My mother always told me, "You are special".
My mom and dad were perfect.
Every married couple on our street strived to be them. They were everyone's dream come true. Everybody loved them together.
Everyone. Except them.
My mom and dad knew that everyone loved them together. So because of that, they put on a mask for everyone on the outside. We, the insiders, knew everything. From the affair to the alcoholism.
To many, this wouldn't seem like an issue.
But to my mother, it was everything. My mom knew how to deal with everything. In everyone's eyes, my mother was the perfect woman. She had a plan for everything. Except this.
She never thought this would happen to her.
When my mom and dad first got married, my mom thought this was the first step to forever. She thought this was her "Happily Ever After" as some would call it.
It was a slap in the face. Literally.
My father was abusive during the first two years of their marriage until they had my brother, Luke. That's when my dad said that he would, and I quote, "change".
He was good at first.
But after a few years, he started acting up again and took out all of his anger on my mom. My mom frequently had bruises all over her body and black eyes that she covered so well with makeup.
This is when I come in.
When my mother found out that she was pregnant with me, she was so happy. My father on the other hand wasn't. My father told my mother that the only thing she was good for was having babies.
During my elementary years
My dad was always working late. He was never home on time to say goodnight to Luke and I nor to help mom make dinner like all my friends' dad would.
Fast forward a few years.
Tuesday night. I went to bed with yet another night of mom and dad fighting and that putting me to sleep. This wouldn't be the first time.
Everything went tumbling down on a Wednesday morning.
That Wednesday was one of the worst days of my life. That is the moment that I started to actually believe the words that were coming out of my moms mouth when she said, "You are special".
"You are special" My mom told me over and over.
I was special. In the fact that nobody's family was like mine. We were not normal. In my family, cheating was normal for my dad.
Until that day, everything was normal.
The birds would start chirping at 6:06 every morning as if they had a watch. I got good grades. I had a family. I had a mom.
My mom was my best friend. She was my human diary.
My mom knew what to say when you shouldn't say anything at all. My mom knew where my Chem textbook was when no one did. My mom knew how to make everything right when everything felt wrong.
She was everything to me.
I woke up one morning to the sound of silence. No birds chirping. No mom and dad fighting. No smell of pancakes coming up the stairs. Something was not right.
I go down the stairs to see the sight of my dad in pajamas
Usually, at this time he would be in his suit ready to leave to work. But not on this particular morning. Dad was attempting to make something to eat but couldn't quite put his finger on it. Mess
I asked, "Where's mom?" "She left." he replied.
That was strange. Mom never leaves before school. "Where?", I ask. My dad replied with an answer I did not expect to hear. "She left us. For good, Mandy." He ripped it off like a band-aid.
I did not believe him.
"Where did she go?", I asked. At this point, I couldn't believe what he was saying. Tears started forming in the ducts of my eyes. "No idea, Mands." He said.
My mom is out there. In the world. Somewhere.
And I had not the slightest idea of where. "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT" , I scream and point towards his chest. "Amanda, please calm down. I have no idea where your mom went." He tried to comfort me.
"It's your fault she's gone in the first place" I yell.
I run upstairs not even acknowledging the fact that my dad is yelling my name from the bottom of the stairs. I don't even want to talk to him.
My Sweet 16.
It's been three years, and my mom still hasn't come home. I didn't want a party and my dad knew that. I left to school, but when I came back and opened the door
The family that we had left was there.
My grandma, my grandpa, my aunts and uncles and some unfamiliar woman. I have never seen this woman before and I knew if I did, I would've recognized her.
We went outside to eat. My dad made chicken.
Mom knew I hated chicken.
We were in the middle of eating when dad stood up.
He asked the unfamiliar woman to join him while he was standing. "Thank you all for coming to Mandy's 16th birthday party. Now, I know many of you do not know this lovely woman." He continues.
"This woman and I have been in a lovely relationship..
..for the past 7 years. We just wanted to spare Amanda's feelings. But Amanda, you are 16 now. You understand these things. So, with that, me and Sarah are getting married!" I bolt.
I go immediately to my room and pack my stuff.
I don't know where I'm going and I don't know how I am going to get there but I am leaving. Now I understand everything. Why mom left, the fights, why mom had to look perfect in everyone's eyes.
12 shirts, 4 pants, $18, and my mother's bracelet.
I was leaving and I was never coming back.
I walk and I haven't stopped yet and I don't plan to.
I was hungry since I haven't eaten in awhile. That was a month ago. My dad and everyone in my family was probably looking for me
But I wasn't going back.
I stopped at this hot dog stand and as I was about to grab my hot dog, a bee flew by my ear. I waved at it and as I waved, I turned to my right and saw this familiar face. This warm, loving face.