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My Mother's Other
Every once and a while I will open my diary and read through it to see how much my life has changed. On one particular page a cord is struck, not only in my mind, but in my heart. A bitter sweet feeling consumes me as I close my eyes and am instantly morphed back into where I was.
I’m sitting on the edge of the banaster on my porch. The brick below me is cold and the last remaining light of the day is subsiding. All I can do is look out at the alleys and streets around me, not daring to look back into the front window of my house. I’m only two weeks shy of seventeen, and it already feels like my childhood is ending. Shivering, I pull out a cigarette and light it. I can feel the prescence of my brother at the front door. He opens it and steps out next to me. I hold out the pack of smokes and he takes one and sits on the steps beside me.
As an older brother he’s always felt the need to protect me from the strifes life has thrown at us. This one he can’t. but he still tries to comfort me and talk me through it. As he begins to speak I look at him and try my hardest not to get teary eyed. He’s considerably taller than me, bigger boned, but has the face of our mother. She was who put us here.
“Danielle, I hate her too,” he starts off “I can’t believe she left us either, but everything will be okay…” I’m so angry at this. “How can you say that? She just left us, and moved in with some random guy. She won’t return our calls and knows we can’t afford to pay the bills, or even have enough money to eat. All I have is: you, Carl, and the pets… and I don’t know how much longer that will last now…” He can hear my voice cracking and comes over and hugs me.
The backround noise of the tv inside fades out. Carl, my step-dad, comes out onto the porch. He’s tall and was built to withstand anything; ironically he’s in kidney failer and has had a few strokes. He slowly makes his way to a plastic chair and sits down with us.
“She hurt me really bad, I still love her though and you kids, but she hurt me really bad. I’ve been with her for fifteen years and I don’t understand why she would do this....,” he mutters half to himself and half to us.
“She’s crazy you know that Carl,” I say looking up at him “the manic depression finally got to her and she feels like she can just leave us and everything will get better for her… but you know, I love you guys, all I need is you two and the cats and dog , youre my family.”
Billy, my brother, is silently thinking. Carl begins again “I love you guys too, you’re my children, I raised you and she can’t take that away from me.”
I open my eyes as I remember this. Two years have passed. I look around my attic room and can hear my biological father playing his video games downstairs. Out of four cats and one dog, only one remains with me, and she sleeping peacefully in a pile of clothes in the corner. Carl is miles away in a highrise. Billy is living around the corner, with my mother and her new husband.
Closing the diary I pick up my cellphone.
You know life does have those bitter sweet moments, but they are just a few pages of a massive book. Some things will change and some never will. I dial Carl’s number and cheerfully say “Hey poppy wanna hang out?”