Live Your Life

March 14, 2008
“Get out of my house, you stupid Korean girl!” One night, my Canadian host mother yelled at me due to her ongoing stress from her divorce and drug addiction. Her face turned bloody and the veins in her eyes bulged. Her enormous body expanded as if to swarm me. Her spit sprayed on my face as she swore. Finally, she drove me out of her house; I had no power to resist. She had been the only person whom I could talk to about making new friends at school or joining a club in that foreign country. I wasn’t ready for this unfortunate event.

I didn’t have a penny in my pocket. Nor did I have anyone to rub my shoulders or hand me some tissues. My parents lived 7,000 miles away in Korea and I knew no neighbor well enough whose door I could knock on at midnight. I mourned as my heart filled with emptiness.

Isolated. A small amount of air encapsulated me, keeping me away from everything I once believed I belonged to. Canada’s winter wind shook the neighborhood windows. Dim lights from these houses attracted me with their fuzziness; but I couldn’t go near. “What did I do wrong?” I repeatedly asked myself, looking for something or someone to blame this situation for.

Hours passed. “Mom…. I can’t believe this is happening to me…,” I mumbled. I remembered when we were at an airport. As I was passing through the boarding gate, I looked back to see her for the last time in 10 months. In a huge crowd, barely sticking her head out, she was not only sobbing, but also smiling. I sensed how heavy her duty was when I saw her struggling to relieve her dauntless daughter. Then the gate closed up, even before I could say ‘I love you.’

I raised my head up and stared through the blank air. Would she cry and smile at the same time if she were me now? Yes, she would. Then I stood up, breaking the capsule that had disconnected me from this world. I took a walk. Stars were dazzling. A dog barked, then silence again. The world never stopped going on regardless of what just happened to me.

I walked up a hill. The sun rose up from the ridge. I took a shower and changed into my uniform. I scented December when I stepped outside to meet the school bus.

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