The American Dream

March 28, 2018

Every time we drive past that house, my dad passes as if it never sheltered us. I recall the inside of my former room and spot I would always hide in when my siblings and I played hide-and-go-seek. Two twin beds, covered in a red and blue patchwork design that my grandma sewed, were perfectly positioned on each side of the room while a 2005 Sanyo TV rested between the two on top of a white drawer that towered over me. To my four-year-old self, I was interestingly enough captivated by the polished wooden floor that I would use to challenge my brother at Bakugan with and rarely went to sleep satisfied with a win. An array of small red and blue airplane stickers, in which I firmly examined their uniqueness in shape and design each night, were the only thing that covered the white, bland walls of my room, my very first and last room.

During the middle of 2005, mail, as usual, would arrive at our house weekly, filled with discounts and coupons for the supermarket. However, one envelope was unforgiving. They´d given us one week to pack and leave. My parents knew it was coming as neither could suppress the overflow of debt that their checks couldn´t pay. Within a few days, we had moved to a different house where I shared a room with both my brother and twin sister, but within three years, we again couldn't pay off the rent and lost our second home. Desperately trying to find a new roof to spend another portion of our lives, my brother's Godmother opened her door to the five of us and offered us a room. Despite the cramped space and only one bed, we did what we could of it and all slept skin-to-skin for six months. Family members were coming from Mexico, so we were thrown out of the house, but now, we had nothing else left in us, our only option left was to take 10 days and sleep at a local Hotel and Casino. To this day, we are currently housed by an apartment and my dad is the only one who works as an A/C Technician, a job that is not constant because pay all depends on mother nature's fickle behavior during the seasons. Every day he arrives home from work drenched in sweat as if he had just ran a marathon and stresses to me: ¨Work hard, so you're not in the situation your mom and I are in.¨His words and facial expression always allow me to see the pain he is in and hands me the power I need to succeed not only in school, but life. I´ve been raised to the idea to be humble and choose my actions wisely. I want to help both my mom and dad the day after tomorrow where before their rest, they don´t have to worry about spending a single penny on housing and can enjoy life like never before.

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