I'm sorry, Mom
The room, so sterile, so clean, it almost makes me sick. The beige walls, so dull and impersonal. It always felt so public, behind the sliding glass door and curtains, where everyone listens carefully for any indication that the grim reaper was treading down the hallway. The yellow gown, mask, and gloves became part of my daily wardrobe. I think the yellow was supposed to make you feel happier, ya know, add some color to contrast the bare room you were confined to. It just made me feel worse, made me miss all the happy memories we shared together.
I stuck the key in the ignition of my car, but no matter how hard I turned it, the stupid piece of junk just wouldn’t start. I let out a frustrated groan and slammed my hand on the steering wheel. A knock on my window pulled me out of my thoughts. I turned my head slightly to the left and was greeted with the sight of my older sister peering in at me, her breath creating a circle of fog on the outside of the window in front of her mouth. She took her gloved finger and drew a little smiley face on the window, then signaled for me to get out of the car. I grabbed my backpack from the passenger side seat and open the car door, the cold metal of the handle stinging the naked skin of my hand. The car ride to the hospital was pretty quiet on my side, the music that played on the radio and my sister’s soft singing along was enough to fill the silent void.
Her favorite Filipino soap opera was playing on the small television in the corner of the room when I walked through the sliding glass door, sliding it shut behind me. Most morning visits consisted of me sitting in the small leather chair next to her bed, holding her hand, while she rambled on about the latest drama from her soap opera. I just sat there, listening intently with a smile spread across my face until I had to leave for school. That’s the hardest part, having to leave her for the day, knowing she’s going to be all alone. But I always promised her that I would come visit her after school and I’ve never broken that promise, until today I guess.
The sidewalks to the bus station were quite icy and the soles of my converse provided no source of traction to keep myself from slipping and falling. The public bus smelled like urine and the heat must have been broken because I could still see my breath every time I exhaled. I just needed to get off and get some coffee so I could clear my head before going to school, but the short bus ride seemed like it would never end, but like everything in life, it did eventually end. I quickly hopped down the steps of bus and began walking to the nearest coffee shop, which conveniently was right around the corner. The aroma of the coffee shop was almost so welcoming that I never wanted to leave, but already I could hear my mother scolding me for even thinking about skipping school. So instead, I just got my coffee and walked out the door, back into the freezing cold outside world. The hot liquid coffee burned my throat when I swallowed but it felt nice, very soothing actually. It was the only thing keeping me warm on the walk to school.
The school day seemed to drag on so slowly. It was finally last period of the day. I sat there in my seat just staring at the clock, waiting for it to reach 2:30 and the bell to ring signaling the end of the day. Only 30 more minutes. I tapped my pencil on my notebook, tap, tap, tap. I tried my best to tune out the monotone lecture that was taking place in front of me, something about America and the Cold War, I don’t really remember, nor do I care very much. This went on for another 30 minutes, my persistent pencil tapping and clock staring, until the bell finally rang. I shoved my notebook into my backpack, put on my jacket, and slugged my backpack onto one of my shoulders. I decided to walk home, it wasn’t that far, maybe a couple of miles at most, and besides I needed the fresh air aftering being trapped in that school for six and a half painful hours. The walk home took longer than expected and it wasn’t even refreshing, the cold whipping winds made my eyes burn and water for the entire trip, but I eventually arrived at my destination.
I immediately collapsed onto my bed when I walked through my bedroom door, groaning into my pillow when I remembered how much homework I had to do. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I had to get my homework done before I could go back to the hospital. I sent my mom a quick text, letting her know I’d probably be a little late due to the massive pile of homework that I had just taken out and was now sitting on my desk. I turned on some music and started with my math. I managed to finished all of my homework in a decent amount of time, so I rewarded myself with a quick nap under the warm blankets of my bed. I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing next to my ear on my nightstand. Still in my sleepy haze, I reached out and answered the phone, not bothering to get the caller I.D. I heard someone sobbing on the other line, making my stomach drop and my hands began to sweat. “Who is this?” my voice still sounding very tired. “Mom’s dead.” It took my groggy brain a while to fully understand what I had just heard. I dropped my phone to the bed and took off sprinting, not even bothering to grab my jacket from the back of my chair. The hospital was a good four and a half miles away, but I couldn’t stop running, my chest and legs burned but I just couldn’t stop. My brain was so clouded, repeating those two words over and over again. I was so tired when I got to the hospital but I kept sprinting up the stairs to the floor that I visited every single day, the floor that I should’ve been on when this all happened. Before I even made it down the hallway to her room, I could hear my sister’s wet sobs, the same ones I heard through the phone. Her lanky body was draped awkward across my mom’s body, like she was trying to protect her. I approached the room timidly, just wishing it was all a dream, that I would wake up and I would be sitting in the leather chair again, holding her hand, listening to her talk about her soap operas. Her room still smelled so clean and sterile, but this time it actually made me sick. I ran into the bathroom and emptied the contents of my stomach into the toilet. I wiped my mouth and stood up to get some water from the sink, hands tightly gripping the edges. I looked up into the mirror and stared at my reflection, eyes red and puffy and full of pain. I walked out of the bathroom and my eyes were met with another pair just as red and puffy. My sister pulled me into a tight hug and I finally began to sob, quietly into the crook of her neck. She walked me over to wear my mother laid still in her bed. Her usual smile no longer painted her face and her glowing skin was replaced with a pale lifeless tone. I dropped to my knees next to her bed and held her hand in mine. I knew she couldn’t feel it, but it was comforting for me. The only thing I managed to say before another sob wrecked my body was “I’m sorry, Mom.”
Quarter 3 Reflection
I chose these pieces of writing to represent my style and voice because they are all so different, just like my writing. I feel like every time I write a new piece, it is always different from the last. I can write stories that are silly and not taken too seriously, like my Flash Fiction about a family of potatoes and my letter to my feet. But I can also go and write stories like my Conflcit Short Story that is sad and dark and full of real life tragedies. I think that's who I am as a wittier, I can be silly and make jokes and puns but also write depression works filled with death.
Before Creative Writing, I often thought that I wasn't going to be any good at it, mainly because I wasn't very confident in my writing abilities. But the first time in class that I truly believed that I could be kind of okay at this whole "writing" thing was when I was sharing my flash fiction to my critique group and it made them laugh, like actually laugh. I think that really helped my confidence and feel good about my writing. I never really used to be into writing stories for pleasure, which is another reason why I wasn't too excited before coming into class, but after experiencing this class and writing a lot more often, this love for writing has sort of sprouted within me. I really want to become a better writer and I find myself constantly seeing something and thinking of how I could make a story out of it. Class has been a really fun and interesting experience that I've gotten a lot out of class and it's only been one quarter. I can't wait to see what Quarter 4 has in store for me. The course has been a lot of work but it has been a lot of fun work, most of the time, sometimes it would be frustrating because I was having major writer's block and had no idea what to write, but when I could get in my groove and just write, it was fun. I would say the course has been challenging, but in a good way. It has really pushed me out of my comfort zone but I think that has been really good for me and I'm glad I had the opportunity to take this class.