After high school, I stayed at home for a short period of time. I took a break; enjoyed some free time to myself. I still exercised daily, and read books. I was already feeling more confident now that I was out of school.
Then, I told my mom I’m moving out. I want to get out on my own. I don’t want the house passed down to me. I want to grow up. I failed my dad’s expectations by doing poorly in high school, despite picking up on material quite well. Not only that – I’m moving into a dinky little house with two other roommates I found online, in order to be able to pay rent – hopefully with that time we will all build substantial career paths and part ways.
“What!?” my mother screamed. “You’re moving in with two people you’ve never met before!? Are you crazy!?”
“People you know can be just as dangerous as people you don’t know,” I argued.
“They better both be girls, young lady.”
“They are, they are!” I stressed. Well, I feel really bad lying. But like she would ever find out. I originally intended two girls, of course. But I could only find one. The other one is a guy. Sorry.
Besides, there’s two rooms. So, one is for the boy and the other is for me and the girl. It’s not that bad.
I packed all of my things in two suitcases and was ready to leave my neighborhood, but I was still going to be in Willow Creek.
Mom and dad stood outside with me the next week and waited with me for the taxi. Mom came home from work just in time and Dad was giving me all the advice he could about living with roommates. Latisha came running outside. “Lisha!!”
I gave Latisha a big hug. “I won’t be gone forever, Tee.”
“I promise I will,” I assured her.
Latisha looked back up at me with a disappointed expression — as though it weren’t enough. I held back tears and the intense pain forming in my throat. I knew she was starting to have some elevating social troubles too now in high school and that maybe for her, it wouldn’t be the best time for me to leave. “Please,” she insisted.
“I promise,” I said as strongly as I could.
I waved, and I left. “Goodbye everyone!!”
In the taxi, I looked for the pink roof. The driver clearly knew where we were going anyway, but I wanted so badly to see it! It wasn’t a long drive at all. I arrived in a poorer neighborhood, and was stopped in front of a small, two-story home.
I was not on time; I was early. That was a habit my dad had, that I definitely picked up on. The man renting out the house was already sitting on the porch. He smiled broadly and put his arms out, welcoming me. “Hello!” he said with an accent, “You are Alisha or Aaliyah?”
“Alisha,” I responded.
“Welcome.” He gave me a quick tour of the house. It’s more space-y than the house looks from outside. The living room space was empty of course, for now, but it looked like it had plenty of room.
There are two bedrooms upstairs, one room which was really nice and had one of the tiny balconies; the other, plain-looking like the rest of the house. The other balcony is entered through the hallway.
“Wow! The bathroom is so beautiful!” I was genuinely shocked. He showed it to me last, on the way out. It was gorgeous and colorful, unlike the rest of the house. You walked in and instantly thought “bright” after being everywhere else for so long. The yellow-green and white theme looked good with the contrast of some red in the cute mat by the bathtub. Even the ceiling light matched. (Why is there a ceiling light in the bathroom?)
“Ah yes, this is our most recent renovation. I’m glad you like it.” He pretended to check his watch just then. “I must go now. Call me if you have any problems with your roommates. Otherwise, in six months it’s officially yours until the contract expires!”
“Yes, thank you,” I said politely. We shook hands and he left.
Gosh, I thought. Maybe I shouldn’t have left my journal at home… maybe I should have taken it with me… Until it was gone, I didn’t realize how much my personal journal was a comfort factor for me. I almost felt naked without it. It’s the very thing which, along with my natural linguistic ability, made me realize how much I like to question life and record thoughts and feelings. It’s the very thing that led me to want to pursue a journalist career to begin with.
I always knew I had a problem. Ever since I was little, I always felt recluse from the world around me. It’s not that I have a social problem. I like being around people. I just always felt like there was something abnormal about me. I never feel like I’m on the “inside” of life. And now I think of the journal that’s hidden under the opening of carpet I cut out slightly in the corner of my old room and how lonely I feel without it.
I sighed, and plopped on the single blue couch in the living room to wait nervously for my roommates to arrive.