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Appreciation For The Things Lost
A lot of people expect things to be handed to them on a golden platter. They take the things they have for granted. Some people don’t have to live through hardships. I used to be one of those people. I never thought of the people who had to work for things. I just sat back and got everything I wanted. I lived in a huge house and I had a big room. I had a big walk in closet with all the name brands. I had three huge meals a day, and any other snacks I wanted. I didn’t have a maid or a cook, but even without them, I was lucky for what I had. I realize that now, and I wished that I had appreciated more.
The sun was high in the sky and the air was hot. The sand scratched between my toes as I walked barefoot through it. I chose a good, bright, sunny spot and I laid my towel down.
“Slow down Haylee! I can’t walk that fast!” she yelled to me. She walked slowly up to the towel and she stared at it.
“What is your problem?” I asked her. She looked at me and scowled.
“Why did you put the towel out in the sun? You know I hate the sun. Put the towel in the shade,” she demanded. I looked at her like she was crazy.
“Um. No. I need to tan and I happen to like the sun,” I said. I put on my huge sunglasses and laid back on the towel. I looked over at my mom. She grunted and thumped down on the towel. I smiled knowing I won the argument. We sat there in silence. After awhile I flipped over to tan my back.
“So did Dad send money this month?” I asked. My mom and dad were divorced and my dad had to send checks every month. He barely ever sent them though. I thought it was selfish of him, even though we didn’t need the checks. They divorced when I was four.
“Did you expect him to send a check? I don’t even think he remembers us. He hasn’t sent a check in forever,” she said. I nodded in agreement. Then there was another long silence. Then my mom broke it.
“I’m going to be in the water,” she said. I told her okay. Apparently I feel asleep. I woke up and she was still in the water. I went to go look for her. Once I found her, I decided that it would be nice to take a swim. I walked in the water towards her. Once I got to her, she smiled and hugged me.
“I am so glad that you are my daughter. I love you,” she said. She looked into my eyes and smiled.
“Um. I love you to,” I said. It was a good day out. The sun was high in the sky, and there was a soft breeze that refreshed everyone. We kicked out our feet and laid back on the water. We floated at the top of the water. I cleared my mind and filled it with happiness. All of a sudden, I heard a scream in the distance. I snapped out of my calm state of mind and I shook my mom. She snapped into the standing position in the water as well. I could hear the lifeguards screaming for everyone to get out of the water. I turned around and saw a huge shark coming fast. My mom and I started to swim towards the beach as fast as we could. When we were almost there, a fat person smashed in between my mom and I. I turned around to look for her, but the crowd of people pushed me toward the beach. I couldn’t see her through the mass of people. Once I got to the beach I turned back to the water. The water was red and stained of blood. There were bodies everywhere floating limp across the water. Among the people, I saw my mom.
I fell to the ground crying. Next thing I knew, I was being dragged away by a lifeguard. Once he got away from the beach he asked me who was attacked. I told him that it was my mom and he asked me where my dad was. I told him that I really didn’t really know my dad. He told me that we would figure it out, and he took me to one of the many police officers standing along the beach. The police officer told me that he would take me to the station and figure out who was going to be my guardian. When we got there, the police officer searched for my dad and called him. He came and picked me up. I barely payed attention to anything that was going on. I was so hurt and sad about my mothers death. Everybody acted like she was nothing and it didn’t matter. She did matter though. With her dead, I had to live with someone I didn’t know. Without her, I didn’t have anybody to talk to, anybody that really knew everything that went through my head, and anybody that understood me. I had friends, but everyone had secrets. I didn’t keep stuff from my mom. She knew me like the back of her hand. The man that was going to take me home knew nothing about me.
After signing the paperwork, my dad walked me to an ugly white beat up car. When I got inside, it smelled of cigarettes and of fast food and grease. I wanted to hurl. I just ignored the smell and thought about my mother. I didn’t want to live without her. I didn’t know what to do without her. Without her, I was lost. When we rolled up to the house that was my new home, I wanted to curl in a ball. The house looked scary. It was gray, and all the windows, doors, and shingles were hanging on only a couple of hinges. He grabbed my stuff and waved for me to come in. I walked up to the porch and there were loads of holes in it. I asked him why he didn’t get the doors, windows, shingles, and porch fixed and he told me that he just didn’t get enough money. I walked into the house and everything was dark and everything looked broken. It smelt of mildew in the house, and he admitted to having mold in the basement. I walked to the fridge curious to what type of food that my dad ate and the only two things in the fridge were eggs and some spoiled milk. In the cabinets were a pack of crackers and a can of green beans. I I asked him where all his food was and he told me that he usually just ate fast food. I told him that fast food made me sick, and he told me that I would have to deal. He couldn’t afford better. I got angry and yelled.
“I’m surprised you aren’t feasting of the child support checks you never paid! With all the checks you haven’t paid I’m surprised that you don’t live in a decent house. How did you even get a disgusting place like this?” I asked. His eyes filled with hurt.
“The only reason I don’t pay them is because I lost my job, and I barely have enough money to feed myself. I don’t know why they gave you to me. I don’t know how I am going to feed both of us,” he said ashamed. I felt bad for saying the mean things. I realized that he actually cared about me, he just didn’t have a job. I felt bad that while me and my mom were feasting, my dad was in a nasty house, barely having any money for food. I started to cry because I felt like I was the selfish one. I didn’t know what to do. I had no clue how to do work, and if I learned, I didn’t think anyone would actually hire me. We only got two meals a day and they weren’t that big. They were from the near fast food restaurant and the food I ate there was always dripping with grease. It was disgusting. After about three week I got used to the food. I got used to only having two meals a day and my stomach didn’t growl all the time. I had grown smaller with the lack of food, so with one of my dads tiny paychecks, he went out and got me old used clothes. In school kids made fun of my clothes, and it was hard at first, but then I finally realized that they couldn’t judge me because they didn’t really know me. I showed them I didn’t care about what they said and they left me alone. They saw my house and made fun of it as well and again I showed them that I didn’t care.
I got home one day and my dad had a wrapped box. Inside was a rusted silver chain with a heart locket on it. Inside the locket was one of the picture I took with me from the house. I started crying. I was so happy to have that little thing that I could carry around all the time. Getting the locket made me so happy and I hugged him. I wiped away my tears and thanked him. I applied for loads of jobs, but none of them accepted me. I didn’t care though. I got used to the life of someone who works for everything they have. In the distance I heard my moms voice. I hugged my dad again, and then he disappeared. I looked into the eyes of my mother.
“I think you fell asleep while tanning. Good thing I woke you up huh,” she said. I jumped up and pulled her into a hug. She pulled back and looked at me like I had three heads.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Nothing. I’m just appreciating what I have, What’s so wrong about that?” I asked. I smiled at her glad to see her face again.
“Nothing at all honey. It’s just weird to see you this happy,” she said laughing. She pulled me into a hug and kissed the top of my head. The ride home was silent. Once we got to the house, there was a letter on the front door step. It was for me so I opened it. In it was the locket from my dream, and a letter from my dad telling me how much he loved me. I smiled. I told my mom about my dream and she decided to pay my dad a visit. The house was as bad as it was in the dream. We decided that he need our help and we sent him one thousand dollars. She also got one of her friends that owned a restaurant near my dad to hire him. Everything was good and everyone was happy. I realized that sometimes you don’t realize what you have until its gone. I was glad that I had gotten a chance to see all that I had and that I had time to appreciate it. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world.