“Mujahid, if you believe you are so damn grown, then leave my damn house.”
Amazing, to think even now, these words shot out from the mouth of my mother. A woman whom I assumed would always be my caregiver, supporter, and provider. The cold tears rushed down my burning face, staring into my mother’s eyes wondering how things escalated to this point. I turn my head to the side, feeling the scratch she had previously made on my neck; I noticed the blood that had dripped from my shoulder onto my fresh white under shirt.
“Mother, please. I simply wish to talk. I did not mean for any of this. I feel like…”
“No, Mujahid. I do not wish to talk, please leave my house!!”
I noticed her trying to let get loose of me hugging onto her, begging and crying for her understanding. To my mother, holding on was a sign of defiance, and she took holding on as me fighting her. It was not until she hastily walked to the knife drawer I knew I should leave. As I darted out the house, the breeze went through the torn holes in my bloody shirt and down my spine, and my feet sent a sting through my body with every rock, stick, and dead leaf I stepped on as I ran barefoot through countless backyards. Eventually I reached my old neighborhood friend who appeared to not be home, and I struggled as every muscle was too weak to lift my body over the fence. Sitting on the dead grass, I realized that I had run away.
I sat in the backyard feeling homeless. I did not have a phone, debit card, pants, socks, food, but simply the torn white t-shirt I wore when I left, and my underwear. The questions began to pile, should I run away and leave my family unaware of my location? Would anyone miss me? Would anyone forget me if I… just disappeared? I prayed. I bounced questions around in my head asking for the way to go.
“God, is there a reason you have placed me in this situation? Do you want me to just leave my old life to enter a new one, or was this so I can take the hardship from others. Please let me know, give me a sign to stay or go.”
Instantaneously, I heard my friend’s car pull into the driveway, I quickly realized that I needed to leave. I stood as I wiped off all the dirt from the ground and the tears from my eyes, and attempted to rid of the dried up blood stained on the shirt. I lifted myself over the fence once more, waiting for friend’s family to enter the house before jumping to avoid being caught. I walked on the cold curb feeling embarrassed. As cars drove by the parent’s kids stared in wonder why I looked as if I survived a kidnapping. As I paused before my street, I noticed my mother, my caregiver, sitting on the porch, face cemented into her hands. She slowly lifted her gaze to me. She saw the young boy whom she adored, and I smiled back realizing that the incident was for no reason. I still loved my mother, and she still loved me, I felt my body begin to tingle once more. Except only this time, it was for tears of joy. the sun warmed my back as I strolled down the sidewalk looking into my mother’s eyes. I felt complete happiness, it felt great to be home.
– Malik Twyman, The Haverford School, Class of 2017