I look for a sign.
Anything that will change my mind. Anything.
I walk down the streets of New York same as everyone else. I know someone is out there thinking how beautiful this place is– Just give it a few years. When I first moved here, I was in awe of the high buildings. We never had building like these in the country side so it was always such a beauty. I always felt like the buildings would fall being how tall they were.
I would go to the parks, filled with beautiful landmarks and the grass was always trimmed so nicely. My mouth would water thinking of the New York Pizza I was going to taste. But now…all that has changed.
The City buildings remind me of how small I am in this world. I am just a person among people. I could fall dead right now and an ambulance would arrive and people would shake their head, the emotional ones will shed a few tears, go home and tell their kids then the next day they’ll continue their daily routinely lives.
It wouldn’t matter. I wouldn’t.
My grave will be among other graves in the same pile of dirt. Maybe my mother would miss me… if she hadn’t left. Maybe my dad would miss me…if he was in my life and actually knew me. He was there for me but he wasn’t actually there.
I used to believe in Santa…
A man in the sky prioritizing every child who has ever lived. Watching you…knowing what gifts you want. An invincible who remembered you when no one did. And even when you grew up…he would still love you. Protect you.
In my little life, I needed something to believe in. Santa was that for me. He was hope.
But you grow up. You grow up…and realize there is just nothing. Who’s there to protect you, whos there to believe in when you’re a grown adult. Who’s there to protect you off the cruelty of reality?
Who are you supposed to look at when you’re lonely and have no one? I guess when you’re grown you start to believe that those things are not supposed to be for you. After all you’re…grown up.
Once you pass 18 they push you to the other-side of the world. Reality. There is no “you can talk to me if you need help” seat. Those cost money. Needed money. Soon you’ll have to decide that you’re mental health must take the back seat if you want to survive in the cruel lower class of society.
So like I said, a person among people. Who’s will notice if one falls?
I get a text, its from my mother.
“Hey sweetie I just thought of you. I love you!”
She says with a smiley emoji. I really do want to believe its real. I really do. But I know what she wants…she remembers me when she runs out of it. Money.
I remember when I reconnected with my mother. I was happy– sad and angry she left– but I was happy that she was back. There is something about mothers that you just can’t reject. No matter how cruel they are to you. When you look at her and she has your face…she has features that you have. Its even worse when deep down all you want is her love.
My indifferent father suddenly became interested. Instead of his solemn expression he instead wore an intense look. As he warned me not to get close to my mother. But I didn’t listen. I didn’t listen when he told me that my mother would use me and leave me just like she's always done.
That was years ago.
I call her Maria now.
I’m looking for a sign.
I get a text from Jennie.
“Do you want to come with me to todays service at Church? It starts at 5. Please just consider it.”
I stare at the message and take a bite out of my pizza. Then I swipe at my other messages. Maria sent another message after I didn’t respond to the other.
“I know you saw this message. I need a favor, please?” she says. This time in a voice message so that I know she’s serious.
Jennie texts again, “Please”
I sigh and turn off my phone. Jennie thinks I need saving and my mother wants money. Perfect.
I turn off my phone and walk out the house with my hoodie on. I know I have eyebags, I know my neighbors think I’m depressed but I’m just sad.
No need to make sad sadder than it is.
The nicer old ladies smile at me and say hey. I try to smile back and decently walk off.
I haven’t visited my dad since I moved out. I know he’s fine. I know if I come home he would look at me with the same indifferent expression. Turn on the TV and watch it without a glance at me.
Maybe he’s disappointed in me. Maybe I look too much like the woman who hurt him. Maybe he never wanted a child and was left to take care off one.
Maybe he’s happy alone.
I’m just adding the ‘maybe’ because I want to make myself feel better. I know its true. A little surprise visit to see him proved everything. When I stared into the windows I saw him genuinely smiling. With a beer in his hand surrounded with his friends.
He was never like that with me. It hurt more when I walked in the house and his face fell. After that… I stopped visiting my father. Not because I wanted too but because I knew he didn’t want me there… all along.
Maybe that simple fact was there all along. Maybe reality is always there when you’re a child…then you accept it as an adult. Maybe that’s what life is.
I walk down the street. Just walking with no destination.
And I see a sign… “Jesus loves you!” it says. And I know I’m getting closer to it, I know I should turn around but I keep walking because in my very cold world it feels warm over here.
I’m looking for a sign…
My pace picks up, adrenaline rushing through my brain. And suddenly I reach it…the church. And I stop right in front of it.
And like a blanket, a warm hand presses against my back.
“I’m glad you made it.” Jennie says with a smile. “Come on.” she says tugging me forward.
And slowly I walk. My legs shaking.
I’m looking for a sign…
Any sign…That tells me–