My parents had scarified everything for my little sister and me when we came to America. They abandoned their friends and family just so we could have a chance at a better life. I will always look up to my parents; they are the best people I know.
However today I feel like I will be taking their sacrifice and hard work and throwing it back in their face. It was never my intention to walk away from the family business but as time went on I found other interest and other passions.
There was so much more to the big city than working in a local deli. I really hope my parents would understand because I really didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
I pulled my jacket closer to my chest as the cool morning air rustled along the busy streets of New York. I fumbled with my last steps as I approached my family’s Deli.
Here goes everything, I guess.
“Carlos, why are you standing outside, it’s freezing,” my mama shouted from the cash register.
“I’m coming Ma.”
“Your late, your sister has been here all morning working by herself,” my mama scolded.
“I’m sorry Ma, I got caught up with some things,” I mumbled.
“Things, what things, this store is your only priority,” my dad shouted coming in from the back storage room.
“Edwardo, leave him alone.”
“No, he is too stubborn and spoil, ever since he started going to that new school, he thinks he’s too good for us.”
“I never said I was too good for you guys,” I tried to defend myself but it was no use my dad was stubborn.
“Don’t mind him Carlos, just go help your sister,” my mama said, clearly she was trying to cheer me up but it was not working.
I grumbled under my breath as I head in the back to help my sister with packing the shelves.
“Oh Carlos, you’re here, how did mom and dad take the news?”
“I didn’t tell them,” I whined.
“What! Carlos, you’re leaving next week you have to tell them!”
“I know Maria, I just need to find the right time, dad is really the only issue, I think mom will understand.”
“I’m sorry Carlos but I’m really proud of you, all your hard work is finally paid off,” she laughed.
“Thank you Maria, I’ll miss you too,” I teased.
“I never said anything about missing you.”
“Whatever, you know you can’t live without me,” I proclaimed.
“I guess I just have to learn,” she replied sadly.
My sister and I were very close; we didn’t have many friends when we first moved here, so for a while we only had each other. I really will miss her the most.
“I will come back to visit don’t worry.”
“I know,” she smiled.
“Better get to work for my last day,” we both laughed.
Work had finished for the day and we were back home sitting at the dinner table for family dinner, I thought now would be the best time to bring up the news.
“Mama, Papa,” I interjected the loud family discussion about ordering more cheese for the store.
“Yes Carlos, you look unwell, are you ok?” mama asked.
“I’m fine mama; I just have some news to share.”
“Well go ahead boy, spit it out,” Dad barked.
“I got accepted to an Art Institute in England, full scholarship,” I said nervously as the entire table went quite.
“Carlos, I didn’t know you had applied to any schools, why didn’t you tell us sweetheart.”
“Isn’t it obvious Maria, he thinks he’s too good for us now, so he wanted to up and leave his responsibilities to go color in some book!” my dad barked.
“It is more than coloring in some book dad, if you had managed to come to any of my exhibits you would know this,” I fired back.
“I don’t have time for your silly dreams; I have a store to run, to keep a roof over your head and food in your stomach. I’m the reason you’re alive to have these stupid dreams in the first place, you could at least be grateful.”
“I am grateful Papa, for everything you do but I have my own dreams and passions that has nothing to do with that store!” I shouted getting angry now.
“That’s it get out of my house, now!”
“Edwardo, stop it!” my mama shouted.
“It’s fine Mama,” I said getting up from the table. “I have no problem leaving, I’ll stay with a friend, don’t worry Mama,” I said kissing her and my sister on the cheek before I left.
So maybe announcing my news at the family table was not the best idea but what other choice did I have, papa wouldn’t understand anyway. I sighed as I walked to the bus stop, the night was chilly and the air was damp like it was about to rain. I took a seat on the bus stop bench hoping I could at least catch a bus before I froze to death. I checked the time on my phone, when I heard footsteps approaching me; I looked up to see my mama coming towards me with a blanket and a brown paper bag.
“Mama it’s freezing what are you doing outside?”
“Oh hush boy, I brought you a blanket to keep warm until the bus comes and I also packed up the rest of your dinner to take with you.”
“I’m sorry about Papa Carlos but you know he’s stubborn. He’ll come around though, the most important think is, I’m proud of you and I know you will do well.”
“Thanks Mama, that really means a lot and you know I’ll visit from time to time, I could not go too long without your cooking,” I laughed.
“Oh Lord, you will starve, my poor baby, are you sure you still want to leave,” she teased.
“I don’t want to but I have to Ma, this is my dream.”
“I know Carlos and I never want you to apologize for living your dream.”