Life's Long Journey: Cindy's Choice
Author's note: I was inspired to write this piece when I read an article about the 9/11 attack. I was fascinated... Show full author's note »
September 10, 2001 5:56 p.m.Chapter 4
September 10, 2001 5:56 pm
Cindy walked home after school. She sat down at the kitchen table to do her homework. At 5:56 p.m., her mom came home. She opened the door for her. She walked in and set down her purse on the chair. Cindy took it and set it beside the recliner. Cindy walked into the kitchen to finish her homework. Her mom followed her to start supper. She went to the refrigerator and took out two apples and two bananas. She set them on the counter and took out a knife, then began cutting the fruits. She put the slices in a bowl. She took out sauce and noodles from the cupboard. And found a big pan and filled it with water. Her mom set it on the stove and turned the burner to high. Cindy asked what was wrong. Her mom didn’t answer at first. She sighed loudly clearly indicating there was.
“I am fine,” she said.
Cindy looked at her again. She looks stressed, she thought. The water began to boil. Geraldine poured in the noodles. She set the burner to five, and sat down at the table to cut bread.
“Honey, I have to go somewhere tomorrow,” Cindy’s mom remarked.
Cindy put down her pencil. She was perplexed by this statement and listened.
“Where?” she asked. Her mom didn’t answer.
“I have to see if I can find a babysitter for two days while I am up there,” she answered calmly.
“Where?” Cindy said, repeating her previous question.
“Is that fine if I call a babysitter while I am up there?” she asked.
“Where?!” Cindy said again a little louder.
“New York,” her mom replied quickly.
Cindy was thunderstruck.
“Why New York?”
“I was laid off today, me and a few other people,” Cindy’s mom said.
“Mom! Why are you going to New York?” Cindy asked, again.
“My boss said he has a friend that needs three more employees. He suggested we fly to New York and check it out.”
“Where is this job at?” Cindy asked.
“New York’s Twin Towers.”
Cindy’s mouth opened quick, but no words came out. She couldn’t believe it. Her mom, at this time, finished cutting the bread and got up from her chair. She placed each piece of bread strategically into a basket. Then, she placed it on the table. The noodles were done cooking and she added the sauce. She set the main dish on the table as well as the silverware, two plates, and two cups. Cindy moved her homework and set her backpack in her room. She sat down in her chair and her mom finished setting the table. They began the prayer. After the prayer was done, Cindy filled their plates and began eating. The meal was quiet. The only sounds were the metal forks hitting the glass plates in what seemed like a tune entertaining them. Cindy was the first to interrupt the ‘music.’
“I don’t need a babysitter. I can stay here by myself. Or I can go with you,” she suggested.
Her mom shook her head.
“I want you to stay here. You have school, and I only have enough money for one person. I could call Mrs. Ammle to see if she could keep in eye on you.”
Cindy didn’t want to stay. She wanted to go.
“I want to go, though,” she responded, desperately.
Her mom repeated her previous statement.
“Isn’t there some way we could borrow the money from someone? I don’t like the idea of you going by yourself,” she retorted, hoping her mom would change her mind.
“No, I don’t know who I would get the money from. And I want you to stay here. Closed discussion,” her mom said firmly.
“Closed issue!” her mom said with her voice raised.
Cindy got up from the table. It shook sadistically and she stomped off to her room. But she didn’t close the door without closing the conversation.
“You never listen to me! I try to say something, and you never let me say anything. I hate you!”
After her discourteous statement, she slammed the door.
Her mom sat there, speechless. She began to clear off the table. She walked over to Cindy’s bedroom door and opened it. Her daughter was in her bed curled up, crying. She softly closed the door and went into her bedroom to begin packing for her strenuous journey.