berenson family: Mark, Tracy, their eldest son Nicholas (18), their daughter Hallie (16) and their youngest son, Jamie (9), all use one laptop in their home.



I always make sure to delete my internet history.

Trace and I have been married for 22 years, most of them happy, the happiest being the first two years and the births of our three children, however the last year or so hasn’t been. We’ve been both working hard to pay off the remainder of the mortgage, our two eldest are at the tail end of high school and I’m sure Trace knows but I’m starting to edge closer to 50 and the legendary “mid-life crisis” is kicking in.

I’ve been cheating on Trace for the last six months.

I’m not looking for a new girlfriend or wife, I love Trace, I’m just looking to have my needs met. I speak and meet up with two women on a regular basis whenever I’m supposed to be at meetings. I try to squeeze in some online chats and set up “meetings” before dinner.

I’m not sure if Trace knows I’ve been cheating on her, but I know she knows our marriage isn’t in a good place.



I always make sure to delete my internet history.

I don’t want the kids to know that I’ve been lingerie shopping. Mark’s and our sex life hasn’t been the best over the last year or so, especially with Mark’s work schedule and our two eldest about to finish high school. That and we’re not 22 anymore, I’ve always worked out but I can’t work out wear and tear from three beautiful children. Mark promises things will improve at work soon and it might be easier when Nicholas and Hallie go off to uni, but I don’t want to have to wait another year or so for things to improve.

Mark’s been having a lot of meetings lately, which I suspect aren’t work related, but I’m ready for confirmation or the truth yet. Maybe if I found something that “excites” him, he might “work” less.



I always make sure to delete my internet history.

Since I’m 18 and I’m a few months away from finishing school (about bloody time!) mum and dad have been nagging me to get a job and apply to study at uni. I have been doing this, I hate the thought of having to work at a fast food place or supermarket while at uni, but hopefully this will get them off my back….but having my own money and not having to justify my need for it when I ask dad for some will be nice. Maybe with Hallie applying for early graduation, that will make them proud and they might back off me.

I’d rather spend time on my car, I’ve been trying to find a new engine and headlights for my 1984 Holden Gemini. I’m trying to make it the best ride ever, especially since apparently I have to move out soon. Mum and dad don’t like me spending my time doing this, so I always pretend I’m studying after dinner.



I always make sure to delete my internet history.

Despite Nick being two years older than me, I’m in year 12 myself due to being in the gifted program and will be graduating when he does. From what I can tell Nick doesn’t want to go to uni, just spend all his time on his car, although if he doesn’t get a job soon he won’t be able to, dad doesn’t want to give him anymore funds to spend on it now he’s 18 and officially a grown up.

Mum and dad think that I’m just applying to local unis, however I want to spread my wings and go elsewhere. I know it’s not something I can hide for long, but I don’t want to tell them anything until there’s (hopefully) something to tell them. I know they would support me no matter what, but I also know that they would be sad and I’m not sure if dad would be willing to support me a little considering his tough love treatment towards Nick.

Hopefully he’ll be willing to make a slight exception since it would be for uni and unlike Nick I already have a job or jobs.



I always make sure to delete my internet history.

Mum and dad don’t like me watching YouTube videos of the funny talking animals, they said something about “allowances” and “making the bill too high.” But I love the funny talking animals, they’re much more funnier than anything at school or around here. Nick and Hallie are boring now that they’ve “grown up” and mum and dad are too busy at work to play with me.

I can’t wait until it’s just me, mum and dad.




**Reference: Marsden J 1998, Everything I Know About Writing, Pan Macmillan, Australia.

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