A Mother’s Legacy – Polished Personal Response

Creative response to the text: *I am still looking for the poem, however, I’ve posted another polished personal which meets all the criteria*

Prompt: What do these texts suggest about the human need to either pursue or reject desires?

At age five…

My life was running towards me; too close for comfort like a collision course about to take place and yet, there was nothing I could do about it. There was no one to talk to, I had no friends because we moved around a lot: my dad had skipped town the moment he found out about me, and my mom was never home – the only time I’d see her were in the mornings. I often asked her what her job was, hoping to find inspiration for my own future in my hopeful, yet innocent mind. My mom would always reply with the same answer: “I gamble with fate, don’t you worry about the rest”.  I was young and didn’t care much as to depict what that meant, for as long as there was food brought to the table, I knew we’d be fine.

I woke up one morning due to the chilly autumn air howling along my windows and felt quite strange. I tried to brush it off my shoulders and went to the washroom to get ready for my first day of preschool, my mom was already there:

I see her curling her beautiful lush eyelashes and then encoating them in a thick layer of black paint, I paint my own lashes with an imaginary brush. I see her covering the dark circles under her eyes by covering her baby soft skin with a thick layer of something runny, I use my face towel to wash away the sleep engraved on my skin. I see her curling her dense, shiny black hair to hide the little gray roots peaking out, I run my hairbrush roughly across my scalp. Finally, I see my mom tightening her “waist-trainer” under her dress, I simply walk out to go and put on my school clothes.

From what I can remember, school was decent. Nothing exciting and new had happened but the same feeling I had that morning came back when I went home in the afternoon to a empty house. It was a few hours after I got home when someone pounds on the door. I open it to reveal two police officers flashing their badges in my little face, harshly asking me where my mother is; I don’t answer. My memory is quite fuzzy for the next thing I remember is my mom packing our stuff frantically, telling me we have to move – I compel for I was only a child. This was the first time.


At age sixteen…

My life is running away from me. We have moved too many times for me to even recall. I find that every new school I move to, it is better to hang around the “low-life” for they don’t try to look into your soul and tear down all your walls. The past few years have been a blur of drugs and alcohol that I can’t help but think that I don’t have control over my own life anymore. I know that I am no longer a child, however, no matter how bad the actions I commit, I can’t seem to understand the consequences; sometimes I wonder, “I pursue all these sinful desires, but at what cost?”

I wake up one morning because the hot sizzling heat tapping against my window is unbearable, the same odd feeling I felt eleven years ago is back. I go down to the washroom to get ready for school. My mom was already there like usual:

My mom is a different woman from before. Her lashes are now drooping, no matter how much mascara she paints upon her eyes, it has no effect; in contrast, my own lashes have grown thick and full, I paint several layers of black onto them. I see my moms saggy skin, filled with age spots, no matter how many layers of gunk she applies to her face, it remains the same; I glance at the dark creases below my eyes upon my baby soft skin and mindlessly apply daps of concealer. I see her tie her hair in a tight bun for now, her hair is too fragile and thin to apply too much heat; I take out the curling iron and turn my soft wisps of hair into delicate curls. Finally, I see my mom take out her “waist-trainer” and tightly wound the coil around her. I do the same.  

That odd feeling intensifies after I come home from school; I can feel something dreadful is about to happen. Soon enough, I hear the shriek of my mom yelling my name, I look out the window and see the cops flashing their badge in my moms face, her hands are tied and yet, I only see a look of defeat circling her face. This look stayed with me, engraved in my mind, for it was the last time I had seen my mom alive.


At age twenty-five…

My life is running away with me. Even with my mother gone, the habit of being on the run has become a need. What a sad legacy she had left. Everything’s under control now and I understand what desire made my mom pursue her way of life. Ultimately, after she was gone, I led the only path that was taught to me; escape. I now know the importance of traveling light, my only baggage is the one inside of myself; no one knows its value. Everytime I gambled with fate and it ended on bad terms, I knew I’d be alright as long as there was enough food to sustain me.

I wake up one morning with the biting cold snipping through the thin Motel walls. That same feeling I felt nine years ago is back, however, this time I push it down and tell myself it’ll be alright. I go into the moldy washroom covered with the dreams of failed lives now lost, and I see the thin silhouette of my mother as vivid as I did twenty years ago; getting ready like always:

She guides my hands as it paints heavy dark circles under my eyes, streaks my hair silver, and stuffs pillows underneath my baggy dress.

I wait. A pounding comes to the beaten door, I pull it open a to be met with the similar gleam of the flashing badges before me. The two cops take a look at me and conclude that, “she’s too old, she doesn’t match our description. We came to the wrong room, sorry ma’am.”

My mothers figure in the corner winks and wipes off my fingerprints.

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