The Hardest Goodbye

June 1, 2012
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As the finger pushed the green button down on my camera, I could feel my mom’s hot hand shaking on my shoulder. Suddenly, I turned around as fast as possible and felt tears all over my face. I looked at my mom and noticed her face was red. My sister was trying to smile though I knew she was unhappy. My dad was nervous because of the packing so it was hard to tell how he was feeling. This would be the last picture me and my family would have in Xalapa with our house.

Xalapa was the city I lived in Mexico. It was not a big place though it was humid and smelled fresh. The one thing I really enjoyed and thought was unique of Xalapa was its climate. It was raining most of the time and the fresh air always smelled like flowers and plants. I always saw Xalapa as a perfect place for living, because it was small and the people were very kind. Of course that wasn’t really true since Mexico started getting insecure. At first teenagers and little kids started disappearing and were found dead, sometimes without any organs. My mom was terrified and she didn’t want me to be alone or go somewhere without any adult supervision. These stories were frightening and sad, but to me the worst things happening were the gunshots drug dealers caused. It started two or one month before school ended near a little place I enjoyed going to, called ‘’Plaza Acropolis’’. Drug dealers were fighting against policemen with guns causing people to panic. It wasn’t the first time this happened, but it was when everybody started to realize how bad things were. This got worse every day, there started being gunshots every weekend everywhere, until it got to twice a week or more. Many innocent people suffered, lost their lives or their family. I couldn’t believe how violent a place could get in only three months. I couldn’t even believe we were moving. We had spent almost a month packing everything we owned and my mom took me around the city so I could take pictures. The only strange thing about those days was that I couldn’t stop thinking about every experience I had in those places. It felt as if we were going on vacations to Chicago until the day we left.

I remember seeing my friends cry with their devastated faces as I looked at them one at a time, trying to remember how long we had been together and all the good memories and experiences we shared. When my mom and sister got on the bus that would take us to Mexico City, I sat down on the seat next to the window alone because I wanted to see Xalapa for the last time. The first hour was miserable for me because I didn’t talk to my mom since my head hurt and I couldn’t stop crying. The ride wasn’t as long as I expected it to be.

After a while, every day I thought of how wonderful my life was, but I encouraged myself to try new things in Chicago and enjoy everything with hope that someday I would feel that fresh humid breeze in my face again.





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