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Girl On The Move
As I stared out my window, I remembered that tomorrow would be a new beginning. But somehow it seemed like it would be just another day. My family and I move a lot. I don’t mean because of things like jobs or school or whatever, I mean things like boyfriends. You see, my mom was divorced after she had my little sister. So she’s damaged and every time one of her “relationships” doesn’t work out, we end up moving halfway across the United States.
At first, I thought it was pretty cool, kind of like exploring. Never having a place to call home is actually kind of fun sometimes. But after awhile, you start missing out on a lot. You don’t even get to have friends. But hopefully one day she’ll find the perfect man and I’ll finally feel like I belong… No more running.
It was Monday morning and I woke up thinking today was just an ordinary day but then I realized that I wasn’t in San Francisco anymore, I lived in New York now. No more sunny school days, no more beach trips, and no more surfing. It’s time for snow and new everything; new school, new hobbies, and new people.
“Haley you’re going to be late for school!” My mom yelled from the kitchen. Great, yet another perfect start to a perfect day I thought sarcastically.
“I’m already dressed and everything Mom, chill out,” I said. Then I grabbed my backpack, threw it over my shoulder, and walked out my bedroom. The kitchen smelled like orange juice and waffles. My mom was one of the best cooks I knew.
“Hungry?” She asked impatiently. I shook my head yes and sat down at our small kitchen table.
“Good. I made enough for the whole neighborhood!” Something was wrong, she was the best chef ever but she only baked non-stop when something was wrong.
“What’s wrong Mom?” I asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
“Nothing Sweetie, I’m just nervous.”
“About what?” I was so confused, what could she possibly be nervous about? She couldn’t possibly be thinking about another guy already!
“About this new job I’m starting today,” she hesitated before continuing, “I now you think I’m a great chef and all but there are some pretty great chefs there already so I don’t know if I’ll be good enough for the business.” She was always putting herself down while making it seem like it was just what everyone did these days.
“Mom! You’ll be fine, I promise.” I really did mean it though. She was probably even going to be chef of the month by the first day of work!
“Oh! Honey you’re going to be late for school!” I looked at the clock and finished my breakfast. Then with a hug and a kiss and a goodbye to my mom and sister, I walked out the door to face my first day at East High.
I had been walking for what seemed like hours when I finally came to a sign that said East High. This building was almost two times the size of San West in San Francisco, and from what I saw, there were definitely more people.
“Hey! Watch it—,” I turned around and apparently I backed into a guy and made him spill his drink a little.
“I’m so sorry!” I managed to say. I was probably already tomato red by now and I had already made an enemy on my first day of school. Just great…
“Oh no it’s okay, I wasn’t paying any attention to where I was going anyways. Are you new or something? I haven’t seen you around,” He said quickly. He was at least a foot taller than me and decently muscular. His brown hair fell barely in front of his bright blue eyes and he definitely looked like a jock.
“Yeah, I just moved here from San Francisco with my mom and sister,” I said. He really wasn’t too bad, and he actually seemed kind of nice…
“Well that’s cool. Hey I’ll see you around, I kind of have a class to get to.” I wasn’t entirely sure if he was telling the truth or not but I had to get to class too.
“Okay, bye!” I said and then hurried to the administration office to ask a few question. I had no idea where any of my classes were and I was definitely going to be late. Today was not the best day to start at a new school.
Finally! Classes were over and my homework was done. My first day at East High was now history. I wonder how Mom’s day went… Just then, she walked in and started making dinner.
“How was your first day at work?” I said quietly.
“It was actually pretty good today! Lyla showed me around and I got to see where I would be working, who I would be working with, you know, all that stuff.” It seemed like she was forgetting something though…
“Uh, Mom?” I asked, waiting for more.
“What? That’s everything,” She said defensively.
“Really Mom? Do you really think I don’t know you well enough to know that you’ve already met another guy? I mean seriously Mom! You’re gorgeous, what guy wouldn’t want you?” Even though I regretted saying that, it was true.
“Well, I met this Italian guy, I work with him, and he seems to be very nice,” She hesitated before finally continuing. “And I’m going on a date with him this weekend.”
“Mom! Are you kidding me! We just got here and you’re already throwing yourself around like a baseball! Do you have no self commitment?” I yelled at her for what seemed like forever and I still couldn’t seem to express my anger. We just got here and when something doesn’t go the right way, we’re going to have to move all over again.
“Haley! You are not my parent and I will not have you speak to me like that,” She scolded. I was surprised, my mother usually never yelled and when she did it was just because we had turned the T.V. up too loud or we were blasting music form the stereo and she thought the neighbors could hear.
“Well at least I care enough about myself to know when enough is enough and to stop running from things!” As soon as it slipped out of my mouth, I was immediately sorry. I couldn’t believe I just said that! I mean I’ve always thought my mom ran from things but I’ve never actually told her. I had always told her that I understood heartbreak and it was okay if we moved. Well, the secret’s out now.
Tears were running down her eyes and she looked so ashamed of herself. Why did I have to open my big mouth! She loves us and she wouldn’t hurt us! So why did I always hurt her? I was even a Christian and in church they always told us to not think negative thoughts and to think before we spoke so the negative thoughts would not escape. Well, it’s alittle too late now. The damage had been done.
I just wanted our family to stop running. To stop running from love, running from pain, and running from mistakes. Where was this so-called happy place when we needed it? I spotted my Bible on the corner of the coffee table and immediately I was reminded of my last service in California.
“If you believe in a happy place, what happens if you can’t go there? If you believe in peace, what happens if all you see is war? If you believe in believe in eternal life, what happens if you can’t live? Do things change because we give up or do we give up because things change? If you believe in love, what happens if all you see is hatred?” Pastor Carlson paused for a long time while we considered these questions and then, finally, he continued.
“Proverbs 3:5 says this… “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” that means even if we can’t go to our happy place, or find peace, or life, or even love, trust in God because He has these things. And most importantly, He forgives us. He is the happy place, He is peace, He is life, and He is love. He tells us this… “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
After taking into consideration his sermon and remembering what I had just told my mom, I realized that I had to forgive her or God would not forgive me. In order to be happy, I had to find God. In order to be peaceful, I had to find God. In order to live and love, I had to find God, because there is no one else who can help me better than him.
“I’m so sorry Mom, for everything. I know you try your hardest to keep us safe and fed and have a roof over our heads and I’m very sorry for thinking about it like you didn’t care about us at all. Please forgive me,” I hesitated before completing my last sentence and then looked up to face my mom. Her face was drown in tears but she was smiling.
“Haley, you were already forgiven.” And she was right, life was about to get much better because God never forgets the people who follow him.