The sun was peeking beneath the curtains as an alarm started playing on my phone. I reached over and picked up the phone, turning off the alarm. I raised up out of bed and made my way to the closet to pack up what I had left of my belongings. In a day’s time, I would leave for college, leaving my mom and my former life behind.
I began wiping away tears at the thought of leaving my mom. I was the only thing in life that she had left and I would be leaving. What would come of her after I leave? I sighed heavily as I put the last of my clothes into a suitcase.
I took all of my belongings out to my car. The warmth of the sun peered just overhead. I looked back at the house for one of the last times and took in the surroundings of my neighborhood. Memories started flooding my brain.
When I was growing up my father had left my mother when she found out she was pregnant. She had to work two jobs just to make ends meet. My mom hired an older woman named Virginia to babysit me while she worked.
Virginia had a son a year older than me named Michael. Michael and I were raised as siblings since my mother had to work day and night just to provide for us. Luckily, my mom had the weekends off. That was the time we spent together.
We moved into our current neighborhood when I was ten years old. I remember asking my mom if that house was really ours. I couldn’t quite believe that we had a house of our own. After all, we had moved from apartment to apartment before buying that house. Renting was all I had ever known.
Throughout my child and teenage years, various posters of boys and bands hung up on the walls as I went through various stages of being star-struck and having crushes.
I remember running through the halls of the house to my mom. For birthdays, after school days, and when boys broke my heart.
Although I was ready for college, nothing could prepare me for leaving my mother behind. I wiped one last tear that fell from my hazel eyes as I composed myself and walked into the house.
Tonight would be the last time I would be sleeping in my own bed in my mother’s house. As time passed throughout the day I helped my mother prepare dinner as we sat down to give grace for our food.
Before long, night had fallen as the moon shone brightly in the sky and the stars twinkled. I told my mother goodnight for the last night in person as I sat my alarm for the next morning.
I tossed and turned violently in bed, unable to fall asleep. Tears silently fell from my eyes as I was nervous for the day ahead.
After what felt like hours, I had finally fallen asleep.
The next morning the alarm sounded through the phone as I raised up and rubbed my tired eyes. I tried to keep my composure until after I left the house.
I raised up out of bed to go through the empty room to the bathroom.
I grabbed my toothbrush from the caddy as I squeezed a strip of toothpaste onto the brush. I started brushing my teeth as I gazed at the woman in the mirror. She looked less than amused. Bags had formed under her eyes as her hair was a dishelved mess.
I finished brushing my teeth as I rinsed the brush off and placed it into a container to put into my purse.
I applied a little foundation, covering my adult acne, bags under the eyes, and the many freckles that dotted my face. I then threw my hair up into a messy bun. I put the rest of my toiletries into my purse.
I grabbed my purse off of the chair and walked out of the room, looking back as if to say goodbye.
I walked into the living room as my mom embraced me into her arms. She started crying heavily. I tried to keep my composure but her crying caused me to erupt into tears.
She held me tightly as if she didn’t want to ever let me go.
“Mama, I have to go. But I hate having to leave you.”
She looked into my eyes as she wiped the tears that were falling down my face.
“It’s your turn to fly Rosalia. As much as I hate having to let you go, I know that it’s my job as your mom to let you go. You have your own life to live and that means making sure you get a good education,” she sighed. “I didn’t get the chance to get a secular education. I was pregnant straight out of high school and your father left me with nothing. Your grandparents disowned me. I was on my own, pregnant, and had to figure things out for myself. I want better for you than I had for myself.”
My mother wiped her tears that fell from her eyes as she whispered: “but that doesn’t mean I have to like you leaving. I’m really going to miss having you around.”
I tried to hold back the remainder of the tears that wanted to break through, but I held them in.
She walked me out to the car as I took one last look at the house and around the neighborhood. I gave my mother one last hug as she told me it was time to go. I got into the car, she shut the door behind me, and I pulled out onto the road.
It was the beginning of the rest of my life. I was determined to make my mother happy. I was determined to make myself happy.
I wanted to give my mother a reason to brag to her friends so I was ready to make the most of my secular education.
I turned on the radio as I screamed on the top of my lungs “THIS ONE IS FOR YOU MAMA!” The song “I Hope You Dance” came onto the radio as I sped down the road to the rest of my life.
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