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My hands are drenched as I give my mother her last bag. She closes the trunk loudly then slams the car door. I stand by her window and our eyes meet for a split second but, in that second it feels as if my whole world is a glass being shattered, dream by dream. A silent tear escapes my eye and as it drops, the time seems to stop. September 1, 2003, three days before my tenth birthday, the day my mother left.
I grew up with four adventurous older brothers. In a world where climbing trees was the norm and cuts and bruises were a sign of “manhood”, I thrived. Not the typical childhood for an ordinary girl as you can imagine. But I am far from being ordinary. I enjoyed burping contests, videogames, street races, and wrestling with the neighborhood boys. My life, I thought, was perfect. I had everything I needed; it seems, from the brand-new glow in the dark batman shoes to a new bike each Christmas. Then suddenly it all changed.
I knew something was wrong with the normal balance of the world when I walked in from school on a seemingly usual humid day in Florida. My mother was sitting on the table with blood-shot eyes and her fists clenched staring at our cream-colored dining room walls. I tippy-toed close to her and greeted her with the usual “hey mom”. I expected a kiss on the check and a cheery “how was your day?”, but instead I received an impenetrable silence.
From that day on nothing was the same. My mother developed a drinking addiction and began skipping o...