Growing up, I truly had hope. It was like a light I could touch; a light that made everything seem okay.
But throughout my seventeen years of life, that "light" dimmed. It dimmed a little bit every day, every month, every year; until there was no light left. Just complete blackness.
"Hun, I feel like we haven't talked in forever!" My mom cooed, cooking some eggs and bacon. She knew how I loved my bacon.
"Nothing's going on, mom. Same life, different day." I laughed. My mom and I are really close; she's the only family I have. I was an only child and my dad had left us when I was three.
"Do you like any boys?" She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. "Have any crushes?"
"Oh my god, mom, stop right now," I chuckled at her forwardness.
"What, Tessa? I can't ask my beautiful daughter is she has a crush on a boy?" She smiled, dishing out eggs and bacon on my plate.
"No. Not at all," I giggled, shoveling eggs into my mouth.
"Wow, you're classy when you eat your eggs," my mom motioned towards me, smiling.
"Thanks," I laughed. I plopped a piece of bacon in my mouth before scrunching my nose in disgust. "Mom," I gave her a stern look. She was always trying to buy more organic food, but messing with my bacon was another story. "What the hell is this piece of cardboard?"
She gave me a nervous look, but laughed at my seriousness. "It's low-fat, honey."
"Who the hell even sells low-fat bacon? It's ungodly," I laughed. My mom had always been a health-nut, trying to get me to eat tofu and other organic shit. I was just not having it.
I glanced at the microwave time and realized I was running late. "I gotta go, mom. I'll see you later, yeah?" I kissed her forehead, grabbed my backpack, and ran out the door, hoping I'd be able to catch my bus on time.
I felt someone elbow me in the ribs, trying to get my attention. I looked over to see my best friend, Heather, whispering something.
"What did you say?" I whispered back.
"I said 'who are you daydreaming about?'" She giggled quietly.
"You know, the usual," I laughed, knowing she'd know who I was talking about. You know?
"Darren Criss," we both nodded our heads, followed by giggling. We were both obsessed with him; he was such a good singer on Glee…and, well…I'm just gonna say it; he was HOT.
"Tessa?" my English teacher, Mr. Popat, gave me a stern look. "Are you even listening?"
"No," I answered truthfully. "Sorry," I mumbled. He always seemed to catch me whispering, never Heather. I rolled my eyes.
We were reading Romeo and Juliet aloud for the third time this year. Mr. Popat said 'the more we read it, the more we'll understand it'. I think he just liked to torture us.
In the middle of Romeo confessing his love to Juliet, Mr. Popat's classroom phone rang. I prayed to god it would be some call that explained that the school was burning and we would never have to come back. But I didn't see any flames or smell any smoke, so-
"Tessa," he called my name after he hung up the phone, snapping me out of my school-on-fire daydream. "The dean wants to speak with you."
Heather gave me a look as if to say 'what the hell is going on', but I just shrugged. Everyone stared at me and watched me make my way outside my room. I felt my cheeks flush with embarrassment as I shuffled my way out the door and down the hallway.
Was I in trouble? I've never been sent to the dean's office before, although I knew where it was. What did I do?
I walked into the small side-office and told the reception lady that I had been called down. "Go ahead in," she smiled, putting a hand on my shoulder.
I walked into the dean's office, feeling so scared I thought I was going to piss myself.
"Tessa Lanson?" he asked me.
"Yes, sir" I mumbled.
"Take a seat, miss," he motioned me to the seat across his desk. Oh god, I'm going to get suspended for no fucking reason, I thought.
"Am I in trouble?" I whispered. I could feel my palms getting sweaty.
"No, Tessa. But I'm afraid I have some bad news." he said, looking down.
I could feel my heart beating loudly and rapidly.
"You're mother is in the hospital."
"Tessa, please calm down, honey," the nurse said, putting a hand on my shoulder.
"I'm not going to calm down! Nobody will tell me what's going on! Let me see my mother!" I yelled loudly. I was never one for making a big scene in a public place, let alone a hospital, but I couldn't help it. My mom was the only family I had.
"You need to calm down so I can tell you," she said soothingly. She waited another minute for me to collect myself. "Your mother had a heart attack, Tessa. A severe one."
There's no way this was right. She was only in her early forties!
"Okay, is she going to be alright?" I finally spoke, fresh tears streaming down my face.
"No, she's not, sweetie." She paused, letting the information sink in. "She's not going to make it. I would go say your goodbyes."
I felt my knees crumble to the ground, and my shoulders move up and down from my loud sobbing. This couldn't be happening. I couldn't lose my mom. She was all I had. She was all I needed.
After a few minutes, I got up from my knees, still wailing. I made my way over to the correct room number: 114. I walked in to see that my mom was hooked up to a breathing machine; she looked horrible. Her face had no color in it, and her lips were a pale whitish color.
"Mom," I sobbed, holding her hand. "I love you so much. You were the best mom in the world to me," I had trouble talking through my endless tears. Was I really saying goodbye to my mom…forever? "I can't believe this is happening, I-" my voice halted to a stop when I heard the heart monitor flat line. "I love you mommy," I whispered to my now lifeless mother.
And now, the light of hope was completely black.
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