Regret

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“Mom, can you calm down please! Erin didn’t even do anything! Stop screaming at her!”Emma was crying by now.



“Emma, you won’t tell me what to do! You can stand up for Erin and yourself all you want, but it’s not going to change a thing till you leave this house!” Emma and Erin’s mom, Jane, shouted with rage.



“Mom! You’re a drunk!”



The night was over after I shouted that. Everyone just walked away. The silence of the house was strange. It has never been so quite there.



The next morning, I didn’t want to get out of bed for what simple things I would get yelled at by my alcoholic mother.



Emma walked into my room to get me. Emma was my older sister. She was seventeen, while I was only eleven. Emma and I were best friends. She always stood up for my when mom randomly had an outburst of anger.



“Sis, time to get up. It’s 11:30 already. And I made lunch.”



“But……?” I question Emma.



“No, it’s fine, Moms not here.” Emma said to calm me.



“Good, I want to have a good day today. Well, try at least.”



“Well, let’s start with lunch. Get up and get dressed and come down when you’re done.



I was happy to have something cooked at home. Normally Mom’s to drunk or out, so Emma just runs to McDonalds or Jack n the Box. I can’t even remember the last time we had food in our refrigerator. It had been so long since mother last went grocery shopping. The only thing in our fridge is usually some sort of her alcohol, and maybe some ketchup or mustard bottles. Nothing the amount of food my friends have in their fridges when I visit.



It was Saturday, so no school. I was so glad I got to stay home with just Emma. It was a lot quieter then usually. No more listening to mom trip up or down the stairs. It was peaceful.



Lunch was great. We had chicken nuggets, fry’s, and coke.



I wanted to start a conversation, but I had nothing to talk about. So we just sat there silently eating. I was dreading the moment my mother would walk in the door. I was have a great morning and I didn’t want her ruining it.



My birthday was in a week. So I asked my mom if I could have a camp out in the back yard. Of course she didn’t care because she wouldn’t even be home most likely.

Just as long as we stayed outside in the tent or playing games in the yard.



I begged her to stay sober for the night so she wouldn’t ruin the party, or embarrass me.



I was so excited for this party. I couldn’t wait. At school on Monday, I handed out the invitations. As soon as I got home, I was already getting R.S.V.P’s. I was so ecstatic that my friends where coming. I was afraid they wouldn’t want to.



I ran to Emma’s room to ask what games we should play.



“Well, you could play hide and go seek when it gets dark. That’s always fun!”



“Yeah! That sounds great. We’ll definitely do that! Thanks Emma!”



“No problem, Sis.”



It was the night of the party and my friends were about to come over. My mom walked outside as I was setting up the tent and putting up decorations.



“Erin, you’re going to have to call off the party. I don’t want kids running around the house all night. I’m too tired.””



“Mom! No, please don’t do this! I’ve worked so hard on this party! Just go to bed. We’ll be outside the whole time, I promise. Mom, please don’t make me call it off, please!” I begged but could tell she wouldn’t give in.



“No Erin! That’s final!” and she walked away.



I started crying so I ran to my room to tell everyone not to come over. They all asked why, I just told them I didn’t feel good.



Monday at school, everyone was telling me they were really looking forward to my party.



I hated lying to them, but I didn’t want to tell them about my mom.



That was just one of the things my mom has done to us. She always yells at us for the dumbest things. Like if we left one of our books on the table, or if the music is up too loud.

The first five years of my life where perfect. Mom wasn’t addicted to cigarettes and alcohol. Dad was still alive. Things changed a lot after he died. Mom went into a huge depression. That’s when she became addicted. And that’s when my life became a waste of living space.



A few years passed, all the same as the last. Emma got a second job to try to get enough money to buy us an apartment or small house. I didn’t care what it was. As long as I could get away from my mother.



Emma was now twenty and I was fourteen. Emma worked as a waitress at one of the restaurants near our house. She was also a manager at a local grocery store.



After two more hard months, Emma finally got enough money to get us a house. I was so excited to get away from my mother. Now I wouldn’t have to smell alcohol all night when I’m trying to sleep, get treated terribly, I might actually get some sleep without my mom bringing all her friends over drunk at 3:00 am. I couldn’t take I anymore. I had to get away.



“Wow Emma! The house is great! Thank you so much for buying this for us!” I exclaimed as I ran to give Emma a huge hug.



“Well, we were both miserable. We had to get out of there!” Emma said.



I checked out the rest of the house. It was amazing. I got my own big bedroom and my own bathroom.





I’d basically forgotten about my mother. I hadn’t talked to her since we left the house that day long ago.



I was now eighteen. I kept thinking about moving out and letting Emma have her own life now. But I don’t know if I’d be able to live without Emma. I wanted my own life but didn’t know if it was the right thing to do or not.



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I was listening to music in my room and I got a call from my best friend Missy.



“Hey, I’ve got to tell you something. And it’s kind of crazy and random, so just don’t freak out and that everything will be okay.”



I was kind of scared now. Was she going to tell me she was pregnant, that she was sick? I didn’t know. But all I knew is that I was kind of freaked out already.



