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Seven Years Later
I’m seeing my mom today. It is the first time in 7 years, and it’s my 18th birthday.
7 years ago, something happened. It was a night that I’ll never forget. My dreams were crushed that night, when I realized mom wasn’t who I thought she was.
As a little kid, I looked up to my mother. I hoped to be like her someday. All of the 3 times she got pregnant, the baby’s father left her. So, she was a single mom. That didn’t change her, it only made her stronger. She always cared for me and my siblings, cooked for us, brought us on vacations, bought us clothes and toys we wanted. All perfect qualities of a mother.
For 11 years, my role model was my mother. But it changed one day, after police entered our house in the middle of the night, and revealed the truth about her.
“Hi mom,” I said to her softly, holding back tears.
“Olivia. It’s so good to see you,” she responded, through the prison cell. If someone told me when I was 11 years old that just 7 years later I would be visiting my mom in prison, I wouldn’t believe them.
It started when I was 3, my mom was pregnant with my little brother, but didn’t have a spouse to help her care for the baby. This was the start of my mom’s breakdown. Her slow deterioration. She didn’t ever have a real job, though I thought she did. She always thought she would be able to depend on the child’s father, but that never worked out, yet she somehow managed when she had 2 kids. Though, raising 3 children with no job, was nearly impossible, so she faced some financial issues but kept them private.
Once the baby was born, our grandma would care for us during the day while my mom went to what she said was her work. My grandma basically played the role as a mother, until night time when my mom got home.
I thought my mom was so strong, for working a whole day, then coming to cook us meals and take care of us. I loved the life she lived.
She didn’t even go to real work. She was a drug dealer. I hadn’t realized the obvious signs of this, since I was so young. My older brother, 5 years older than I was, never had a close relationship with her. He was older, wiser. He saw straight through her when I didn’t. He watched the look in her eyes when she came home, and he would cry some nights, knowing the truth my mom kept hidden from me.
My mom was living this double life for a while. Until finally, the worst of it happened, and she got caught. It was a cold wintery night. She was involved with a deal that resulted in death. She didn’t kill anyone, but she was the reason for the tragedy. She was supposed to sell drugs to a man. But, to make more money she sold half to another person who was willing to pay more. The man she was supposed to sell to was unhappy with what happened, and refused to pay. My mom’s partner wouldn’t take no for an answer, he wanted the money. He fired a gun, and my mom’s customer died.
My mother’s involvement in this accident, and her relationship with selling drugs was the reason for her imprisonment.
My mom came home late that night, later than usual. She seemed a little off, a little shaken up. But she was still there for us, and that’s what I loved so much. She cooked a meal for us that night. We watched a movie together. She laid in bed next to me holding me tight until I fell asleep.
Just 4 hours later, at 2 a.m., all of our lives were changed. I was awoken by a sudden banging on our door, my mother’s shrieks, and shouts of cops. She didn’t even say goodbye. Me and my siblings were left to live with my grandma, as my mom would be in prison for many years.
Seeing her now in person, realizing she lived a double life that I was unaware of for so long, I didn’t want to look her in the eyes.
“Mom…,” I began but couldn’t continue.
“Olivia, I’m so sorry” she said through sniffles.
“Don’t apologize… I know you don’t mean it,”
“Olivia, don’t say that”
“Mom. You were my role model. I loved who you were, what you did for us. I truly thought you were the best mom and I wanted to be like you when I was older. But you betrayed me, you betrayed your own family, and you cost a man his life. All for what?” tears were streaming from my eyes.
“Olivia I never meant to hurt you. I wanted what was best for our family, and I couldn’t find any jobs that would pay enough. This was my only option…”
“Don’t say that when you know it’s not true. There were plenty of jobs you could’ve gotten. You could’ve gotten help from grandma.”
“Goodbye, mom.” On this day, I got some closure, not as much as I’d hoped for, but it was enough. My 11 year old dreams were crushed. I never want to be like my mother, not like the person she has become. She is a coward, blaming her mistakes on everything but herself. I don’t plan on seeing her for a while again. The woman who was once my role model, who once portrayed all characteristics of a perfect person, is now someone who I plan on never seeing again.