“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be only afraid of standing still” ~ Chinese Proverb
The last post, I celebrated my first 10 followers. To show gratitude to my dazzling viewers, I said a big THANK YOU for your support and also shared one of my first stories written. As promised, I will be sharing the continuation and final part today.
If you haven’t read the first part or if you need to read it again, click HERE
So what is gonna happen next? What are the warning signs? What is their significance?
Well… just keep on reading.
I lived with my mom in an apartment in Charlotte, North Carolina. It had three bedrooms and one bathroom. My mom has been a single parent since I was four years old. One evening, my dad took his hook, coat and a box filled with bait for fishing. He never returned; his body wasn’t found either. I recall my mom saying that the car was found at a coffee shop. My mom’s family believes that he abandoned my mom and I. Some of my mom’s friend claim that he probably drowned in a river nearby. All I can do now is to pray that someday the truth will be revealed. The pictures placed arranged in the parlor are all the memories I have of him.
At eighteen, I gained admittance to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In the midst of my studies; I kept bad company. Two months into school, I was introduced to cocaine. On Friday nights, my roommate invited a group of friends. I began to inhale the intoxicated air in the cluttered room. Weeks later, I started having the urge to obtain drugs. I saved up money from my feeding to purchase drugs. My grades began to drop; I became more aggressive and started experiencing the early symptoms of insomnia. I also took on binge drinking; hangovers became a daily routine. This was the description of a classic teenage rebel: no parents, no control, wild friends, and above all, wild behaviors.
My thoughts are interrupted by an itch beneath my left thigh; it’s not a sore, but rather, a scar. My years of drug abuse brought sensations of joy; broken happiness. I found a companion in the substance, but it wasn’t my friend. It slowly pulled me into a world of anger and frustration. And left me feeling agony when I remember May 19. It was the weekend of my twentieth birthday. I went to a club south of Raleigh. I wore my favorite leather shorts with a flower patterned top. I soon developed the urge to hide in the bathroom to accumulate some drugs. On the way back to meet my friends, I bumped into a man. I can’t remember his name, so let’s call him Puyol. It sounds like an ugly name, and so he was. He offered me a drink, at that moment, I was under the influence and had no control over my decision. I gulped the drink, even till the last drop. I wasn’t aware of the sedative added to my drink; soon, I noticed that I was staggering as I walked. He lured me to the back of the club and shoved me against the wall. I tried to fight him off, but he was too large. He took out a pocket knife and slit my shorts, at the same time cut deep into the skin of my left thigh. Rape. Fortunately, there were background noises and footsteps approaching. He fled through the shadows, jumping over neighboring fences. I sat there helpless, sitting in a pool of blood. Half an hour later, I woke up in the bed of a hospital, my mom sat beside me; holding my hands tightly. I was startled and from that day, I knew that had to turn over a new leaf, had to become responsible for my actions.
The story of Puyol spread like the waves through the ocean. I was filled with shame and grew tired of the bits of advice given by strangers. One day, I came back home and cried in the palms of my mother. I started muttering words without meaning, my eyes turned red and endless tears fell on my cheeks. My mom brought up the idea of moving to Canada. I agreed.
At twenty-five, I acknowledge my bad choices and the consequences. In the midst of my shame, I found a blessing. Latoya, born without a father, sleeps silently on the couch. I pray that she will become a better woman than I was.