Elevator Music

Chapter One: My Arrival

After your parents are divorced for several years, you just get used to traveling back and forth between parents. So when it was announced that I was to go with my dad for a few months, I wasn’t very shocked. I was just a little upset that I had to go during my junior year of high school. Sure, junior year is not one of the most important years of high school (even though it was the first year you can go to the prom), but it was still the third year. Why couldn’t I just finish out high school and live with one of my friends? I just didn’t want to go. Most of the time, you end up going to the other parent’s house on the weekends or vacation whereas I am going for six months. I would have to go to a new school in New York. Thankfully, it’s the end of sophomore year and three of my six to nine months will be school free. That was the second thing my mom said to me when she dropped the bomb.

She broke the news as she poured her coffee and I munched on some Cheerios at the kitchen counter. Her bangles on her thin wrist clanged together, so at first I didn’t think that I heard her correctly once she casually says, “So, you’re going with your dad for six months.”

I made her repeat this at least three times before it sank in and I knew what would really happen. Six months to my mother could be a year, maybe even more. She’ll go meet her friends for some drinks and says she’ll be gone for an hour, but then she’ll come home five hours later with a bunch of drunken friends. So when she said I could be there for months, I understood that she was really meaning I would be there for possibly years.

She had gotten a new hobby a few weeks ago. This time she was going to get spiritual—like meditate for hours, burn thousands of incense sticks, and balance out her chakras. My mother flips through hobbies like she is flipping through a catalogue.They never stick (no matter how much she constantly says that it will) and she’ll move straight on to a new one. This spiritual lifestyle that she recently adopted was because a friend’s boyfriend’s sister was telling everyone about her spiritual guru in India and how she changed her life. My mom started studying (more like reading a summary about the guru on Wikipedia) and decided to follow the guru’s practices. I had no idea what it was, nor was I interested in finding out.

“I’m going to an ashram in India,” My mother explained to me with a smile. “It’s a place where you go and meditate and pray and heal.”

I knew what an Ashram was; it was a spiritual retreat and learning place. I also knew that she would hate it after a day or two of being there. It was in a secluded area of India. It will be hot, there will be serious/mature adults there, there won’t be alcohol, and she can’t constantly update her Twitter.

“Why?” I asked as I swallowed down the Cheerios that wanted to come back up.

“I’m going because I want to go learn with my guru!” My mom smiled at me like I had asked her something silly, like “Mommy, why does the sky get dark at night?”

“Are you sure?” I set my cereal down and looked at her seriously. “I just…” I didn’t know how to word this. “I don’t think that…” I couldn’t even finish my sentence.

“It’ll be fine. Look,” she walked over and opened the closet door. “I bought you a new luggage set to take with you.” She smiled and pulled out a few polka dotted suit cases.

I’m staring at her with a look I hope projected “Buying me luggage does not make anything fine!” but my mouth just said, “Whatever.” I walked off to my room. A few days later, I was in New York. With my dad.

On the cab ride from the airport to his apartment was dreadful. The taxi driver was being nice and talking to me, clearly being able to tell that I was petrified.

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