The Life of a Motherless Girl

October 22, 2009
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I woke up to the pacing of footsteps below me. My father, I thought. I glanced up to see a fog covering the woods outside my window. The morning was so peaceful, but I knew it wouldn’t last all day. I glanced up, my eyes were fuzzy; my room looked like a mass of blurred shapes, I tried to make out the clock but couldn’t focus my eyes. I knew it was too early to be awake and didn’t want to leave my warm bed, but the pacing continued downstairs and I could hear him muttering something in the phone. My father’s clunky shoes were hitting the floor so rhythmically, it almost sounded like a lullaby that made me want to fall back asleep. But he sounded distressed. I unwillingly slid the blankets off myself, swung my feet around and stepped onto the chilly hardwood floor below me. The cold instantly sent a chill up my spine. I searched the floor for my slippers and robe; once I found them the cold room seemed warmer. The bathroom light flicked on and I splashed cold water against my face; suddenly becoming more alert. My eyes became more clear and the blurred shapes became a desk, chair, dresser; my room. I could finally read the clock, 5:30, definitely too early to be awake.
The stairs were right outside my room so when I cracked the door I could see him whispering into the phone. I wondered if it was police business or if he was talking to my mother. They were having problems again, like always. She packed her things into her little red sports car and left for Texas about a month ago. I had received a few post cards of Amarillo ranches and the Dallas skyline, but ignored all her calls. I didn’t see the point of talking to her anymore; she would just hurt me again.
I’ve lived with my dad all my life; my mom was around on and off. My parents had me just out of high school and I could tell my mother regretted having me but my father was the one who stepped up to the plate and raised me. I’ve never quite understood why she left all the time. During biology we learned that a mother had a special connection with her child, a connection that never was broken; I suppose my mother never felt it. She always said it wasn’t my fault, that she just needed space but I never understood why she would want to leave the people who loved her the most. And I’ll always resent her for that; for leaving me.
I could hear him downstairs, pacing back and forth, probably denting the floor. He missed her the most; each time she left it was like another broken heart for him. She would always be his perfect high school sweetheart. I knew he had it worse than me; nursing a broken heart and raising a daughter who was the spitting image of the woman who hurt him. Lately she had been more absent than ever, since I was little she had stayed close but now that I’m older she didn’t see the point anymore. The point is that you’re my mother and I need you no matter how old I am, I thought.
My dad put down the receiver and looked up to the top of the stairs, somehow knowing I’d be there. I could read his face like a book; it was full of distress, fear, and anger. All the typical signs of a call from my mother were there, staring up at me. I could tell he was trying to protect me, but he had to say something soon.
“That was your mother calling…” he finally sighed. My first thought was joy; I always felt joy when she called, until I realized how she hurt me in the past, and how she’ll probably do it again. I wanted to rewind time to when I woke up to the peaceful fog outside my window; to rewind and somehow forget she ever left. But she did, and now she wanted to come back, again. This is getting a little repetitive, Mom, I though. This wasn’t fair to me or my Dad was my second though. “Say something, Chelsea.” He said.
“What did you tell her?” I asked, secretly wishing they fixed everything and we could be a family again.





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