Growing up I always felt like a burden.
I still can’t forget that disappointed look on my mom’s face ten years ago when we found out that my hearing wasn’t able to be repaired. I always tried to figure out why she was disappointed in me, but as I think about it now, I know that it’s not that. She was never disappointed in me. She was more so disappointed for me, because she knew I wasn’t adjusting well to having a hearing impairment. She knew I wasn’t happy with myself.
I know my mother loves me very much. She wouldn’t be trying her hardest if she didn’t, though that’s what makes me feel even more guilty.
I miss her so much since I don’t get to see her often, but I know what she’s doing is all for me. That’s the type of person she is. She’d do anything just so I can have a better life. If I want something or need something, she always tries to find a way to make it happen regardless of the debt or lack of money. She just wants so badly for me to be happy.
She’s been working her ass off every single day. Even though it’s alienated us from each other, she's still doing it all for my sake.
She doesn’t date.
She doesn’t hang out with her friends.
She hardly does anything for herself.
She has always been too busy making sure she was doing enough to help pay the bills and keep food in the fridge.
She's never told me to get a job to help with the bills.
She's never complained about her three jobs or how difficult it is to provide for me.
Not once has she told me that I'm a burden; I just figured it out on my own.
She always has tried her hardest to convey to me how important I am to her.
I always feel like there’s nothing I can do for her in return.
I never try.
I just take her for granted, because that’s all I know how to do.
Even though I know everything she does is somehow related to me, I still get angry at her sometimes.
I’m angry that she never has time for me.
I’m angry that she’s always working.
I’m angry at how she doesn’t worry about herself more.
I’m angry that I can’t do anything to help her.
I want her to take care of me, but I also want her to be in my life.
I want everything, but without much effort for it.
I act like a spoiled child when I don’t get what I want.
I really need to work on that.
My mother on the other hand is truly a selfless person. She puts me first. She always has and she always will.
Sometimes I wish I could be more like her.
My mom wakes me up in the morning, like she usually does when I oversleep. I slept past first period. I can tell by the time. I also missed a text message from Skyler, though I’m sure he understands.
I’m quick to take a shower, brush my teeth, dry my hair, and get dressed. Lastly I put in my hearing aids before grabbing my school bag.
My mom is by the door, already dressed in one of three work uniforms that she has. “I’ll take you to school.” She signs, giving me that “we need to talk” vibe.
We never did have a chance to talk about when Skyler spent the night. I guess now is a good time for her.
I tilt my head to the side as I listen to my mom while she talks and drives. I crane my neck so I can see her lips which, makes it easier for me to decipher her words.
She’s asking if Skyler is my boyfriend.
The only answer I can give, is one that I’m not sure of. I think about it for a second before I come up with the most suitable reply I can think of. “I’d like him to be.” I settle on those words, feeling my heart flutter as I remember that he had told me to go out with him tonight.
My mom’s hands tighten on the wheel as she takes the long way to school purposely.
“Are you sure that it’s okay? I mean after what happened with-”
I don’t let her finish that sentence.
“Mom, he’s not anything like the other guy. Trust me you have nothing to worry about. I promise.” I try to assure her.
I watch as her jaw clenches before she opens her mouth again. “I don’t like the fact that he spent the night at our house.” She finally says, cutting to the chase. “I know I’m not around as much as you want me to be, but I do expect you to follow my rules even when I’m not home. No boys past ten pm. Okay?”
I nod. “Yes ma’am.” I reply back with a small laugh. I say that, but we both know that this isn’t the first time I’ve broken that rule. I used to break that rule all the time with Demetri, but my mom never said a word. Or if she did she always forgave me in the end.
I watch her lips turn up into a smile. She turns to look at me when we’re at a red light. “You’re wearing hearing aids.” She finally notices. “Where did you get that?” She asks as she reaches out to push back my hair so she can see one of the hearing aids better.
“Skyler,” I answer immediately.
“Why? How much do we owe him for it?” She asks.
I shake my head. “It’s a gift.” I tell her.
My mom looks surprised. She looks like she wants to say something, but instead she looks away. The light turns green and she goes.
