In Another World.
It’s as if we are flying around the world every month. Except it’s in a 1998 Forest River RV. Everywhere we go, we can’t seem to settle down for more than a month. Making friends is impossible, you never know the last day you will see them. My father can’t seem to find a stable job anywhere, wherever he goes, he can’t seem to settle in. He goes up early in the morning to work, before we wake up, and comes back late in the night. Each and every place is different, filled with many different people. Just as you start to accommodate your surroundings, Poof, you are in another place within a flash.
“Again? I’m exhausted of this Dad”
“I know, but it’s the best I can do, I need to keep this family together, and I will do whatever it takes for me to do so.”
I hear my new-born brother crying, my mom desperately trying to settle him down. She wasn’t able to sleep the entire night, and neither was I. Everyday, we run on a couple of hours of sleep and eat snacks to keep us full. It’s as if we have no downtime, we are on the move almost every day.
“Will there ever be an end to this.” I thought to myself
“I’ve found a new job offer back in Fresno, heard they need someone in the car shop.”
“Back on the run, are we?” says my mother
My dad has always been a car enthusiast, he has several posters all along the RV walls, each with a unique and special sports car. It had always been his dream to one day drive in one of these cars.
“Ready up everybody, I have a feeling this place will change our lives forever.”
As my brother and I walk down the street, we hear the screaming of a woman just a couple blocks away. We begin to run over to the site and see two men running away with a purse and a handful of jewelry. As they sprinted away, they dropped what looked like a locket, we picked it up and handed it to the woman.
“He, he… took everything”
She was clutching the locket to her chest. Tears flowing out of her eyes.
“All of my mother’s treasured items, all gone.”
We helped her up and assisted her out the door. She slowly limped to the exit, with bruises on her ankles and knees.
“Thank you for helping me, I don’t know what would have happened if, if…”
We brought the woman to our house, where we gave her food, and let her rest until she was ready to go.
“What is your name? Where do you live?” my brother asked out of curiosity.
“Sofía, I live all the way back in Sacramento.”
“Why did you come here? This place is nothing compared to the great urban cities.”
“My mother, she recently passed away, this is her hometown. No matter where you go, you must always come back to those who helped you on your journey to achieve something great.”
Working countless hours, with no sleep, and no rest, all with the motive of going to college and getting a well-paid job. But here, all these efforts are undermined solely for the reason that you are a woman. Men in this neighborhood have gone on and received a higher education and achieved their dreams
“You are to stay here at all times to help your younger siblings, and your mother.”
“Do you think we have the money to afford even a year’s tuition? It is a woman’s job to take care of the family, not go study far away from home.”
I have two younger siblings, one brother and one sister. Both rely on me to get their daily jobs done, pack them lunch, help them with their homework, and drop them off at school. My parents are extremely busy with running their own local business, where they get little to no time at home.
“We can sell our business to help fund her college education.” said my mother
“Are you out of your mind? If she goes away, who’s to take care of the family, and how are we supposed to live without any source of money?
“We… we can apply for some jobs nearby.”
“No, this is not happening, there is no way she can go.”
Frustrated, I ran back up into my room and slammed the door shut. I picked up the acceptance letter I got today in the mail, and took one last look at it, my last chance to get out of here and live a life of my own.
They Can See Me
I can’t go outside, I can’t go outside. Everytime my family goes outside, I urge them to let me stay at home. I don’t know what’s happening, I used to love to go outside with my friends and family. All of a sudden, I feel comfortable staying at home, outside from the view of others.
“Look Elena, we need to have a talk about what’s going on in your life, you never seem to want to take a step out of the house. We are here for you.” said my father
“My body is changing, I don’t know what’s happening, I feel so uncomfortable when someone looks at me.”
My mom whispered something to my dad, I wasn’t quite able to catch it.
“These changes that you are undergoing, yes they might be tough to adjust to, but you have to put a foot forward, take small steps at first.”
“But how, how am I supposed to put my foot forward?”
“Come with me.” said my mother
“At your age, many girls undergo not only many physical changes, but also many mental changes. I myself went through many changes, but I never kept my head low, I always walked forward with confidence, and I know you can too.”
“Take it slow and easy, you will be back to your old self in no time.”
“Will she be okay?” I asked my dad
“Yes, don’t worry, she will be fine in no time,”
We were in the hospital and my mom was laying down on the hospital bed. She was on her way home from work until she got into an accident. Doctors said that she was paralyzed from the waist down and her ribs were broken.
“We need to perform a surgery to prevent any of her broken bones from damaging her vital organs,” said the doctors.
“Please don’t worry about money, I will get it arranged just in time, just tell me that she’ll be okay.”
“Don’t worry sir, she will be fine. The surgery will take around 2-3 hours to complete, and she’ll be in the rehabilitation center soon after.”
They took her into the operating room right away. She waved to us and smiled. We sat outside the operating room for the entire length of the surgery praying that everything will be okay. Not knowing that it would be the last time we would see her beautiful smile.
The surgeon slowly opened the door.
“I’m sorry…” she said.
My dad broke down into tears, and so did I. Our beloved mom, gone forever. All that remains of us, are the memories of the times that we spent together as a happy family.