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An Everyday thing
It was a Wednesday evening; I had just got off work and was on my way home. I thought of calling my mom to ask what she wanted for dinner, so I grabbed my cell and began dialing.
As the phone rang for what felt like twenty minutes, I began thinking and realized it may be a bad idea. Because my mom and her boyfriend argued a lot, my mom was always crying. She was always sad. She never seemed to be as happy as she once was before she met this Ruben guy. He surely wasn’t the best, not saying he was the worst, but he didn’t make things any better than they were. He’s what you’d call the thunderstorm just to ruin your sunny day of happiness. Then, instead of it just happening once or twice a week, this was a literal everyday thing.
“What Jasmine?” My mom, Vanessa, said as she picked up the phone with a shaky voice and stuffy nose.
“I was just calling to see if you wanted me to pick up something for dinner.” I said with hesitation.
“You call your sister; ask her if she wants anything, I’m not eating. Ruben and I got in an argument. I’m going to stay at Tia Anna’s for the night. I don’t want to be here, around Ruben or Maria.”
I told her it was ok, that I understood, and I’d call her in the morning before school.
When I hung up with my mom, I instantly called my sister to figure out what it was she wanted to eat. I stopped by Jack in The Box, picked up a few tacos, and was on my way home. I was so aggravated, and to make it worse, the cashier was being so rude. They messed up my order about three times and gave me the wrong amount of change twice. And to make it all worse, the drinks spilt over in my car and got all over my seats! I figured life at the moment couldn’t get any worse, but as I pulled up to my house, Ruben the Great was standing in the driveway just to make things worse.
I got out of the car, grabbed the bag of food and threw my backpack over my shoulder, and there he was staring at me with his ugly face. “Uh jasmine, what are you doing here? Your mom is gone and there is no need for you to be here.” Man did that raise my blood pressure! I tried to stay calm and spoke back to him with a normal voice. “Ruben, if you don’t mind I’d like to sit with you and have you explain to me what happened today with you and my mom.” Even though I hated him so much, I wanted him to explain himself, so we went into the kitchen, I unwrapped my burger and fries, and he began with his story.
“Well, you know how your mom calls me throughout the whole day? Ok well she hadn’t called me all day, and I kept calling and calling her phone to see what she was up to but I got no reply. She never once answered my calls and never called back either. Then finally after twenty minutes, she called back. So we argued for a little bit on the phone, and yes I was being rude and mean to her, but I had to go to a meeting so I let her go. The rest of the day she didn’t call me at all, but when I got home she was ready to let out all her anger on me. She was yelling and screaming at me all crazy-like because I was ignoring her for three hours. That’s what happened Jasmine, and that’s why your mother isn’t here right now.”
I looked at him with disgust, threw away what was left of my burger, and walked to my room. I knew Ruben expected me to say something back to him about the argument, something to make my mom look bad, but instead I just kept my comments to myself and went to my room. I started dialing my moms’ number when I remembered that she wasn’t coming home tonight. I threw my phone to the ground, changed my clothes, and cried myself to sleep, wishing things were easier then this.
Every time I thought of my mom leaving me and my sister at home by ourselves with mean old Ruben made me sick to my stomach. Heck, it even made me sick just thinking that my mom would want to be with someone as rude and ungrateful as him.
My mom did everything for him. Washed his clothes, cooked him breakfast and dinner every day, she even cut his food for him when he would tell her about how tired he was to do any little thing!
And want to know how he would treat her in return? He always talked crap to her and treated her like a lost dog off the street. He would make her cry and cry for days and hours. I always tried to talk to her about it, trying to get her to realize that this was surely not something she deserved. She didn’t deserve to be treated this way and she knew it. When I would go to her asking to talk to her about these things, she never agreed to sit down and listen to what I had to say. She would always say, “Jasmine, when you love someone and it’s real, you’ll understand why it’s so hard to leave.” And it would make me mad, but I guess if I was bipolar and had all these mental problems I wouldn’t want to listen to what anyone had to say either.
You see, my mom wasn’t always the easiest person to talk to. She would get mad at everything I had to say about Ruben. She would always tell me how Ruben would cheat on her and do all these wrong things. And I found it funny how it was ok for her to describe Ruben using these big words that narrowed down to him just being a horrible man. Then, when we had something to say about him, and let’s just say they weren’t so nice words, she would put up a fight immediately. It was pretty crazy to me, but that’s just how my mom worked.
Also, when we would talk about Rubens mother, Maria, it wasn’t so pleasant either. Maria seemed to be a little odd to me. She looked at me funny and talked in a weird way. When I first met her, she would always tell these stories about when she lived in Colorado. She would always see ghosts and feel spirits and things like this.
My mom would tell me I was too young to understand her reasons for staying with someone she loved. I mean I knew I was young, but I was old enough to understand what was going on and I knew right from wrong. When you’re a good person, you don’t deserve to be stuck with a person that treats you like crap and doesn’t appreciate anything you do. And she would tell me she always felt like something was telling her that she belonged with him. That no matter how hard she tried to leave, it would never work.
Honestly, I think it was Maria that had something to do with this. I’m telling you, she’s a psycho! I think she put some kind of a spell on my mom to make her stay with this Ruben man. My mom would tell me how Maria was her friend, and that she wasn’t a bad person. But I just blew it all off; I would never believe Maria was a good person. She irritated me and just didn’t rub me the right way. I mean, who wouldn’t want a woman as great as my mom to be stuck with their son forever? I know I would, and I knew Maria was just keeping my mom around for the sake of her ‘oh so beloved’ son.
After what turned from days to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years, I realized there was no getting out from living in this hell hole. My mom was stuck, forever, on this dumb guy, along his crazed mother. I was never surprised when I came home to a crying, unhappy mother that would turn into what was like a maid when the ‘King Ruben’ arrived home from work. No surprises, no smiles, no laughs, for 365 days, but unfortunately I had to learn to live with it.
“It will be ok.” I would try to convince myself that this saying was true. I tried to go on with my outside life while forgetting about the home life while I was at school, work, or hanging out with friends. I just said my prayers every night before bed, and always remembered things would get worse before they ever got better.