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Today was the day that everything Changed. It was a hot sunny Monday Morning in Los Angeles, California. Noisy stray dogs were barking waking up everyone in the poorest neighborhood in LA. Another day I told myself. Another day of working my butt off and still not having enough money. In my mind I had thought it was going to be a good day. That was until I woke up from my worst nightmare yet. It was him, the strong images of my father dying all over again in front of me came rushing back to me. I remember it like if it were yesterday and this happened seven years ago. when I was 11 years old. I was sweating so much like I had ran a 100 mile Marathon. I got up, took a quick shower and got ready to go to work. His face was all I thought, all I saw. My father died in my arms and I couldn’t do anything about it. He got shot three times by gang members in a crossfire when we were getting out of the grocery store on a Friday night. An Argument broke out between two gangs. They started shooting and bullets were headed my way. My Dad got in front of me in order to protect me. He was my best friend, the one who supported me and loved me and he was gone faster than the bullets had reached him. No one did anything, no one helped.
I checked my odd broken phone, it was 7:30 AM. I was running late to work and I needed to hurry to catch the bus. Before I left I grabbed my bag and checked myself in the small mirror, I had in my room. My black long hair was in a bun and my hazel eyes were red and puffy. Showing that I was super tired. I walked over to my mom’s room which was across the hallway from mine to check on her before I headed out. I knocked but heard no response. I slowly opened the door not wanting to make noise.
“Mom,” I said softly , “I have to go to work, I’ll be back home later in the afternoon.”
There was no answer, I checked if she was still breathing which she was. She was just knocked out. Her short black hair was a mess. It had looked like a bird’s nest, it was nappy and dirty. Making her face appear older than she was. Mom was really beautiful and young. Now it looks like she is in her 50’s and she is only 39 years old. I left her room and went out the main door and made sure I locked my small, old house. It was all my mother and I had. It was dirty and old. It looked abandoned, but it was better than nothing. I walked as fast as possible to the bus stop, just in time. I got in, sat, and waited until I reached the house I needed to clean. I work in cleaning house at a company Called “We Clean”. I work from Monday to Friday.
It was 8:10 by the time I reached the new client's house. It was big with white walls and a black rooftop, door and windows, it looked like a Mansion. It also looked like it had a big garage, maybe full with many expensive cars. The grass was a beautiful green color and was more green than my faded green shirt. I walked up to the front door and knocked on the big door. The door opened and I was greeted by what looked like the owner since he was wearing a black suit. His features were almost angelic. His beautiful black hair was slightly slicked back and his light brown eyes looked straight at mine. He was taller than me and he had the kind of face that stops you in your tracks. He looked perfect standing there. No, Hazel what are you doing, stop looking at him. He is your boss.
“ Hi,” he says with a deep voice, “Are you here to clean my house?”
At first I was dumbfounded at his beauty but then answered him before he got the idea that I was weird. He seemed like a nice guy who would help anyone but you never know. When my father was alive he would always tell me do not judge a book by it’s cover sweetie.
“Yes, I’m here to clean your house. I’m sorry, I’m late Mr,” I said, stopping so he could tell me his name
“Oh it’s ok,” he tells me. “ My name is Alec Mitchell, it’s pleasure to meet you, come in.”
I went in and presented myself, “ I’m Hazel Gray, It is nice to meet you too. If you don’t mind, may I get started?” I asked.
“Yes of course this way, please. Can you clean all the bedrooms, Bathrooms, and the living room?”
“Yes of course”, I answered, “It won’t be a problem, this is my job anyways.”
“Good,” he tells me and starts to give me a quick tour of the house. Starting with the living room. The living room had big doors showing the backyard and a breathtaking view of the ocean, the clear blue pool and the palm trees. The ocean was blue and the sun was bright and up. It was so beautiful, never in my life had I seen something like this. What I would have dreamt of having something like this. After he was done giving me a tour, we went back to the living room and he left me saying he had work to do. If I needed him to find him in his office. I got all the cleaning supplies that were already here, the company had send them for me. They were in one of the clothest by the entrance so I grabbed them and started to clean the living room. After two hours and half, I finished all the three rooms and the living room except for his room. It was so beautiful and big, five times bigger than my own room. It was very Stunning and full of lovely furniture. He had an elegant taste when he decorated this room. After a couple minutes I was all done and went to his office. I knocked and waited for an answer but heard nothing.
“Mr. Mitchell I’m all done.” I said, walking in his office to see if he was in there.
He was in his deck, sitting in a big black chair as if it were a throne. He was working, his face looked so stressed out and frustrated.
Should I help him? Hazel, what are you going to help in? You know anything but to clean houses. I told myself.
“Mr. Mitchell”, I say once more but louder.
He turns around and looks at me. “Oh sorry,” he tells me, “Are you all done?”
“Yes,” I say, Don’t do it Hazel, I tell myself, “Are you alright can I help you with anything else,” why Hazel.
“Oh”, He tells me with a surprised face. “Mh, I don’t know, I’m struggling in adding these numbers for a presentation I am doing.
“I can help, if you want, I’m really good at math. It was my favorite subject in high school, just tell me what to do and I’ll help!”
“Yeah sure, come over here,” he says with a big smile on his face.
