Our mothers are our first homes, and that’s why we’re always trying to return to them. Or rather, I know her and don’t know her at the same time. I run out of biology class multiple times a week, and my teacher follows me to the girls room, pressing tissues that feel like sandpaper to my cheek.
To know what it was like to have one place where we belonged. I can imagine her long, grayish-brown hair that she refuses to chop off, the vodka and ice in her hand. I’m too much myself, because the too muchness is a way of saying I’m still here. I hang out in the nurse’s office whenever I can’t handle being around other people.
My mom never did see the money that was due to her.
Despite the incident she still gives and encourages others to give, whether is it a donation, or volunteering your time in your community.
I write sitting on the hardwood floor, my back pressed against the hard red knobs of my dresser. *** Now I buy my own Benadryl and keep it on me at all times. I wait for a text reply from her; some excuse about why she can’t get away. My mother’s country house, two hours away from my hometown, was built by a Revolutionary War soldier with his own hands. Several years ago, she posted a photo on Facebook of the backyard, lush and green, with tiny orbs appearing like starlight.
It isn’t comfortable, but something about the constant pressure grounds me. I shrink inside of myself, stacking sadness on top of anxiety on top of daydreaming. These days, my mother and I mostly communicate via group text messages along with my older sister, in which my mother and I reply to my sister, who shares photos of my niece and nephews. Maybe you can come down and visit me while I’m there? I text rather than call her because she might be in the same room as him. When Nana picks me up from the train station, I secretly hope my mother is in the car with her, wanting to surprise me. “I love you past the sun and the moon and the stars,” she’d always say to me when I was little. Being strong, generous and optimistic are all some great personality traits, which my mother possesses.Ever since I can remember, my mother has been a strong individual.I witnessed my mother chip in and pay for people's rent, car notes, and buying them groceries.Although my mother's intentions were good, occasionally, her generosity has been taken advantage of.But these meals, for me, call to mind my stepfather; the red of his face, the red of the blood pooled on the plate. “I forgot to leave a note for you.” *** I’ve spent enough time in Catholic churches to know what it means to sweep things underneath the carpet. The nuns preferred this kind of corporeal punishment. Bad girls visit the guidance counselor so frequently that she keeps an extra supply of tissues just for them. Suddenly I hear someone, some thing, exhale in my ear. “I woke up one night and someone was sitting on my chest,” she says. I didn’t want to scare you.” I sit in my writing spot on the floor in my bedroom that night, the red knobs of the dresser pressing into my spine, and I think about my mother’s ghosts, about her face, about home.He uses a dishtowel to wipe the sweat from his cheeks; his work boots are coated in sawdust. Bad girls talk to the police officer who is assigned to their high school. Where the TV is always on, and food is always on the table.But if I try to conjure her face, I’m met instead by her laugh, a fake laugh, the kind of laugh that is trying to prove something, a forced happiness. *** Here’s what silence sounds like after he loses his temper.Several times a week, she posts tempting photos of food on her Facebook page. It just makes it more jarring when the tiniest noise, a muffled cough or a creaky knee, echoes throughout the sanctuary. After I, in a moment of bravery, scream back at him: You’re NOT my father. We’re on Martha’s Vineyard and I’m stuck at home with my younger brother; a de facto babysitter while the adults go out for fried clams and drinks. When my mother walks through the door, I tell her right away.” My mom always laughs, and when she laughs she sounds like a hyena gone crazy! She is always fun no matter what, and she gives me great advice.She doesn’t laugh every day, but when she does, it’s hilarious, and I have to laugh, too! My mom is more than a mom; she is like my best friend!