On My Own

April 10, 2011
When mom left I wasn’t sure where she went or if she was coming back, I just knew that she was gone. There was no note giving me instructions for dinner or telling me where she would be. She left only her empty dressers, an unstocked fridge, and my empty piggy bank. I was alone with no money, no food, and no one to comfort me. And though there was a part of me that was panicking inside, the other part was sighing relief. I wouldn’t have to deal with the drunken nights and the constant one night stands streaming through our front door almost every night. I was alone and happy.

My mom had me when she was just sixteen. From what she tells me her parents were highly religious, and the thought of having their youngest daughter pregnant and in public was just unacceptable. So mom left and never looked back, not even telling my father where she was going or that she was carrying his son. Mom said it was for the best that dad was kept in the dark, and not knowing any better I believed her.

In reality mom didn’t know the first thing about motherhood. She was too young; she wasn’t ready for this kind of responsibility. She used these lines constantly, every time she forgot to pick me up from school, when she forgot to pack my lunch, or make it to the baseball game where I pitched for the very first time. After a while the excuses got old, yet I continued to forgive her, she was my mother. But what had that gotten me now? An empty house and a mind filled with unanswered questions.
Harrington 2

Being on my own wasn’t a completely foreign concept to me. Mom had a tendency to “disappear” for weeks at a time. She would leave me at least thirty dollars for food, hoping I would be able to make a pizza last for a week or more. I always managed to make the thirty dollars work and when mom stumbled her way back home, I would asks no questions, life would just go on as usual. Something was different this time though; a part of me knew that my mother wasn’t going to be coming through that door anytime soon.

Two weeks passed and mom was still M.I.A. I hadn’t heard from her and probably wouldn’t. I went to school as usual, found a job, and tried my best to keep a low profile so that no one found out that my mom had left me. I knew that if anyone found out they would report me and child services would be at my doorstep, which was the last thing I wanted. I didn’t need anyone taking care of me and I wasn’t going into a foster care program. That would mean that mom really wasn’t coming back and she didn’t care what happened to me.

Everything went well, even though I had been abandoned, my life seemed simple without my mother. And even if I didn’t want to face the fact that mom didn’t want me I had to admit her leaving wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to me. Life was good these days and living on my own was just what I needed to make the life I wanted, too bad my alone time would quickly come to an end.

On Tuesday there was a knock on the door, my heart sped up not knowing what to think. No one had been to the house since mom had left and I didn’t know who it could possibly be. Knowing whoever it was would know I was here since my car was in the driveway. I made my

way to the door trying to collect my thoughts and think of a story to tell if I were asked about mom. I opened the door and was greeted by a tall man in a black police uniform, this couldn’t be good. “Can I help you?” I asked not opening the door the whole way. “I am looking for the son of Alexandria Hines.” My Heart sank and I knew nothing good could come from this visit. “That’s me” I replied. The officer removed his hat uncovering his receding hair line, and brought it to his chest. “Can I come in son? We need to talk.” I nodded and motioned for him to enter the house.

“When was the last time you saw your mom, son?” the officer asked as we sat down on the couch. “Just a few days ago.” I lied. “Are you sure? You wouldn’t lie to me, would you?” he asked suspiciously. “Of course not sir.” Another lie
“Well, then I am sorry to have to break this to you but we found your mother’s body in an abandoned house downtown. It seems she overdosed.” I was hearing the words but not fully processing what he was telling me. When I thought mom wasn’t going to be coming home, I thought it would be because she didn’t want to, not because she couldn’t. I was really alone this time; there was no chance of the mother I had known coming back.

“Do you have any other family?” the officer asked. I stared at him not knowing what to say. I did have family, but my grandparents wouldn’t want me and my father had no clue I existed.
“Could you contact any of them and see if you could stay with them?”

“I don’t think so. We never really talk to them. I have a dad but we’ve never met.” I looked down at my feet knowing how pathetic I must have seemed.
“Oh, well do you know anything about him? Like his name or where he lives?”he asked taking out a pen and paper waiting for me to give him details. I knew his name was Jason Wilson, and he lived in Lexington, Virginia when he was 16.

“That’s all you know?” He asked surprised.

“Yes sir.”

“Alright then. We do what we can to try to contact him, but in the mean time we need to find you some place to stay.” The officer looked at me waiting for suggestions. “I’m fine staying here. I am ok with being alone.” I explained, hoping he wouldn’t put up a fight. Unfortunately, seeing the officers face I knew that wasn’t an option.

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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm
Awesome work !  i really liked this story  keep it up!  could you please check out and comment on my story Numb.   i would really appreciate the feedback
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