Ebony McAdam, Grade 8
I looked out the taxi window with a glum expression on my face. Familiar scenery moved past my eyes. I always thought if I’d be returning here it would be under better circumstances. I turned away from the car window and looked over at my older brother Charlie. He gave me a sad smile. His brown eyes, which were like the ones our mother had had, looked so gloomy. I gave a heavy sigh and tipped my head back. We would be at our destination soon, but it was impossible to feel happy about it.
How could someone feel even remotely happy after their mother has just died? I felt my eyes start to water at the thought of our mother. I had a flashback of the last time I saw her. Lying on the hospital bed, so weak, so destroyed. The chemotherapy made her usually thick, dark hair look thin and wispy. She had refused to shave off her remaining hair, no matter how bad it looked. I don’t like to remember my mother after she had been diagnosed with cancer. Instead, I prefer to remember when she was younger, when she was a healthy and blissful woman whom everyone seemed to like.
The taxi driver turned down my father's street. He shared the house with his second wife, Catherine, and their three children, James, Peta and Tristan. I hadn’t seen any of them in over two years. Charlie and I used to visit them regularly, but as we got older, and our commitments increased, it became too much of a burden.
I didn’t really enjoy the visits to our father’s house. It wasn’t that he and Catherine weren’t nice to us - in fact, I used to get on really well with Catherine. But when Charlie and I visited, it felt like we didn’t belong. It seemed like our father saw us as living proof that he had a different life before Catherine. We reminded him of the biggest failure of his life - his marriage to our mother.
Our parents separated when I was four years old, and my dad married Catherine less than two years later. Sometimes I felt extremely jealous of James, Peta and Tristan. I felt like they had stolen the life that I was supposed have. I wanted the happy family, the one in which it was my mother, not Catherine, who made my father happy. When my mother got sick her brother took care of us. But my uncle could barely take care of a cat, let alone two teenage children. So that is how we ended up back at Dad’s house.
When the taxi came to a stop outside of the house we now had to call home, there was a part of me that didn’t want to get out of the car. But when Charlie climbed out of the taxi I soon followed suit. It was time to live my life, or at least salvage what was left of it.