“Uhm, tell me.” I asked nervously.





“Well, your mom called me. She said she would have called you, but she didn’t have your new cell phone number, but still had mine from sixth grade. So just to call you and tell you.”



“Okay Missy, tell me please.”



“She has Leukemia and she’s dying Erin.”



I was in shock. I dropped the phone. I didn’t know if I should cry or not. Instead I just ran to Emma, she always knows what to do.



“Emma, Mom’s dying! She has Leukemia!”



“Wow, that’s crazy. But Erin, don’t worry about it. She doesn’t care about you. Why should you care about her? I’m not trying to be mean, but I don’t think you should get sucked back into her drama.” Emma explained as tears came to my eyes.



I walked back to my room not saying a thing. How could I just let my mother die and not do a thing about it.



I went to her house the next day, I just didn’t tell Emma. I didn’t want to fight with her. As I got to her house, I got more and more nervous. She opened the door. And she looked terrible.



“Erin! I can’t believe you came to see me! After everything I put you through, you still love me, and come see me! Oh, you’re so big Erin! I’m so sorry for everything. I can’t believe I would do that to you! Honey, please come in and we can talk more about this.”



We just sat on the hard old couches I still remember. She apologize about a zillion times. I had done the one thing I was planning on not doing. Getting sucked back in. Yes, I’d done it, I was sucked back in.



My mother looked so sick and lonely, and…. sober. For the first time in long time, she was a normal mother. She was hugging me, comforting me like “Mama” would comfort her children in “Little House On the Prairie” It was a feeling I didn’t think I would ever feel from her.



I decided I would move in with my mom and take care of her. She was getting to weak to do anything for herself. I couldn’t just sit back and watch that. I just couldn’t.



Emma hated the idea of my mother being back in my life. But I honestly didn’t care. For the first time in so many years, I didn’t care what Emma had to say. She couldn’t keep my from my mother.



After about a month, my mother and I was so close. She cooked me dinner. That was the one thing I wanted most. A home cooked meal made by my mother. Not my sister. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Emma’s cooking. But it’s just different when it’s made by your mother. Especially if she’s never done it once in her life except maybe for when my father was alive. It was a feeling I didn’t think I would ever feel from her.



I walked into the living room one evening. And there was a tent there. I was very curious what that was for.



“Hey mom, what’s this tent in here for?”



My mother came walking in with a tray full of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows.



“Well, do you remember when you where turning twelve, and you had planned to have a camp out in the back yard and I was a terrible mother and made you cancel it? Well, here it is. Made just for me and you!”



“Wow Mom, thank you so much!”



We had so much fun that night. We slept in the living room in the tent. I had never planned this before. All these years I hadn’t talked to my mother, I wonder if she was sober the whole time?



The next morning, I got up and made me and my mother breakfast in bed.



“Mom, get up. I made us breakfast!”

She just laid there and didn’t move.

“Mom, get up. The food will get cold.”

She still didn’t move an inch. She was always up before me.

I felt her chest and she wasn’t breathing. I called 911 immediately. They where there with in a quick minute.



I rode in the ambulance car with her. She was so pale. As soon as we arrived at the hospital, I called Emma hoping she would come down and say some last words to Mom. I was surprised that she agreed to it.

She was there within three minutes. I ran to give her a big hug.

“Erin, I’m so sorry I got mad at you for caring about our mother. It was so wrong of me. I should have been there for Mom. But I was a terrible person and just sat back and didn’t care. I’m so sorry Erin.” Emma cried out.

“It’s ok. Let’s just go talk to Mom.” I suggested.

We walked to her room together. When Emma first saw Mom, I could tell she wanted to cry. She walked into the room.

“Hi Mom. I’m here. I’m sorry I haven’t been here for you through all this.”

“No Emma, don’t be sorry. I don’t deserve you being her for me. I was so bad to you girls after your dad died. And I’m terribly sorry!”

“Mom… I 100% except your apologies and I will be here with you through everything.”

“Well, there’s not that much time left. So how about we just sit here and talk?”

“That sounds good.” I saw Emma say to out sickly mother.

I walked into the room. And we all sit and laughed and talked. And Mom got caught up on our lives. I was glad she wanted to hear what we had to say.

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The funeral was today. Mom died three days ago. Emma and I think we have used up all of our tears. And have none left to shed. I feel like crying all the time. I just can’t seem to get the tears out. The funeral was depressing. I was so glad I got to have two months with my mother before she passed. I didn’t think much would change after she was gone. But everything was different.

“I regret everything.” Emma explained. “I regret not being there for my mother. I regret not encouraging you to do the right thing, but instead told you to do wrong. I regret…”

She went on for a while. I just quite listening after the first three regrets. I had one regret only. And that was not giving my mother a chance when I was young. If only I would have talked to her when she was half way sober. If I would have just sat down and asked her to stop that it wasn’t just affecting her life, but also Emma, and mine also. But I didn’t. and everything happens for a reason. But I’m still wondering…

“What was the reason why my mom had to be an alcoholic at all?” But most importantly, “What was the reason why she had to die?”





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