More to the Eye

December 10, 2011
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
I glared at him as he strolled into the room. This man, this man who was taller than anything that I had ever seen, with a full beard the color and shine of coal, just smiled at me. He had a baby-face but strength and authority oozed out with each step he took towards me. He did not understand the intense hatred I had for him. Nor did he understand that the same glare I was directing towards him was the same one I had received from my cousins and aunts when they found out that we would be moving. He must have taken my quietness as being shy; in reality, I was boiling with hurt and confusion. I looked to the right at the beautiful, strong woman that admired him with twinkling eyes, my mother. They might have thought that being together would make me happy, but I was most happy living with her alone. I did not want him here. I did not want my father in my life.

My mother grew up with seven other siblings in Dominica. She had me at the tender age of twenty-three and when I was three years old, we came to America to live with my grandmother. My mom had plenty of jobs, including working at Boston Market. I idolized her in those days. Though I did not know my father, my mother made sure that she did everything she could to give me the best that she could. She worked long, hard hours, but still came home every night with a smile; it may have been a weak one, but it was always there. We lived in my grandmother’s home, a little apartment with four small bedrooms and a single bathroom. There were a total of ten of us living in her house, and I can honestly say that those were the best years of my life. I remember my five cousins and I playing tag in the dark on our street while the grownups sat on the porch laughing at us. There was no judgment and we truly made the best out of our sticky situations.

A lot of people do not know that it was not until about the age eight or nine that I met my father for the first time. People see my family now and think that because my mother and father are together, they have always been together. My father had missed some of the biggest moments of my life and then he waltzed into it, pushing everyone else out. I remember moving away from all my family when he came into my life and I hated him for that. My favorite cousin would never come over to play with me after I moved and I knew that it was because of him-- because she now saw me as someone else. She could no longer relate to me because of this man who became a wedge between me and my sanctuary. I had lost my best friend.

School eventually became my best friend. I buried my head in homework, projects, and any other scholarly activities, including Steppingstone, MIT, Upward Bound and numerous additional pre-collegiate programs. I became distant with my family, not attending family functions and avoiding conversations. This ultimately caused me to distance myself from kids at school. They would quickly jump to conclusions about me, and say that I was rude; in reality, I did not know what to say to them. They would see the clothes I wore and call me rich; they would see my handwriting and say I’m spoiled; they would look at my long hair and ask, “Where are you from?” only to use my answer against me. They would not understand that Dominica is such a small island that they would barely be able to see it on a map.

It was as if my family pushed me into a place I was always destined to be, because even though they had judged me and made me feel badly for what my mother and I had, I still love them and I still hope that they will accept me for me one day. I learned that I should not be ashamed nor embarrassed for what I have because everyone else in my life does not have it. I have found that love for my father. I thank them for changing me into a better person, for opening my eyes to such spiteful hatred and ignorance, and lastly because they taught me that the phrase “You should not judge a book by its cover” is not true. Everyone judges a book by its cover and frankly we all should, but I am not a book. I am a human being and there is so much more to me than meets the eye. I now see that I am in charge of my own future. For the time being I have a story to tell and hopefully, if fate is on my side, after attending this school I will have many more stories to share.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback