Before I opened my eyes, I heard voices coming from downstairs. My parents were talking loudly, which was odd because they usually never did. I got out of bed and opened the door of my rooms slightly so I could listen to their conversation.
“...But she can’t come with us,” I heard my dad’s voice.
“So where is she going to stay? We can’t just leave her here!” My mum replied, with an urgent tone in her voice. They seemed frustrated and confused. Judging by the darkness outside and the lack of light which usually managed to creep between the gaps of my window, I concluded that it must’ve been very late at night, possibly midnight.
I started to go down the wooden stairs very quietly, trying not to make a sound.
“We can ask Hansen...” There was a pause followed by a loud sigh “We will find a way, we always do.”
“Find a way to what?” I asked them. They turned their heads immediately to me. Their faces turned white as chalk and seemed quite scared.
“Summer, we didn’t want you to know like this,” my mum spoke first, apparently taken by surprise.
“If only we had another solution to get more money, but we don’t and you know it.’” My dad added.
“What’s going on? I’m not understanding-”
“Summer,” my mum grabbed my shoulders “Your dad and I are going to work in Switzerland.”
“What?” I was completely taken aback.
“It’s only for one year, we will be back soon.”
“Why didn’t you tell me before? And when were you planning to do so?” I was extremely confused now; I knew they were trying to find a job, but Switzerland? I wasn’t even sure if I could point where it was on a map.
“We found out last week that we were hired for a job, and it pays very well...” Tears welled up in my eyes. I was in an absolute panic. Were my parents going to leave me for a job? I knew we didn’t have a lot of money but were we that desperate? Why Switzerland anyway? Couldn’t they find a job in England?
“Summer, we are only doing what is best for our family,” my mum said, wiping the tears from my eyes. Seeing my mum cry, her shoulders trembling and her eyes turning to the floor was when I knew this was no joke, what they were telling me was actually happening and there was nothing I could do to change it.
I took some deep breaths. “And- and where am I going to stay?”
My dad sighed deeply,” Well, we don’t know yet, but probably at a boarding school.”
“What? No, you can’t send me there!” When I heard those words, my heart accelerated to a dangerous rate. This could not be happening.
He ignored what I said “Do you remember Mr Hansen? Your dad’s friend? You know he is the headmaster of a boarding school, we are going to ask him if you can stay there for a year,” my mum explained.
“I’m not going there!”
“Summer, try to be reasonable. You are not a child anymore, understand that it is our only choice,” my dad said, exasperated, bringing his hands to his hair. “We don’t have any money, this is serious. It is the only way.”
I didn’t want to hear any more. I ran upstairs and I shut the door of my room. I sat on my bed and started crying again, my body shaking. How could they leave me? Didn’t they care about me?
I pulled out from my wardrobe a match and lit up a candle. We used to have energy in our house but last spring we were unable to pay the bills and we were cut off. It was in moments like these that reality sank in and I realised how poorly we were living. The worst was the fact that we didn’t have hot water to take a bath. I really missed warm showers, especially in cold nights after receiving sad news. I have lived like this since I was born, sixteen years already; I knew we couldn’t live like this anymore.
I knew why they couldn’t take me. They would have to pay for an extra person, and we needed to save as much money as possible. Not only that but I needed to keep going to school, I couldn’t simply interrupt my education when I was so close to finishing it, enabling me to find a job and help my family. I was going to miss them, that I was certain, but they were thinking about our health, our security, and our future. I love them for that. They were thinking about my future, and I was so thankful for that because I knew this was also hard for them.
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