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Three more years. Just three more years till I graduate. Then I’m gone. It seems to be an almost constant mantra in my head. Especially this past year. It’s a thing my mom calls “responsibility” or “being an adult”. Gee, so that’s what I’m doing when I’m fetching this that or the other thing for my mother, that’s what I’m doing when I got to work at 5:00 in the morning on Saturday at Daisy’s Flower Shop ( because of my mother’s “suggestion”, of course).
It seems like just yesterday my mom was calling me “baby”, even though for two years now all I’ve been called is “you” or “Miss”.
It’s 7 o’clock in the evening and my mom still hasn’t returned for work. Good thing, because the vacuuming isn’t done yet. The phone rings. I answer, hoping it’s my mom calling to tell me she won’t be home for another hour. But instead, a voice asks,
“Yes,” I answer wondering who in the world is on the other end.
“Miss Philips, this is Detective O’Hara from the New York City Police Department. I’m afraid I have some bad news. Your mother was found dead outside a…”
The rest of her words are lost on me. After the word “dead” my mind went blank. My heart froze. Time itself seemed to be at an almost stand-still. This is what it must have felt like for my mom two years ago when she found out that my dad had died in a car accident.
“I am really sorry for your loss,” concludes Detective O’Hara.
The clichéd sympathy phrase comforts me about as much as you imagine it would: not a bit. I hang up. I am speechless. She cannot be dead. How did she die? What will happen now? Where will I go?
No matter how much I complain about her, I love my mom. Nothing could ever change that. Only, I haven’t exactly told her that lately. In fact, my last words to her that actually meant anything were probably along the lines of “I hate you”. I drop the phone, and sink down into the nearby armchair. I start sobbing.
Looking up, I realize that I’m alone. Alone in the living room, alone in the house, and seemingly alone in the world. It’s funny, this morning I would have given anything to be alone, to get away from my mom, and to live my own life. And now, that’s exactly what I have. I have everything I have ever wanted. Except now, it’s the last thing I want.
My world, however twisted it had become, was now crashing down around me and I would do anything to have it back. Be careful what you wish for.