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Everyone Deserves a Second Chance
Mona was seven when her father left her mother and her, and she could still remember that dull Summer’s evening as if it happened just last night.
It was a Tuesday, almost eight pm and she remembered this particular event, because she had marked it in the puppy calendar her sister had given her for Christmas. A big, red x and a Siberian husky often haunted her dreams. Even to this day she couldn’t get that particular picture out of her head.
She remembered her last dinner as a family. A chicken pot pie with mashed potatoes on the side and the three pieces of broccoli she had refused to eat.
“I have to talk to you girls,” Father said in his deep yet somehow mellow voice.
For a moment Mona thought about all the naughty things she had done in the past few days, from breaking the expensive crystal vase from the coffee table down in the living room, to giving her toby cat a haircut. But it was something Mona hadn’t expected at all, something she didn’t have an excuse for, something that was too hard for her little brain to understand and something that she blamed herself for all her life.
His bags were already packed when he broke the news. Mother didn’t look too surprised, in fact she didn’t even shed a tear nor did she wave at father as he sat in his car, closed the shiny black door and drove off in to the unknown.
For days she had hoped that father would change his mind and come back home but, he didn’t and soon she had other things to worry about.
Mother had taken on a new hobby, something that neither of her two little girls understood. It started out with just one glass of wine a day.
“It’s a great way to relax, you’ll see what I mean one day,” Mother said, pinning back her auburn hair.
And Mona didn’t question her much more after that, because mother was a grownup and after all, grownups knew best.
But as time passed, one glass turned into two, then into three and four. Until finally all the glasses wore out and mother didn’t bother to replace them. All she needed was a bottle or two and an episode of a TV show she had never seen before.
Mona was fifteen now and she had grown up into quite a girl. She had her mother’s rusty green eyes and wavy black hair that passed her tiny waist. A face full of freckles and the skin of a porcelain doll.
Mary, her older sister had left for college that year, and Mona was left to deal with her alcoholic mother all on her own.
It was a gloomy Monday’s morning and Mona was about to leave for school but, someone stopped her.
“I have to get to school mother,” She whispered with an unnecessary harshness but, as she tried to open the door mother put her hand on Mona’s shoulder and stopped her from moving.
“I need to talk to you,” Her scratchy voice ordered and her dull eyes wondered over to Mona’s.
“How about we talk later, I really need…” But before she could finish her sentence, mother cut her off.
“No. Now!” She hissed as strongly as she could but, Mona could see fear in her eyes.
And so she followed her mother to the couch and took a seat as far away from her as she possibly could. Mother sighed and Mona closed her eyes. She knew what was coming and she knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
“I want to apologize,” She began “for everything I have done,” she paused and shook her head from left to right. “This wasn’t the way I wanted you to grow up,” She finally finished with a quiver.
Mona nodded and as she was about to leave, mother uttered the words Mona had feared the most.
“I promise to never hit you again,”
And she could see the sincerity in her eyes and she could feel the sorrow and the pain that her mother held deep within her. So she gave her one last nod and said.
“Everyone deserves a second chance….even if they aren’t going to treasure it,”
And as she left her mother sitting on the couch she could not help but remember all those mornings she had said those same words.
‘Everyone deserves a second chance’