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A New Beginning

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It was a frosty morning of November and they were standing outside the American Immigration Office, in Pakistan, waiting for the bus to arrive. The wind of shuffled thoughts was surrounding the Thomases. While Mr. Thomas was evaluating all the possibilities for his family, all Edwin could think about was to get on the bus so his bones would stop aching from the ice-cold weather. Even Wendy was confused about the new life that awaited them.

Six days later, the alarming notice had arrived and it lay on the antique coffee table. The horrid news of Mr. Thomas’s bankruptcy had been spread among the servants of the big suburban house. After a few discomforting and sleepless nights, Mr. Thomas decided that it was in their best interest to leave their homeland. “Going across the world” was never their idea of spending their lives. For Mrs. Thomas, being a housewife and Mr. Thomas’s collapsed business, it was incredibly necessary for them to have a new beginning.

Leaving the house was similar to a helpless mother, abandoning her child. The beautiful wall-sized windows were one-of-a-kind that drew in morning sunlight, like rays of happiness. Now they peeked at the darkness of the sorrowful night. The brown-polished doors looked rather uninviting. Samuel, Edwin and Wendy looked at the family room with saddened eyes. They remembered getting carpet-burns, playing and having fights during board games in this room. The big cozy sofas made them think of the times when their Aunt Tina came and stayed at their house. Usually, one of them had to give up their room to her and spend the night on the couch.
The wall hangings brought back a flashback of the evening when Wendy and Mrs. Thomas hung them up. How happy they were; the pictures finally had arrived, already framed. And how excitedly Mrs. Thomas brought the tool box and rushed toward the pale, empty wall. There was a huge family picture that was about three years old. In the photograph, Mrs. Thomas noticed that everyone looked so happy, bright and cheerful. Edwin was now changed the most, in the picture, he was even more innocent and extraordinarily naive. Samuel looked the same, except his height, it was a few inches shorter than now, and Wendy looked like the happiest little girl. She had a vivid purple colored sweater on, with her hair back in a braid; she even had a front tooth missing. With one of her hands on her mother’s shoulder, and the other holding her father’s arm, she looked so content, unlike now. Mrs. Thomas was more relaxed, sitting in a diagonally placed chair; she glanced up with a proud look on her face. In the other chair, Mr. Thomas was seated; he was looking as handsome as ever.

The disturbing thoughts of not only leaving their house, but leaving the country too, made them more heavy-hearted. While Mr. Thomas arranged for the tickets for the family’s departure to the United States, Mrs. Thomas went to purchase some necessities. The kids stayed home and gathered their personal items and clothes to pack. Wendy grabbed her brand-new looking Barbie doll and her accessories, which included tiny shoes, many dresses and purses. Wendy’s situation was ironically similar to the Barbie doll’s. The fact that she couldn’t bring Barbie’s house with her was so much identical to her own situation of not being able to take her own home with her.
Samuel and Edwin shared a room. While Edwin gathered everything he could to take with him, he also brainstormed about America, and gave himself hopes of how wonderful of an idea it would to move there. He thought about all the new friends he would make there, and how he would finally get an American accent. Watching some American cartoon movies, growing up, Edwin always wanted to talk like Americans, so he could fully understand the films, that seemed like just characters jabbering in English at a fast pace. Samuel was a little upset at one point, but looking at Edwin’s enthusiasm, he decided to take a chance at a new beginning.
The packing was something the kids didn’t do; their trustworthy maids were helping Mrs. Thomas with it. The look on her face was as if she was tired, and it was rather puffy from crying a lot. While putting the belongings in the boxes, she started to get teary eyed again, thinking of all the treasures she couldn’t bring with her. The suitcases looked ant-sized in front of her intentions to drop in almost everything: her antique silver cutlery, she was given for her wedding, the vase that is decorated as the center-piece at the entrance, and even her front yard that she beautified herself, planting different flowers. Her maid consoled her by saying, “Madam, its okay, think of all this as if it’s a new beginning.”
The plane tickets that were brought home were set for the December sixteenth. Finally, everything and everyone was ready to leave, but before they left, they turned around to have one last glance at their now old home. The memories came speeding back, and were projected straight out of their heads and onto their house. The time when they first bought the house, the time Edwin was born, the anniversaries, the birthdays and even the many Christmases celebrated in that house. Leaving everything behind, they all now seated themselves in the rental car and headed toward the airport.
As the car drove by, they all turned their heads here and there, looking, and capturing everything possible. The streets that were not sanitary before, suddenly felt so clean. The graffiti on the passing walls that seemed dirty now seemed so perfect. The shops that the Thomases saw growing up, were pulling them, somehow calling to them. The streets they were bored of, now seemed so entertaining. The crows that gave them a headache now were chirping so quietly. Knowing that there was no coming back for at least a few years, they tried to memorize everything possible.
Finally, reaching the airport they started to look forward to their adventurous journey ahead. Waiting in the waiting room, the children enjoyed the computers. And the parents brainstormed of how to settle in, in a new city, with new people. People who are known as Americans, who are totally apart than them, in appearance, language and even culture! How to settle in with these “Americans”, who have a total different perspective on life than them?
The ceilings were high and the huge windows showed many airplanes taking off with people just like them. As the plane took off, they shared optimistic plans for a new house, a new life and a new country, altogether, a new beginning.





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