Upside Down and Sideways

February 5, 2017
By , Tiffin, OH

I was ambushed. Taken completely by surprise. The enemy, aka my mom, moved swiftly and without remorse. It started out slowly, just like normal everyday dinner conversation. I was shoving another slice of pizza into my mouth when my mom looked up at me, “Hannah” she said softly. She's using the tone of voice parents only seem to use when there's something really serious they need to talk about,.. A million thoughts ran through my head at once. Is grandma okay? Did I do something wrong in school? Did she find out about that one thing I did? When I turn my attention away from my pizza she begins to talk to me like she's defusing a bomb. One wrong move and the whole thing could blow up. 3… “So something pretty cool came up at work today...”. I raise an eyebrow to show i'm listening. I hear the bomb ticking in my ear. 2... “My boss offered me a promotion but there's a catch”. 1...The ticking is getting faster and faster in my ear. I sit back in my chair and fold my arms, “go on” I say slyly as if i'm the one in charge here. 0... She smiles a little and continues, “If I take the promotion we’ll have to move, the job is in New York”. Boom. She cut the wrong wire. What was a dining room is now a war zone.
The war ended with mom firing the last shot. Mom told me that it's not the end of the world and to go to my room as she pointed down the hallway. I decide it's best to not argue incase she decides to ground me or something. I'm probably just being dramatic but it did feel like the end of the world to me. We've lived here all my life, how am I supposed to just leave all my friends? I feel like everything is being flipped upside down and turned sideways. I know this town like the back of my hand. I know all the cool hang out spots in town,cozy little coffee shops, pizza places, clearings by the river. I can't leave now, I only have two more years until I graduate. I can't find anything else to use as an argument so I sigh and go up to my room.
About two weeks later we’re loading clothes and belongings into our van. The truck with the rest of our stuff is on the was to our new home already. The weather matches my mood as if it knows exactly how i'm feeling. It's cold,grey, and rainy out. I head back up to my room and sit in the middle of my floor. My room is completely empty now except for a few boxes I have to take down. I flop back and lay on the floor. As i'm staring at my ceiling fan I hear three knocks on my door and my mom softly say,”Hi sweetie”. I lift my head to look at her and she smiles.
I groan and sit up,”what do you want now mom?”
“ I just came to check on you and see how you're doing” she says sitting down next to me
“Just great considering my life is being flipped upside down”
“Hey it's my life too, I know this is a big change but I think you'll end up liking it there”
I roll my eyes, “oh yeah for sure”
She laughs as she gets up to leave “Just give it a chance, okay?”
I lay back down when she leaves, I don't think anything will change my mind. This has always since I was a little kid. My whole life is here and now I have to just up and leave. It doesn't seem fair to me.
There was awkward silence when we got into the car so I decided to put my headphones in and take a nap. When we get there mom taps my shoulder to wake me up. I look up at the house, it actually looks nicer than I expected. It's not huge or anything special but it looks like the perfect size for us, the siding is a pretty dark blue color and there's a little balcony coming off the side of the house. I decide to keep my thoughts to myself, I still might not like it here. I can see mom smiling as she gets out of the car, “ist it nice!?” she beams as she squeezes my shoulders. I look at her and start to smile but stop myself and roll my eyes instead, the last thing I want is for her to be able to say I told you so. She points at me smiling, “I saw that smile!”. I walk away from her and up to the porch, “I have no idea what you're talking about.” I call over my shoulder as I open the front door. When we get inside moms looking around like a kid in a candy shop. I hear her call from the other room about how much space we have and how big the windows are. This is definitely better than that tiny apartment. Mom came back into the living room after she finished checking out the kitchen. She has a huge smile on her face, this is the happiest i've seen her in a long time. She walks up to me and shakes me, “Isn't this place great?!” I smile and start towards the front door, “yeah it's alright I guess,now come on we have a lot of stuff to bring in”