I went and sat next to him and he started to explain to me what I needed to do. It seemed hard since there were lots of numbers but it was super easy. In school I was the kid to raise my hand and give the answers all the time. It was the only subject I was good at and loved. Some people hate math but I loved it, all the number and equations everthing about it. Because of this it got me bullied but I didn’t care because I just thought that they were jealous since they weren’t smart. Within an hour of nonstop we finished everything. I stood up and stretched. I checked my phone and it was about to be 1:00 PM.
“Thanks Hazel for helping me, really I was so stressed out, you saved my life,” Alec said.
“No it was my pleasure,” I stated, “Well I should get going, I’ll come back on friday.” I was blushing since he had a big smile and was looking straight at me.
“Oh yes of course. Well thanks again, I’ll see you on friday, bye.”
I went out the door, walked to the front door which took me awhile to get to and went through the gate saying my goodbyes to the guard that was guarding it. My Walk back to the bus stop was quiet and peaceful. I walked by many beautiful house. The setting was amazing and fresh. The grass green and the flowers beautiful and colorful. In community, all the plants were dead and the grass ugly. I walked down the hill seeing that the bus was already at the bus stop so I started running getting there just in time before it left. Got in, greeted the nice old lady that was driving the bus, paid and sat down at the very back. The bus wasn’t full, it had about 5 people in it. They were just minding their own business, in their own lives. Back at Alec’s house I was still blushing so much, that i just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Whenever someone thanks me especially someone like him I start to blush. There were only a few minutes before the bus reached my house.
I wonder what mom is doing, is she going crazy again looking for my stash of money. Mostly every time I got paid, which was not much, she would go to my room and look for it. There was one time she couldn’t find it, so she got so mad and kicked me out of the house. If dad were here he would have never had done something like that. My mother wasn’t like this, she used to be lovely and caring. But since that day, the day dad died, she changed, everything changed. She started drinking, using drugs and didn’t care where I was or what I was doing. All she cared is if I was making money.
The bus was getting closer to my house so I got ready to pull on the cord. I pulled the cord and the bus come to a stop. I got out and walked down two blocks to get to my block. I got my keys out of my bags and opened the front door. When all of sudden I see my mom on the floor of the living room. As quickly as I could I went up to her and got my phone out and dialed 911. All I thought was please lord not again, don’t take my mom away from me, you already took dad. Dad’s death anniversary was this friday, maybe mom couldn’t take it anymore. Lately she seemed more sad. Dad was everything to mom, she loved him and was so happy with him no matter how our life was. I was just sitting there wishing that they would get there as soon as possible until I heard them. I rushed outside to get help and they came running into the house. They asked me questions outside and then carried my mom out rushing her into the ambulance. I got in and was holding her hand and no later than 5 minutes we were at the hospital.
30 minutes later. My mom and I were in a hospital room. My mother was laying there fragile on the bed. I was sitting next to her crying my eyes out. She had overdosed on drugs. Luckily I found her in just in time, if I had taken any longer she would have been dead just like my father.
“Mom,” I said, “Please I’m begging you. If you can hear me, Please stop this. Come back to me mom I need you , I miss you so much. I miss dad, every single night all I dream about is his death. How he told me to not cry and how everything was going to be ok. He told me to protect you, mom! HE MADE me promise him to protect you but I haven’t. I failed him and I will never forgive myself,” I said Choking on my tears. I sat there wishing she heard him, wishing she told me everything is ok, just like when I was a baby.
After a while the doctor come in and I was still sitting there crying and holding my mom’s hand. She was still unconscious but the doctor said she was going to be ok. The doctor and I went outside to talk about mom. I talked to her to see if my mom could get any help. She told me that when she was all better she was going to be admitted to rehab. Which I knew she was not going to be happy with. But I was so happy and also worried about how I was going to pay for all the bills. My mom does not have insurance since she is not from here. She is from Mexico and doesn’t have citizenship and I have no money. I needed another job, but where? It was already hard enough to find the job I have now. After we finished talking I went back to the room and sat down. Laying my head on the bed I closed my eyes.
My phone started to ring loudly. I was still half asleep. I got up but by the time I reached my bag which was on the other side of the room on a chair, it had stopped ringing. Seconds later it started to ring again. I reached my bag and walked outside the room. It was unknown Number.
“ Yes, Hello,” I answer, “Who is this?”
“Hi, Hazel, it is Alec.” He states.
I was just standing there wondering why on earth he was calling me and how he got my phone number?
“Oh”, I answer surprised, “Can I help you with anything, Mr. Mitchell.”
“ Yes, I got our phone number from the your working company. I’m calling you to offer you a job as my assistant”
What, how is this happening right now and why? That was all I thought at that moment and day, every worry, everything was scratched out of my head and replaced with this single thought. This day was the day that everything changed for the good. After I ended the phone call with Alec, my mom woke up, she had stayed in the hospital for two days and was then Transferred to rehab. I thought she was going to get mad and not want to go, but she went and didn’t say anything. All she did was hug me, tell me that she loves me, and tell me “you did not fail dad sweetheart.” It’s been 3 months since then and she looks healthier and is ok. I now have a beautiful apartment with the view of downtown. While in a few days I’m going to start college and I’m still going to work with Alec. He has helped me so much and I am forever thankful for that.
Not another day I told myself, not another day of being poor. The day that started horrible turned into an amazing day at the end. It was the day that everything changed.