Just like mom

November 10, 2010
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April 24, 1995
Wednesday


I opened my mom’s door, hoping for a surprise birthday present or something special. Today was the day I was turning 5 years old. Most parents would give their child a huge birthday party for turning the big “five.” That’s all I wanted; a party consisting of family members with big smiles on their faces and friends with loads and loads of gifts, waiting to be opened. However, I knew that it wouldn’t happen. We had no family other than me, my older sister Sarah, and my mom. I have never seen my mom smile, and she barely spoke to us. We had distinct relationship and she didn’t really care for us. She wasn’t at home often, and I rarely went inside her room, for I knew that she would be with a man I don’t know. Today was an exception. I felt like a “surprise” was waiting for me in her room.
I was shocked as I walked inside her room. Her clothes were everywhere, drawers were half opened, suitcases were everywhere, and the smell of alcohol wanted to make me gag. Although I was only 5, living with my mom taught me a lot of things that most 5 year olds wouldn’t know. I found my mom in the washroom packing her toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. while making out with an old guy with an ugly beard. “Mommy, where are you going? Am I going with you?” I asked. I suddenly had a sudden feeling of joy that this was the surprise that I had been hoping for.
Instead of a happy birthday kiss, my mom, frustrated that I came into her room, cried, “Ang, why are you in here? Mommy’s going off to a vacation for a very long time okay? You and your sister are going to stay here and be careful. Now go to Sarah.” I nodded and left to tell Sarah what happened. She ran into my mom’s room and I heard them yelling at each other. I covered my ears with my hands and shut my eyes tight.
My mom hugged me and kissed me for the first time ever, and told me to stay with my sister at all times, and that she would be gone for a long time. Hesitating, she mouthed “I love you guys” and hugged my sister and apologized. “Okay mommy, see you soon! I love you too.” I said, with a big grin. Sarah nodded towards my mom and started sobbing. I didn’t really know what was going on except that my mom was going on a vacation with the old guy with the ugly beard for a long time. Right before my mom stepped out of the doorway; I heard her whisper “Happy birthday Angela,” with tears in her eyes.
The house felt empty without her, even though she was normally never inside the house. Just then, Sarah grabbed be and hugged me tight, saying that everything will work out and that she’d work hard to find a job and get us out of this mess. “What mess?” I asked, curiously. She didn’t answer. I was confused and a bit scared, with Sarah crying and all. Our Mom was coming back…wasn’t she? She said it was only a vacation…why was everything so bizarre especially on my birthday? So many questions fled through my mind.





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