Later that night i'm sitting in the kitchen waiting for mom to finish dinner. We decided on breakfast for dinner to celebrate the move. I'm tired and it's getting late but the pancakes smell amazing. Im working on setting the table when mom says that we're going to take a tour of my new school early tomorrow morning. Although I miss school, I don't want to be the new girl, and I miss my friends.
“I'm not ready to go back” I say setting down a plate.
“Honestly I think you'll love it”
“No I honestly don't think I will”
“You still have to go back, school is integral” she says pointing the spatula at me.
“I'm not hungry anymore, night”
I hear her call up the stairs after me but I choose not the listen. Just the thought of starting at a new school is enough to make my stomach turn. When I get up to my room I close my door and slide down it. I look around and it just feels so wrong I start to cry. I feel the warm tears stream down my cheek, the saltiness on my lips, and my runny make up stings my eyes. Im supposed to be in my old room in my house still going to my old school with all of my friends. None of this feels real. I don't want the be here. I think about running away for a second but I remember that I don't know the area. Maybe I could call dad and go live with him but that would kill mom. Then I think about how happy mom was earlier today and sit up. I can't even remember the last time she smiled so much or got that excited about anything. I stand as I look around my room again. This is my new home so I should make it feel like it. I first push my dresser into place and light my favorite candle, it smells like french toast. Next I unpack the box with all my blankets and make my bed. I put my favorite stuffed animal, Mable, on my bed for good measure. After that I push my bookshelf into place, put all my books away, hang up my shirts, and lay down my rug. Lastly I hang up my fairy light and put up my curtains.
When mom comes up to check on me i'm admiring my room. I notice her standing in the doorway holding a plate of food and she tells me I did a good job on my room. I take my food and sit on my bed,”Thanks, I just thought it would be nice if it felt a little more like home in here.” I mumble as I shove a bite of pancake into my mouth She smiles and comes to sit on my bed next to me.
“I'm sorry I know how hard this must be for you too”
“It's okay I know I haven't been making this easy on you”
“I really think this is going to be a good thing for us and I hope you at least try to keep an open mind tomorrow on the tour, I think youll like it”
“Yeah okay i'll try, it's just nerve wracking.”
She kisses me on the forehead and tells me i'll be okay before she leave. Im probably a little too old for her to still be kissing me on the forehead but shes but it's comforting and she'll always be my mom. We'll always have eachother no matter how old I get.
The next day mom wakes me up at eight and tells me to get ready to go see my new school. The tour is at nine and i'm beyond nervous. I really hope I like it. When i'm getting dressed I hear mom down stairs calling my name and rushing me. I roll my eyes and throw my hair up in a ponytail. On my way out I notice myself in my mirror and stop to take a deep breath. When I get into the car mom asks if i'm ready. I buckle my seatbelt and tell her lets go.
The school looks huge and the principle greets us when we pull up. She introduces me to a student council member, Alex, who's in the same grade as me. Alex shows me around the school while mom goes and fills out paperwork. Alex shows me how my daily schedule would go,explains open lunch to me and tells me some of the places to go for lunch around the school. She even offers to take me out for lunch on my first day to help me make friends. I guess it's pretty obvious i'm nervous because she tells to not to be and that she was a new student here once too. After we get past most of the boring stuff like the math and history class rooms she introduces me to the art teacher, who seems bonkers, and then takes me down to the football stadium. We sit and watch the band practice for awhile before we have to meet back with my mom.
When mom and I get back into the car I can't help but tell her about everything. I can see her start to smirk and she glances over at me.
”Ugh mom don't say it.” I groan
“But why not, let me have this”
“Fine, I guess it won't be totally horrible here.
“Ha! I told you so” she says laughing
I started school a week later and mom started her new job a few days after we toured the school. I still keep in touch with my old friends and mom says they can come visit in the summer time. I've made plenty of new friends and i'm doing better in school. Mom is actually happy here and that makes this all worth it. Change isn't always a bad thing.

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