My reality.A Story by Tabitha t
A true account of my coming of age story. Not one of butterflies and glitter but a dark reality that most kids have to grow up to quickly.
There comes a point in every Childs life where they make the not so conscious decision to grow up and act like an adult. Usually this decision comes from a great struggle in the individual’s life that is so monumental that it forces the child into maturity without them even realizing.
This furthers my belief that those precious human beings who have never had to face any kind of hardship never really grow up. It is also a firm belief on my part that; most people do not remember that exact moment in their life’s and if they do it is only because of the magnitude of the struggle they had to over come. I remember that fateful moment in my life where I stepped over the threshold from childhood to adulthood with great detail. I suppose if my theory is right that just goes to show how much I have had to overcome.
Here is my story…
About eight years ago on an exceptionally hot summer’s day, my best friend, Caleb, and I were trudging through the city streets on our way back to my house. The thick wet air stuck to our clothes making them feel twice as heavy as they really were. We were in a hurry to get there because my mom had promised to make her famous home made spaghetti for us tonight. My stomach grumbled loudly in excitement.
“Hey look up there” Caleb said pointing down the road, bringing my out of my mouth watering dream of thick tomato sauce and giant meatballs stacked on top of a mountain of noodles. I looked up sluggishly to see a bright red Tahoe charging down the road right towards us.
“Isn’t that your mom?” I heard Caleb question as we both jumped to the side of the road as and the vehicle came to a skidding stop beside us, leaving twin tails of black rubber easily a hundred feet long behind it.
My mom rolled down her window. She was wearing a plain grey t-shirt and jeans. To anyone who didn’t know my mother, her attire would have been perfectly acceptable, but my mom was the kind of woman who greatly believed in appearances. She always wore fashionable outfits with crisp hems and never had a hair out of place. To her no mater how bad things got you always had time to make yourself look nice. Looking orderly was her way of staying in control. I could always tell how upset she was by how many layers of lip stick he has applied, but today her face showed no sign of wearing even a drop of makeup. This worried me even more.
“You need to get in, Tabitha.” She spoke hastily as son as her window was completely rolled down. Her hair was hanging down in her face from a messy bun high on the back of her head.
Not a hair out of place. I thought to myself. This day was quickly starting to not look so great.
“What about Caleb? Can he come too?” I questioned her with my hands out and only a hint of a whine on my voice.
My mom looked over to Caleb, who had been standing beside me, as if she had just now noticed him for the first time.
“No, I’m sorry he can’t.” She looked over at him as she spoke. “Go on to the house Honey. Your mom will be there to pick you up shortly.”
I stamped my foot on the hard asphalt. The sharp rap my heel created echoed across the street as if to signify my anger.
“But, mom! What about dinner? Caleb was supposed to eat over and we had rented a movie to watch!” I complained, half hoping that she had just forgot about our plans and would apologize and let us go on with what we wanted. I felt my face getting redder by the minute. I was becoming very inconvenience by this point and I wasn’t going to stand for it.
“Not now Tabitha!” My mother glared at me. I knew that look. That look said that if I even thought about uttering one more syllable I would end up living in my room for the rest of the summer. It had happened before and I knew she wouldn’t hesitate. I quickly looked down at my feet in compliance.
“See you later.” I mumbled to Caleb as I opened the passenger door to the red SUV and got in.
“Where are we going?” I asked as I buckled up my seat belt and looked into the rear view mirror to see Caleb making slow progress down the road.
“To the hospital.” My mom calmly said as she punched the gas pedal to the floor board, sending me crashing into the back of my seat.
“What?! Why?!” I choked out as soon as I was able to catch my breath.
She looked over at me for a moment before turning back to the road just in time to speed through a stop sign without hitting the car coming the other way.
“Chuck is sick. He has been sick for a while. I didn’t want to worry you.” She said softly. Chuck was my mom’s newlywed husband. They had gotten married that fall and He had quickly become a member of our family.
“Chuck is sick?” I asked confused. “If he is so sick then where is he?”
My mom didn’t take her eyes off the road but she did nod her head over her right shoulder. I craned my head into the back seat for the first time since entering the vehicle and saw a slumped over figure wrapped inside of a thin white blanket.
