Chapter 44 Fresh Start
I’m standing on the platform of Rotterdam Central. I’m alone and waiting for the train to arrive. Well, I’m contemplating to jump in front of one. The thought only crossed my mind but not long enough to do it. I just finished school and studied hard in the library. I needed to get my mind of things and school is all I got. School is the only thing I’m drowning myself in. I got all straight A’s for my last exams and the strange thing is. I don’t even know how I did it. If you ask me what they were about, I have no clue whatsoever.
Home isn’t a place I look forward to go right now. It’s the place I like to avoid everyone. I don’t feel like talking and I’m even avoiding Jessica right now.
“Hi” I hear a voice from behind me. That familiar voice that I try to avoid. That voice that’s stuck in my brain for all the wrong reasons. I turn around and there he’s standing. Looking at me with his bloodshot eyes. I will never forget those eyes.
All the alarm bells are going off in the back off my mind. My body shivers from the sight of him and I’m looking for the fastest way to run. I see people standing there and I plan the fastest route to run. I need to run hard and get out of here. The last time I stayed here I ended up…
“I’m not going to do anything” Zack tells me.
Like I’m going to believe him
“Fuck off” I yell.
Everyone is watching us and he backs away. That’s my cue to run. I run hard and fast; I don’t know what my destination is but it doesn’t matter. I just run without stopping. I don’t look back but keep on running. After 15 minutes of running, I look around me and notice I’m in the middle of the city. I look behind me but Zack isn’t here. How to fuck does he find me every time? And whenever I’m alone? I notice I’m near mister Sing’s building and walk towards it. Something draws me towards it and I walk into his building. I came her twice with Jay. I walk towards the desk and ask for mister Singh. The lady behind the desk looks at me and checks me out. I’m wearing jeans and a sweater, no business clothes.
“Do you have an appointment?” She asks me with a frown on her face.
“No, I don’t, would you just say to him that Tara is here to visit him.” I tell her. She still looks at me with a frown on her face and makes the call.
“Hey, there is a girl named Tara to see mister Singh” she tells annoyed.
“Bring her up?” she asked surprise to the person she’s talking to on the phone. I don’t know what her problem is but I can’t help but smile from her reaction.
“Do you know which floor you have to be?” she asks me. “Of course, I’ve been here before just give me a key card and I will be on my way” I tell her.
She nods gives me the key card and I walk away. Aren’t ladies behind the desk supposed to be polite? I get into the elevator and press the 33th floor. I walk towards his office and his secretary tells me I could just walk right in. I nod and I see mister Singh sitting behind his desk. I don’t even know what I’m doing here. I just felt like this was the only place I could feel safe again. Where maybe people wouldn’t judge me?
Mister Sing looks busy but when he looks into my eyes, he abruptly stops with everything he’s doing and walks towards me. He hugs me tight and we stand there for a while. I can feel the relaxation in my muscles and the tension that just build up releasing. I cry right there in his arms, just letting it out. I sob on his suit and he doesn’t mind. He just holds me and strokes my back.
“Just let it out” he tells me. We stand there for a while until mister Singh tells me to sit down. I nod and wipe my tears with my sleeves.
“Honey, what’s wrong? Don’t get me wrong I love that you came to see me, but please tell me” he says with his soothing voice. He’s like the most understanding person I have talked to that is a grown up.
“My parents found out I had a girlfriend; someone I was in a relationship with. And they think I’m disgusting” I tell him. Not even knowing how he would react. But it feels good to just tell someone. I just sit there crying again.
“I’m sorry, that they reacted that way. I wish this could be different. But some people are ignorant and you can’t change that. Love is love but for some people that’s hard to comprehend. You can’t blame them; you have to pity them for acting like that” mister Singh tells me.
How can someone that isn’t even my parent react like this? And my own parents my own flesh and blood think I’m disgusting. I tell mister Sing everything what happened, how Kate broke up with me and he doesn’t interrupt me. He just listens and nods every now and then.
“Okay, tell me Tara what would you like to do about all of this?” He asks me.
“I don’t want to live at home anymore. I love my parents don’t get me wrong. But being at home is toxic for me now. I need to figure my own stuff out and I want to finish my school. Those are the two most important things to me.” I feel relieved by telling someone what I exactly want. Strange that saying it in this moment makes me realize what I have been longing for.