After a moment of quiet, she opens her mouth again to speak. “Well, they’re pretty. They look more expensive then the ones I bought you back in middle school...” She trails off slowly
There’s no more talking after that.
By the time I get to school, third period has already started.
The day flashes by quickly. Nothing too interesting happens, other than the fact that I actually joined in on conversations with some of my classmates. They seemed reluctant at first, but they were patient enough to not ignore me or brush me off.
All in all, today isn’t bad.
I’m giddy though when I met Skyler in the parking lot after school has ended.
I didn’t see him this morning or at lunch, so I feel overly excited to see him.
He’s leaned up against his truck, by himself this time. I feel relieved that the girl from yesterday isn’t with him. I like the fact that it’s just Skyler, and that he appears to be waiting for me.
I walk up to him with a bright smile on my face. “Hi, Skyler! How was your day?” I say, signing the words, since I’m still not confident with how my voice sounds since it’s not clear to me.
Skyler smiles back at me. “I missed you this morning, and at lunch. I was so pissed off about having to makeup that test, but I’m pretty sure I did better this time. How was your day, gorgeous?”
I wrap my arms around him, pressing my face against his shirt. “My day is ten times better now that I get to see you.” I reply honestly.
Seeing Skyler never fails to brighten my day. I feel anxious when he’s not around. When I’m around him, I finally feel like I actually belong somewhere besides underwater. He is my rock and my safe haven. Maybe I do use him as a safety blanket still, but that’s only because I like him so much that I feel the most comfortable when he’s around. Our friendship has evolved from me awkwardly crying around him and then avoiding him, to me still crying around him but still wanting him around.
Skyler hugs me back, resting his chin on the top of my head. We stay like that for awhile just holding onto each other.
After what seems like hours, but is only minutes, we let go of each other so we can get into Skyler’s truck.
Skyler drops me off at the corner right before my apartment complex, upon my request and then speeds away. He's going to pick me up later, since we both decided to get cleaned up and changed first.
I walk the short distance to the apartment complex. I can’t wipe the grin off my face as I come up towards my apartment. That's until I see my mom’s car in her parking spot. Why is she home? She is never home at this time...
I try to be positive. Maybe she has a day off from one of her jobs, maybe she came home for a lunch break, or something like that?
Yeah. It has to be that. She’s just on a rare break since everyone needs breaks.
I take my key out and open the door.
As I enter the entry way all my positive thoughts fly out the door. My face drains as I see my mom passed out in the middle of the floor, her purse flung on the floor next to her. I scurry to the ground to check her pulse.
Please be alive! Please be alive! Please! Please! Please!
I can feel a light pulse, but I know that a light pulse isn’t good enough.
I feel myself start to hyperventilate, because I can’t understand what’s going on. Why is she here? Why is she hunched up on the floor like this?
I fish my cellphone out of my pocket. I’ve never called anyone before, but I have no choice but to try.
I dial 911 quickly. I can hardly hear the operator on the other line.
I turn up the volume on my hearing aid, but it hardly helps.
“My mom! My mom is on the floor and her pulse is hardly there. I don’t know what happened. I just got home. I need an ambulance here now! Please help me!” I cry out into the receiver of the phone.
The operator says something but I can only understand part of it. “I’m sorry, I can’t hear well. I don’t know what you’re saying.”
“Stay -is she- do you know- address-” The operates words are choppy and merge together. I can hardly make out anything he or she is saying.
I do the only thing I can think of- I repeat the address into the receiver over and over again as well as repeating for them to send help.
I finally hear the operated say, “okay”.
After that it’s a waiting game.
I stay laying on the floor next to my mother as I wait for help to arrive.
My tears flow down my face as I watch my mother’s pale face. I feel desperate. The ambulance is too slow. I fear that with each second my mom could slip away. I can’t help but continue to sob, and hyperventilate as I pray silently to myself for my mom’s sake.
Please wake up.
Please get up.
Please tell me everything is going to be okay.
Please, please, please.
I promise I’ll be a better daughter.
Just please don’t die on me.
I love you so much.
I need you to be okay.
Please don’t leave me.