That couldn’t be Chuck. Chuck was really Charles Hasenpfeffer the third. He was a stern and strong man with dark thick hair with eyelashes to match. He had been in the military Special Forces when he was younger and had the lifestyle to prove it. He was a big disciplinary in our house hold but he also could be an amazing friend. When he smiled his light blue eyes sparkled and gave him the look of a strong mischievous youth. This skeleton in the back seat could not be my step Father.
“He has been sick for a while. I didn’t want to worry you. He was okay at first, But he just kept getting worse and worse.” She looked over to me then. Fear filled her eyes and for the first time in my life I saw my mother for what she really was, Just my mom. She wasn’t in control any more and more importantly. She was asking me for help, for support and for me to be there for her.
I came to this conclusion just as we came streaking into Emergency room drop off lane. Men in white scrubs came rushing out and my mother directed them to the back seat where they quickly unloaded him into a wheelchair and took off with my mother and me on their heels.
Thirty minutes had past and now I saw sitting in a sterile white room barren of any art work with a hospital bed in the middle of the five by ten area. Chuck had been placed onto the bed and was semi awake. His skin was an eerily color of yellow and to close to the color of piss for me to not be repulsed. When the doctor came into the room to talk to my mother I looked from him my mother who was holding Chuck’s hand and slowly rubbing it with her thumb for comfort.
He came into the room quickly as if he was in a hurry and perched himself on the edge of a stool on the other side of the bed and faced us. He began to speak a bunch of medical jargon that my thirteen year old mind wasn’t able to process. He was speaking quickly and with no emotion in his voice all the while twirling a pen in between his fingers like a baton.
Half way through his speech my mother began to cry. Quietly and softly with only a few tears streaming down her face. Normally I would have thought it was to not mess up the way she looked but in that moment I knew her controlled sorrow was only for my protection.
There were only a few buts and pieces of what the doctor was saying that I could grasp onto and understand. I didn’t think I wanted to fully understand though.
“Sclerosis of the liver,” the doctor had said. “Two months to live,” the doctor had predicted.
Suddenly the room had seemed to small and to hot. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t stand to see the tears that were gliding down my mother’s cheek. I couldn’t stand to see Chuck’s thin body barely noticeable under the white blanket that was covering his body.
Before I could fully register what I was doing I threw myself off of the chair that I had been sitting in and I ran out of the room. I streaked past the nurse’s station. I am sure that I looked a mess to them, wild red hair thrown behind my back as I sprinted towards the door.
The next thing I knew I was in the parking lot and quickly coming to my mother’s car. As I reached the car I slid to my knees. The hot black top shredding the material covering my legs in the process. I let out a choked sob as I felt the fear and anger swell up in my chest.
How could he do this? How could he go and start dying before we even got to spend a whole year with him. How could he leave my mom like this?
A million questions swarmed inside of my head as I sank to the ground, my body feeling like Jell-O and my chest burning from the sobs that now freely tore through me.
I cursed God for being so cruel. I cursed Chuck for not being strong enough and I cursed my mom for keeping it from me this whole time.
My mom, I thought. What was she going to do? I knew my mom was an unusually strong woman but how could she possibly face this? I thought back to the look she gave me in the car. She was scared. She was asking me for help. She needed me and what was I doing? Crying and upset over something that no matter how badly it hurts there was nothing we could do to change it.
Here I am feeling sorry for myself when my mother was inside that hospital by herself with a robot like doctor and hurting just as badly if not worse then I was right now. I slowly took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I felt my chest loosen as I took another deep breath.
I had to be strong. I had to become that person my mother needed to be for her right now. I slowly stood up and began to walk calmly back into the building. I had made up my mind that I could do this. I would do this and I would do it for her. For the woman who had finally lost control.
© 2012 Tabitha t
Added on March 19, 2012
Last Updated on March 19, 2012
Pigeon Forge, TN
AboutI am 21. I am in a commited lesbian relationship. I am a novelist. still struggling. (obviously) The novel I am working on completing right now is totally consuming my tie and I love every minute .. more..
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