“I don’t know if Jay told you, but I bought an apartment in the city for him. He would live on his own and he wanted for you to life with him eventually. I couldn’t get it over my heart to sell the place. So, it is yours if you want to. Jay would have loved that.” Mister Sing tells me while wiping a tear away. “Oh no, I can’t ever ask you to let me life there. And I can’t even afford to” I tell him.
“Who says anything about affording? No, you don’t have to pay for it. Just finish your school and live there. You are like a daughter to me. I have only two conditions” he tells me.
“And those are?” I ask him.
“That you put school first and do your internship downstairs with the most prestige architect company from the Netherlands”
“How are that even demands?” I ask him.
He just laughs and hugs me again. I never thought that I would be living on my own. Could I really take him up on his offer? Maybe I should do this. Living on my own in Rotterdam city. It sounds appealing to me!
I’m on the train on my way home. Maybe I should Jessica tell her that I’m going to live on my own. I pick up the phone and dial her number.
“Hey Jessica, I’m sorry that I haven’t been in touch for a while. It’s been rough breaking up with Kate.” I tell her.
“Have you talked to her ever since she walked out that day?” Jessica asks me. I have told her everything what happened in a text. I couldn’t get myself to talk about it. I was destroyed and still am. There’s no day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think of her. I like to admit that she had more feelings for me than I did for her, but in the end, she could just leave me in a heartbeat. So, did she even really love me?
“No, I haven’t but that’s not why I called you” I interrupt her.
“Tell me” Jessica responds.
“I’m got my own apartment in Rotterdam!” I yell in excitement. Everyone around is me either looking weird or laughing because I’m jumping in up and down in my seat, in a train full off people. But I don’t care, I finally feel that things are turning around for me. Like I’m choosing to do something for myself.
“Tara, I’m so happy for you. I have to go because I have a parent teacher night, but I call you tomorrow and want to hear everything about it!”
“Okay, bye and good luck with the parents”
“Thank you I’m going to need that. One parent just yelled at me because she thinks her son is the brightest in the class but doesn’t get the proper guidance. Well, I can tell you that he’s the least smart in my class. But I can’t tell her that can I?” she yells in frustration.
“I think you are the best teacher in the world” I tell her.
“Thank you, bye Tara”
When I arrive home my parents and sister are already dining in the living room. These days they don’t wait for anymore to start with dinner. It’s like I don’t belong in this house anymore. Jazz has been getting their full attention and I think she kind off likes it. She smiles all the time and we aren’t on good terms either. I don’t blame her for anything. Turns out mom and dad pressured her to say anything that she knows after hearing from Reshmie mausie. Don’t even got me started on Reshie mausie, I can tell you that one of her daughters is the biggest slut I know, but I’m not going to tell her that. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s life and how you want to live your life is up to you.
I walk to my room and contemplate how I’m going to bring the news. I know that if I’m going to tell them they won’t let me leave. I decide to write a letter and leave in the morning when everyone is gone. I don’t have much stuff to take with me anyway. Just clothes and all of my school books are already in my locker at school. Maybe I should go downstairs and join them for my last dinner in this house. Well, my last dinner living in this house.
Downstairs I see my parents sitting down at the dining table. I feel kind off nostalgic. Remembering all the dinners we had on this table. Us sitting together as a family and talking about our day. Feels like a dream to me now, that my parents would even talk to me and listen to what I have to say. There were years where Jazz and I where little and clueless of the outside world. Our parents being our world and being perfectly happy with that. But eventually the world changes you, I get it now that no one even your parents can’t prepare you from the outside world. My parents have a view of the world that we can never agree on. They came here with their norms and values they got from their parents. But this world is different from the one they know, this world taught me different values.
“Hi” Jazz says to me while I take a seat next to her. The one I always sit in across from my father. My father doesn’t look at me and my mother nods at me with a small smile on her face. I smile back while holding back the tears that want to come out.
“Hi” I say to Jazz. I grab a little food not knowing how I’m going to eat it. I’m not hungry and feel a lump in my throat, like I’m going to throw up. I look at my dad who is focusing on his food more than he has to, avoiding eye contact with me.
Sorry Dad, that I didn’t turn out to be the daughter that you would like for me to be.
Sorry Mom, for not setting the right example for Jasmine.
Sorry Jaz, for leaving you and letting you deal with our parents.
I sure as hell tried to be the perfect person for everyone, but you see nobody is...