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Face of a Stranger

It’s Monday April 5, 1976 and my mom is pulling out our drive way leaving for work in our old beat up Volkswagen. I stand outside waiting for the school bus in my old torn blue jeans and a faded shirt. My hair kind of brushed blew with the wind. Soon the bus arrives; I get on. It’s loud and wild and no one sits in their seats let alone their correct seats.
I sit alone everyday. I guess you could say I’m not what they call “groovy”. My mom works two jobs just to make sure we have a loaf of bread on the table and a roof over our heads. My parents are not together. I don’t really know my dad. Every day I wonder what he’s like and if he loved my mother and me.
I walk into junior high and all the teachers stand there and give me a blank look. I have always wondered why. I don’t get into trouble and I have good grades. Well, anyway, like usual I go to my first class. The day is lonely like always and I live in books. One class has come and gone; now it’s time for math. I hand in my homework and the teacher just starts to explain what our next subject is…..when I’m called to the office.
I walk to the office with a vacant look. I get there and the principal would like to talk to me. I walk into the room and there are police officers standing there. I’m asked to have a seat. I sit down really confused that’s when the principal says, “I will go collect her things.”
An officer walks to me and looks at me. I can tell that he’s not too comfortable. He starts to speak “there’s been an accident; your mom was hit by a driver who ran a stop sign.” I start to shed tears. The impact of emotion hit me so hard that it felt as though I was the one impacted by the driver. I ask where my mom is. “She’s in the hospital. She may not make it.”
The officer says “You will be able to see her later. For now you will be brought home.”
“Who is going to stay home with me, I can’t stay home alone.”
“Well we thought of that and we have contacted your mom’s good friend Jessie.” Now I may not have brought Jessie up earlier in the story, but he is the one my mom goes to raves with. He also gives my mom money when she is having a hard time. Sometimes, I wonder if he likes my mom.
Now that you know a little history about Jessie lets continue. He arrives to pick me up. The whole ride home is quiet. Neither of us has much to say. We get to my house I walk in and run to my room. Not long after he walks in and sits down next to me on my bed and tells me
“It’s going to be ok.” He looks at the night stand that sits beside my bed. On top of it is an old black and white picture of my mom. It may be black and white, but the beauty of it shines like a thousand colorful rainbows in the sky. She has long brown curly hair and beautiful blue eyes and a smile that’s brighter then the sun.
We both stare at the picture as if it were a million dollars.
The phone rings, and he gets up to go answer it. The conversation only lasted a couple seconds because the next thing you know all I hear is “I will let her know.” Soon he walks back into my room and says the words that killed me. “Your mom didn’t make it.” He said “I will take care of the funeral arrangements.” He gives me a hug. I lay there paralyzed not knowing really what to think or even say at that point.
The days go by and I miss school, but most of all I miss my mom and all I can think about is that day I was on my way to school and she was on her way to work. Before I knew it the funeral came. I met a lot of new people and still I could not say much; I mean there was not much I could say. Shortly everything was over, Jessie and I said our good byes and watched everyone go home we stood underneath the tree were my mom lies. It was quiet; we just stood there not knowing what to do. Then Jessie looks at me and asked if I ever wondered what it would be like to have a father. “Yes, always” I say. “Well I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a daughter.”
I got a little confused on why this is even on his mind right now, but considering everything he’s been through I just go with it. Well, someday you will have a daughter. “Well that’s what I want to talk to you about. Your mother and I were not going to say anything until you were old enough to understand but Lila Marie Thomson you are my daughter.”





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