Where We Are Now


Maria explains how stronger her bond with her parents get when they go through struggles

I feel myself shake as I keep my hands steady on the pencil. My eyes stings as I hold back the tears with effort. I feel like I can’t breathe, with every pant I give. My mind is blank and I have no idea what I am writing, until my dad comes in. “How can you see in here?” he asks as he switches my lamp on. I didn’t know that my room was pitch black and it irritated me that he would point it out, but I keep my voice light as I say, “I can see.” He glances at me and sighs, “How?” I don’t look up from my work, but I did point my pencil at the window, “The sun from the window.”

I feel his eyes on me as I continue to keep my blank face on. I try and ignore them. We keep silence, because we aren’t sure what to say, but the silence says so much than anything else. I didn’t know what was going on as he places arm around my shoulder. He picks me off my chair and he hugs me. “I’m sorry princess.” That brought tears to my eyes. It something about the embraces from my dad that brings an emotional overload inside. My arms hold onto him tightly. “I know you’re trying.” he says. I gasp out, “But I don’t feel like I am.” He shakes his head, “No you are. I’m sorry.” I felt a building crush off me that morning and I wonder just how far we are in our relationship.

It’s my senior year and the thoughts of how much my parents had to put up with me brought laughter out of my mouth. From the baby steps to the teaching me how to drive a car, our relationship was created solemly on greeted teeth, salty tears, and genuine smiles. I was an unexpected blessing for them when they were high school, and they are unexpected nightmare for me now.As thoughts of moving away are already getting to me, I begin to feel a bittersweet ache inside me. I love my family, but I feel the pressure on me crushing me into pieces. I wanted to experience more in life, on my own. From the beginning of this year, I found the things being placed on my hands to be too heavy, and my parents lecturing me was not helping the stress.

On Saturday 20, I felt like I was at my limit. The pressure they placed on me, to just focus on my work, made me infuriated. My parents were asking me about my SAT’s and how I did the last time I took it. I told my mom- even though she looked at me with a clueless expression- but not my dad. Mainly because when you disappoint dad, you just ruined your life. I didn’t bother lying, because one I knew better and two he was smarter than I.

I told him how terrible I did and then the lecture began. I watched as his lips moved, but I didn’t bother to hear, because it was the same things over and over again. I looked to my father respectfully, but inside I was fighting the urge to not cry and scream at him. People could say that it isn’t hard to pretend, but for me it took all my strength to not express myself. It wasn’t until my dad pushed it too far I felt myself break.

He started comparing me to him. I may have looked like a dumb mannequin at the moment, but when I glanced at my mom she saw that I was on the verge of tears. I knew that I didn’t have a lot of time to study for the test and that I had to get my crap straight. ButI didn’t need to be told those things by one of the people who pushed some of the things to do on me.

I’m not super girl. People say that life will kick you to the ground, but at that moment, I was already on the ground and I couldn’t breathe as time kept on stepping on me. I thought senior year was the year that I would have no problems with staying on my toes, but I was tripping harder on my face. As I go through this first semester I’m learning how to stand up for myself and my parents are realizing that I have a lot on my plate, so they are giving me space. And these days we may live under the same roof, but we don’t see much of each other until the weekend. We may sound like we are strangers to each other now, but every night and morning we text or sometimes say, “Have a good night/day. I love you.” It’s strange, but it’s just how we are now.