Wake Up

April 10, 2012
By , Detroit, MI
A sigh of stress left my lips as I pulled into the garage. Tears had been welling up in my eyes all day. “Why me?” I asked myself in a whisper. “Why can’t life just be easy right now?” The garage was cold, stale, and smelled of gasoline and old garbage. When I exited my car I inhaled a whiff of the dinner we had last night along with the dinner we had two nights ago. I attempted to hold my breath as I approached the doorway but failed. I could taste the old scraps of chicken and ribs that were rotting in the garbage cans not too far away. I took a quick breath opened the door and tried to release my current stress with the air that I had left in my lungs.

“I’m home!” I yelled while setting my keys on the drier. “Sorry I’m late, that physics retake took a lot longer than I had expected.” I heard footsteps coming down the stairs.

“It’s alright, Hun. How was your day?” asked my mom. She looked a bit disheveled as if she had been working on some serious cleaning.

“Well I’m pretty sure I failed that retake. I didn’t make the first cut for the girls basketball team, and we had a pop quiz in AP world history” I grunted and threw my backpack into my usual corner in the foyer. “I pretty much have nothing else to live for.” I mumbled under my breath. I realized I was most likely overreacting but I couldn’t hold in my anger and frustration a second longer.

“Well I’m sorry that you had a rough day today, you did your best and that’s all that matters.” My mother was always extremely understanding no questions asked. Everything I have done is good enough if I truly tried. But my tirade wasn’t over. I stomped towards the kitchen and threw open the refrigerator door. “Why don’t we have any food?” I snapped at my mom as she walked into the kitchen.

“We have food, why don’t you have a banana?”

“No” I snapped.

“Alright, what about some cheese and crackers?”

“No.” It didn’t matter what she suggested, my answer was no to it all, no matter how tempting it may have sounded.

“Well we will be having dinner soon anyways—“

“What are we having?” I snapped.

“Chicken with—“

“Seriously?! Chicken!? I hate chicken and we’ve had it like eight times this week!”

“You like chicken, and we’ve only had it three times this week.” You could see her loosing cheerfulness every time I snapped at her.

I pushed passed her and grabbed my backpack from the floor and stomped upstairs making as much noise as I possibly could. I could tell that I had hurt my mother with the snappy exchange that I had with my mother but I was too proud to go back and apologize. When I entered my room I accidentally slammed my door but couldn’t say anything more because I already set a hostile tone and I needed time to calm down. Don’t get me wrong, I felt horrible about being like that to my own mother, but it was one of those days where the dominoes kept falling and I couldn’t take one more upset. After I finished about three fourths of my calculus packet, which seemed to take an eternity, I walked back downstairs in need of a small snack. My stomach was eating itself due to extreme hunger. I figured my mom was back to doing some tidying up around the house so I would be out of her way fro the time being.

I walked into the kitchen and noticed that my mom wasn’t in there. I called down to the basement, but she didn’t answer. “Maybe she’s in the storage room” so I called her once more to only receive silence. I checked the whole first floor, the kitchen, the family room, the dining and living rooms, the foyer, the laundry room, but no mother was to be found. The only luck I had was finding that bobby pin I knew I lost earlier that day.

“Mom?” I called out one last time, “Mom, are you still home?” there was no answer, I took a last look in the refrigerator and the pantry and started to worry. I ran back upstairs to grab my phone out of my backpack to try to reach her. My stomach was churning; the worst combination in the world was nerves and hunger. I felt like I was going to lose what was left in my stomach from my lunch that day.

I assumed that maybe she had left to blow off some steam, just take a drive around the neighborhood. I felt horrible; I should have apologized to her. I can’t believe I disrespected her like I did. I picked up the phone and dialed my mom’s number. The phone was ringing, and ringing, and ringing for what seemed like an eternity until she finally picked up, “Hello?”

“Thank God you’re alright. Where are you?” I asked in relief.

“Oh, I’m just on my way to the grocery store to pick you up something good to snack on.” She said in a surprisingly happy tone.

“You really didn’t need to do that mom” I said in a somewhat sad voice.

“Well I know it has been a rough day for you and—“the phone cut off.

“Mom?”…”Mom”…”MOM! Are you there?” But there was no answer. A crash on the other end cut our conversation short.
My brain was searching for any and all reasons why the phone line was cut. I couldn’t help but think the worst. I started to cry; I picked up the phone again and tried calling her but there was no answer. Tears were streaming down my face; I felt a fever starting to boil my pessimistic thoughts. I felt my forehead with the back of hand trying to diagnose the fever that I was experiencing. I felt hot but I could not distinguish whether or not I was actually feverish. I knew that if my mom were here she would know.
I paced the entire first floor. I went in circles through the kitchen, the foyer, the living room and dining room. I opened doors only to close them. I was frantic; I was moving with nowhere to go. I finally stopped when I opened the door to the garage. I closed my eyes and fell to my knees.
When I opened my eyes I was at the hospital. I was searching the dirty white and gray walls for my mother’s room number. I frantically was checking all of the rooms but saw only the people that I didn’t need to find. I needed my mother, who was always there to wipe the tears from my feverish face, wrap her comforting arms around me and tell me that everything would be alright.
A tall man with a doctor’s coat exited a room looking down at his clipboard and shaking his head. He looked at me and started my way. I stopped in my tracks and started to cry even more. He approached me, lifted his hand and put it on my shoulder.
I yawned and slowly opened my eyes only to close them once more. I was incredibly tired the feeling that you get when you just wake up. I became conscious and tried to opened my eyes once more.
“Hun, it’s time to wake up.”
I rubbed my eyes and saw that my mother was sitting on my bed, with her arm on my shoulder, trying to wake me from my nightmare. I had just realized that everything that just happened wasn’t real. I sat up and gave my mom a hug; the biggest hug I could give at six thirty in the morning. “I love you mom.”
“Love you too sweetie” she was happy but unaware of what we had just been through.
She got up and turned my bedroom light on when she left the room. All I could do was think about what had happened and thank God that it was only a dream. I sat alone, wondering what life would be like if that dream were reality.





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