Just a nerdy, coffee-obsessed mother of two active daughters. Administrative work as a profession, but filled with dreams of becoming a published writer. Gamer, knitter, anime-watcher, book-lover, I'm a "glass is half-full" kind of girl.
Tanmai, Chapter 6
Dread fills every fiber of my being as we stand outside the front entrance of the Aku Enforcer’s Station nearest our home. “We need to go.” My mother whispers urgently in my ear, but allows me my moment of hesitation. She understands how hard this is. Once I enter that building, it becomes real. It forces me to accept that I might never see her again. The child whom I birthed, raised, and loved suddenly gone was enough to diminish the remaining light I had in my life. Choking back a sob, I grab my mother’s hand and begin walking up the stairs.
“Hurry up, momma!” Sumeya shouts as I slowly walk up the sidewalk to my parents’ house. How can she still have so much energy? “Easy, Sumy.” I murmur. She stops in front of the door and turns back to me. “Are you alright, momma?” I smile at her weakly. “You and your Aunties tired me out.”
"Momma,” Sumeya states when she notices me standing in her doorway. “Can I wear this one today?” She holds up an ice blue, short-sleeved dress that sparkles in the light. “It’s one of my favorites because it’s so shiny.” I smile as she holds it to her chest. The ice blue paired with her dark hair and eyes really is quite dazzling. It is the exact reason why Malla gifted it to her for her last birthday. “Of course you can wear it. Auntie Malla loves seeing it on you.” She grins at me before setting it on her bed and lifting her arms straight up into the air, clearly expecting me to help her change. Stepping into her room, I move towards her and lift the purple nightgown over her head. Grabbing the dress off her bed, I hand it to her so she can practice putting on her own clothes.
The "Just Be" Resolution
For the past fifteen or so years, all I can really remember about my life was that I was constantly working towards something. No matter what I did in my free time, from around age fourteen up until last year when I turned twenty-eight, I always had a major goal I was trying to accomplish: finish high school, complete my Bachelor's program, succeed in obtaining my Master's degree, and land a well-paying job. Everything I did in my life were with those goals in mind. Coming from a low-income Mexican-American household, going to college for a degree and getting a well-paying job was drilled into me because my family wanted me to live a life in which I wasn't worried about affording an electric bill or scrambling to find a way to feed my children that night. I took all of their words to heart and strove to live up to their hopes of me having a better life. I went to college, completed my degrees and recently landed a good job. Things should be perfect now, right?
“Do you like it, momma?” Sumeya asks me after I take my first sip of Cina milk. I smile down at her. “Of course. Grandma’s Cina milk is always the best. Now finish your breakfast. We’re going to meet up with Auntie's Malla and Tamara this morning. They’re free today too so the four of us are going to visit one of the art galleries that is showing Auntie Malla’s paintings. She even said that if you were a good girl, we could stop by their house later and you can paint with her.” Sumeya’s eyes widen in delight. “Okay, momma!” She turns to the remainder of her breakfast and begins eating with renewed energy.
“Momma, grandma and grandpa are up.” Sumeya states, returning to the kitchen. Her long, dark hair is already up in a neat ponytail, most likely done by my mother, Amara. My father, Rowan, is hopeless with long hair and Sumeya hasn’t learned to put it up on her own yet. “Good morning, dear.” My mother greets me. “Morning, mom.” I say, before turning to our dish cabinet across the way. “You made breakfast, Rika? That’s rare.” My father teases, coming up to my side and kissing the top of my head. “Thanks, dad.” I playfully grumble, knowing fully well he’s playing with me. “I have the day off today and thought I’d surprise Sumeya.” I glance at my mother. “And give mom a break.” She smiles at me appreciatively.
The water feels cool against my tan skin as I splash the contents of my washroom bowl across my face. Another morning has come. Taking a deep breath, I grab the hanging black washroom towel and dry myself off. Staring into the mirror directly in front of me, I take in my tired reflection as I return the towel to its proper place. It seems these days I’m always tired. Slightly shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I gather my long, brown hair streaked with purple highlights and tie it up into a messy bun. Brushing my purple bangs into place with my fingers, I stare again at the dark circles underneath my brown eyes, accentuated by the vibrancy of the purple color. All of the Wahelai essence I’ve been exposed to recently has made the highlights almost a bright neon purple. Before I became a mother, those dark circles were almost nonexistent and the bright hair colors Wahelai essence caused looked almost surreal against the brown of my eyes.
An Ani-Con Love Story
Disclaimer: The names of the transportation app, anime convention and all names of places mentioned are fictional. The anticipation courses through my body as the driver of my Cloud ride, a local transportation app service, pulls in alongside the curb, ready to let me off. "Thanks." I say, opening the car door and lifting my head towards the bright sun. He smiles at me in his rearview mirror and gives me a small wave. "Have fun! My daughter told me all about it and it seems like a big event." I return his smile and exit the navy blue vehicle. "Only one of the biggest of the year." I respond and grab my Mad Hatter themed backpack. "Have a great day!" With those last words, I close the door and step up onto the sidewalk. A smile forming on my face, I position my backpack on my shoulders and merge into the crowd.
Let's Pretend That Character Is Real
Why does everything always have to be the same? I think to myself as I open my car door, place my coffee mug in my drink holder and slide into the driver's seat. Glancing at my purse on the passenger's side beside me, a sigh escapes my lips. What happened to the adventures that were supposed to come with adulthood? All of that fantasizing about doing whatever I wanted turned into daily work shifts and the monotony of running a household. All of those dreams of traveling the world became a reality of washing dishes and folding laundry. Am I really destined to do the same things every day?
Locking The Door
The anxiety courses through my body as I gently shut the door behind me. "Control yourself." I whisper, my hands coming up to cradle my head. "Don't have an attack over this. She's just a child, she doesn't understand. It will be okay, you'll have a better day today. You'll see." I close my eyes, clinging to those words. It's only 8 AM and my husband hardly left ten minutes ago to go donate plasma then head to his full time job. He won't be home until about 7:30 this evening. Since I'm the one off work today, the children are under my care and I'm on my own.
Life Is Not Over
Some days I just want to give up. I want to say "Screw it, I don't care anymore." I'll wake up to my morning alarm, press the snooze button, roll over and pretend nothing matters, that I have no responsibilities, that there are no children who rely on me, no job I need to go to, no apartment that requires cleaning. I'll put every effort into forgetting about the dishes in the sink that need to be washed or the basket of clean clothes that need to be folded. I'll imagine I'm just an empty shell taking up space in this vast universe.
Life Is Not Over
"...And you're how old?" If there's one question I've heard more than any other, it's that one. For as long as I can remember, I have been a nerdy person. My love for books formed as soon as I was taught to read and my interest in anime and videogames developed as soon as I was introduced to them at the tender age of 11. Every spare moment I had as a child went into these three categories. Well, when I could get my hands on them, at least.