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The gentle rain kissed the meniscus of an almost perfect Lake Michigan. A moist sheet of fog covered the lake, and all of the seagulls that were usually invading the beach were fast asleep. My intent gaze at the scenery was interrupted by the boisterous honk from my mother’s1996 Dodge truck. She gestured for me to come to the car, but I hesitated looking back at the lake once more. I waved a gentle hand towards the lake, while a soft “goodbye” escapes from my lips.
I entered the car and my mom told me that we must hurry since we are expected to arrive in Des Moines by tomorrow. Since I had gotten into the car I had barely exchanged glances with my mother. She was trying to fill the silence by asking me questions like where I wanted to eat, and if I had to go to the bathroom. But I knew the procedure, and I just wanted to be left alone. It had been ten minutes, and I could deal with a little of her mumbo jumbo. I now realized that my favorite place in the world was slipping away from me. “Honey, you know I’m doing the right thing, right?” my mother asked.
“Ya, you always seem to do the right thing for you,” I mumbled. But before she could muster up a reasonable answer, I silenced her by slipping “Sweet Home Alabama” into the player.
I’m heading to Des Moines because as of tomorrow that will be our new home. I glanced out of the window at the road, and wondered what could have been. I thought about what would have happened if my mother and I had decided to stay.
My mom is single, and we’ve always had it hard. You see we’ve been moving from place to place since I was four, and I finally thought this would be the one place we would settle down. I was sure we would live here along the Lake Michigan shoreline for good. But apparently I stand corrected. My mom just got out of a bad relationship, and it always happens the same way.
My mom will meet a great guy, and he’ll surely be the one, until my mother pulls some of her commitment crap. She’s always trying to find the right guy that will support me like a father. At first I wanted a father figure, but now I just want her to be happy.
My mom and I don’t really have a perfect relationship. All of this travel and change over the years has kind of torn us apart to the point where we just exchange small talk. So once again, she’s putting the car into drive, and hiding from her past. I hope she’ll realize that soon there won’t be any more places to go that we haven’t lived in before. She knows that this place lifts my spirits, and it’s so selfish of her to rip me out of this place like a weed uprooted from the ground.
Why can’t she realize that when she’s happy, I’m happy? I’ve gotten so attached to this town, and the people who live in it. I thought for sure it would be a keeper, and that my mother could put aside her differences with a guy, so that we could just stay here forever. Even if a guy broke her heart, my mother and I would find a way through it, together.
This is the perfect town. It’s too small for anything big to happen, and it’s got a population of about three hundred people. So there couldn’t be that many men that could break my mother’s heart. But of course after about two short months she managed to find a guy. He was no Prince Charming, but he would do. So when the relationship backfired, my mother decided it was time to go.
I’m going to miss the hot summer days when I play at the beach. And I’m going to miss the dull, dark days when rain inhabits the atmosphere. I’m going to miss it all, the good and the bad. This is the one place where I can disappear from the drama between my mother and her multiple boyfriends, and just be me. When I’m here, all of my mother’s boyfriend problems just evaporate into thin air.
In time, this town will develop and change and I myself will transform completely. I know that no matter where I go and who my mother decides to run away from, I will never be the type of person that will put the car in drive and hide from my past.