Hitting the road

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Everybody has those days right.
The ones where you wish more than anything that you had at least a few more hours crammed into that single day so there was a small chance of fitting everything in.
Well that is what I am experiencing at this precise moment in time.

I glanced down slightly overwhelmed at my pale pastel  pink suitcase, the inner belongings spilling out of the sides ,as it balances on the corner of my cluttered bed.
Did I really own this many things ?I questioned to myself slightly concerned.
After all how many things had I managed to collect throughout my adolescence?
I came to the the conclusion that my mom had secretly stashed half of her junk in there without me noticing.

The cardboard boxes stacked like jenga blocks around the room, labelled with thick black sharpie saying things like "books" ,"photos" and "trophies" made the idea of moving suddenly seem less exciting than I had previously pictured.
I'm kidding about the trophies, I've never won anything.Safe to say I was that kid who received plenty of "participation" awards.

The early morning rays of the September sun leaked into the room and painted my floorboards, making them appear not so old and worn.My window was like a picture frame.And the portrait it displayed was the familiar view of the neighbourhood that I had called home for the last twelve years since I moved here.
Middleton Wisconsin.
I don't know what made my parents decide to move to here but whatever sparked the idea,
I was glad of it, despite the cold weather during winter.Middleton wasn't exactly a very well known city,not like New York or Los Angeles, and I doubt was on many people's bucket lists to visit.But it was home.

I had hopes of attending a university close to home , ten minutes without traffic to be exact , which lead to my application to the university of Wisconsin-Madison.And somehow ,I was miraculously accepted.Of course mom was overjoyed about this since she would feel pretty lonely with me gone and liked having me close by , but I attempted to convince her it was the perfect time for her to start dating again.No more excuses now.

I drift towards the opposite side of the room as an old family photo , perched on my vanity next to my truly ruined makeup bag , catches my eye.
I was at the innocent,clueless age of two when this was taken, on Mother's Day.Everything seemed so content and care free back then , but little did I know that the constant shouting and on going arguments that proceeded for hours on end between my parents ; weren't just disagreements and they also weren't just going to "go away". My hair is styled in two pigtails , with rainbow ribbons tying them up, and I'm wearing a pastel pink dress with butterflies all over it , which at the time was my favourite .I'm in my moms arms as my dad wraps his around her waist and we are all smiling.We all look happy.Unbelievably happy.Ironic right.

"Emma!" Mom yelled up the stairs.Her voice echoing throughout the whole home.Bouncing off of the walls.
"Yes!"I replied while folding up a pair of Mickey Mouse pyjamas.
"Are you nearly finished, you're taking forever ?!".
I stared at the few remaining belongings left on my nightstand and impatiently groaned,
"I'll be a few more minutes".

If I'm honest I needed a few more hours.

Finally , when I had packed everything that I possibly could I stared at my empty,bare room.
The walls ,finally free to breath ,as I pealed away the mass of posters and photos that were plastered on it.
Most may I add , were old polaroids of my ex boyfriend Daniel and I which should have been thrown out months ago.
The room felt like it belonged to a total stranger, there was the no evidence that I had inhabited it for 12 years at all .
Not a single trace.

It felt surreal to be leaving but it was really happening.
I had pinched myself on numerous occasions to check.
I had only ever shared a home with my parents so the thought of having a roommate made me wonder , Would she want to borrow some of my outfits ? Do we have to stay up late talking about boys?

I impatiently raced downstairs into the bustling kitchen where my mom making us lunch before we headed out.
"You okay Pops?"she asked , raising an eyebrow and offering me a warming heartfelt smile while slicing up a tomato.Pops wasn't my name of course ,it was Emma, Pops is nothing like Emma it's just something she called me once , and I suppose  it stuck.
" yeah I'm fine" I murmur , so quiet it's almost in audible , whilst staring down at my phone and taking a seat at the kitchen island.
"Emma you've been my daughter for 18 years I know when something's up".
I sigh.
"It just feels weird to be leaving that's all"I explain to her, shrugging my shoulders.
"Emma your going to have tons of fun at University and if you don't you can always come home" she says rubbing my hand, tucking a stray strand of my chestnut hair behind my right ear.
"Thanks mom " I say and I blow a kiss in return.
"Now we need to get on our way okay,the journey should only take ten minutes so hopefully we can miss the traffic".

When we eventually get on the road it seems there is a lack of traffic so mom and I decide to stop after hearing my stomach uproar in hunger.
Thus a Starbucks break begins.
"How's it going with Daniel?" My mom asks sympathetically as we sit down in a booth , opposite one another.My mom sipping her skinny latte and me devouring a chocolate muffin.
I stare aimlessly out of the window. Watching each car as it races past , disappearing from view in seconds.

Daniel is my Ex-boyfriend who dumped me for my Ex -best friend Rebecca. I know, I'm full of luck .Apparently it had been going on for weeks behind my back but neither of them had the guts to tell me .After it happened about 6 months ago I never really talk about him anymore, and mom says that's fine.He's just a jerk face.

"I haven't spoken to him since the breakup" I admit stirring my latte with a straw trying to end the conversation.
"That's fine," my mom says "what he did was wrong".
"Yeah" I nod in agreement, bluntly.
"Shame about Rebecca,"says mom shaking her hair and tutting to herself "such a nice girl".
"Yeah well I couldn't trust her anymore knowing that she was slobbering all over my boyfriend behind my back "I moan slumping down in the booth in annoyance.
"Emma I don't think that's how it happened ".
"Mom that's what happened," I say placing my hands down on the table creating a loud rattling sound "He cheated she lied and now I don't have a boyfriend or a best friend !"

It's silence as we finish our drinks and muffins.Not exactly how I pictured my last day with mom to go.
As we slowly walk back to the car through the blazing hot parking lot, the bright blistering sunlight stroking my cheek with its warm rays. I look over at mom who looks uncomfortable and seemingly hurt ,so when we are inside the vehicle I apologise.
"Mom I'm sorry for snapping earlier ".
"It's fine,"she says smiling at me"it's just a bit emotional for you to talk about that's all I understand ".
I nod and she quickly turns the key in the ignition , the engine growls as we reverse away and start driving again .

We pass my favourite restaurant of all time "Lalo's Mexican" and Spring Harbor Park as we sped down the road ,and I start thinking .
I wonder what it will be like living without my mom, know one to talk to when I'm worried about something, my room won't be nearly as neat and tidy and know one will help me cheer myself up after watching The Fault In Our Stars. But I guess like mom said she's only a phone call away.
Suddenly the car jolts to a halt, catching me off guard and snapping me out of my day dream.
"Here we are" mom says smiling so much I'm worried her face will start aching.
Wow, University of Wisconsin-Madison here I come.

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