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Tracy. It's a fairly popular name. They're probably at least thousands of people who go by it. There's nothing extraordinary or incredibly unique about the name Tracy but it's still special to me because it one of the only constant things that will forever remind me of my dearest mother.

Tracy Kyra Cole. That's what it says on my birth certificate. According to my mom, she knew that I was a Tracy the moment her warm eyes gazed into my big brown innocent ones. She says it immediately clicked with my personality. She could tell from my eyes that I was meant to be a Tracy. She was just that eccentric.

That made me feel special in a way. Even though I had a perfectly ordinary name I still felt it was special just because my mother gave it to me. That is how much I adored that woman.

I'll admit that I was one of those people who would comfort a friend who'd lost a loved one with words like "it will all get better" or "the pain will fade away with time" but now that I was on the receiving end of all this I realized that I'd been feeding people utter rubbish. It was not as easy as it seemed. Talk was definitely cheap.

The gravity of grief only affects someone when they experience it first hand. It is not something that can be simply shared through association and assimilation. For you to know how it feels to lose someone forever you have to experience the pain first hand. It's heart-wrenching like someone is pilling hot coals on your heart. The more you cry the heavier your heart feels as reality sinks in and if you try to hold back the tears they pile up and eventually forcefully rip out of your heart. The pain is inevitable, and it's a really difficult thing to explain. You have to feel it to know it. Even just once.

Eventually, the pain proved to be too much for my father so he decided that we should move.

That is why I am up at 5 am in the morning taping up the last of my boxes. My dad thinks it will be good for us as a family, so it can be easier to get over mom's death. So we are moving. And not just to a new neighbourhood or state, no we're moving to a whole different continent.

Africa. That's where we're headed. To a small country in Southern Africa called Botswana. They've got a total population of about 2.2 million people that's about 25% of the total population of the people living in New York City. Which is where I live. Or used to live.

This means it's going to be way harder to go completely unnoticed there. It's not going to be easy trying to live in the shadows anymore, daydreaming when I can.

Thinking about it makes me sigh as I carry my last box which contains my small sneaker collection to the door where most of my stuff is piled up. I've never had it easy when it came to making friends. I was always kinda awkward around new people. They made me nervous and self-conscious. They made me doubt the words of encouragement my mother always fed me on a daily basis. I guess I'll have to start over now. Just that she won't be around to guide me through it this time.

My younger brother Chris, on the other hand, is absolutely ecstatic. He just loves the prospect of living in a totally different environment. It's a different case altogether for my older brother Trent. He feels like dad is ruining his life. I bet it's because of mom though, he was quite close to her, leaving would be like abandoning all memories of her. I don't blame him at all.

"Tracy! Bring your boxes downstairs. The moving truck is here." Chris shouts from downstairs.

I roll my eyes. Does he really expect me to pull down all these boxes on my own?

"But they're so heavy!" I shout back.

"Girl, you're a grown woman, pull up your big girl pants." he replies.

I pick up the box which has my sneakers and head downstairs. If all goes well that's the only box I'm picking up today. I'm not breaking my back with boxes when I've got two brothers to help me. God forbid.

"Come on Chris I just turned 18, I'm barely a woman." I say to him once I get downstairs.

Our living room looks really empty now. The white walls are bare and most of the furniture is already loaded into the truck. They're going to go to Botswana via ship. They'll probably arrive after two weeks or so.

"And I'm 15 which shows how much older you are. Besides, I haven't brought down all my stuff yet. Why don't you ask Trent to help you?"

I release a frustrated breath. Trent hasn't been the easiest to talk to recently.

"You know how he is these days." 

"He'll come around Trace." Chris says while going back upstairs.

I follow him upstairs and make my way to Trent's room. His door is wide open so there's no need to knock.

He's lying on the wooden floor of his bedroom holding an old photo of mom. In the picture, she is smiling, without a care in the world. A  tear trails down from his eye to the side of his face. At this a knot forms in my stomach and the familiar feeling of grief gnaws in my gut, so I clear my throat to get his attention.

"Umm..Hey Trent." I say.

Trent quickly sits up and wipes off the tear with his backhand. He then fixes his eyes on me.

"Uhh...Trent can you please help me with my boxes?" I ask quietly.

"Sure," he replies shortly.

"Seriously... I didn't have to bribe you or anything?" I say in an effort to lighten up the mood.

"I'm not really in the mood Tracy," he replies.

"Okay, " I reply while looking down at my hands.

"Let me go help you with those boxes," he replies.

"Thanks T."

He grunts back an inaudible reply as he gets up and makes his way to my room.

It takes him a couple of minutes to get all my boxes into the truck since he has to make several trips to get out the many boxes.  When he finally takes down the last box I am left in my empty bedroom. The bare beige plain walls mourn in their nakedness, and only then does reality hit me. I am actually leaving, for good. I'll probably never see this place ever again. At this thought I can't help but feel a tinge of resentment towards my father. Why is he so desperate to let everything go? Why does he have to wrench me out of my life? Why does he so desperately want to get rid of anything that reminds him of mom? Why? Why? Why?

Why does the end always have to be so painful? Why does it always have to make me feel so helpless?

"Tracy!The Uber is here! We need to leave for the airport!" my dad shouts.

I look around my room one last time, hopefully, this last quick 360° sweep will help me absorb the remaining remnants of my childhood, the remaining memories, hopefully. I take in a deep breathe and quickly exhale.

"Coming dad." I shout back thereafter.

I  then walk out of my room and gently shut the door, and run downstairs to the car.  On my way outside I pass through the hollow shell of my childhood home. The thud of my sneakers echoes across the empty halls as I make my way to the front door. Everybody is already waiting for me in the car. Before I close the main door I make sure to take one last good look at the house. I'm gonna miss this place.

Authors Note

Well here's chapter 1. So sorry its late. I've been really busy lately. Please tell me what you guys think. Vote and comment too please!

The lovely mood board was made by @lavencraw 

From -TheCandyClique

A special thank you to them for this beautiful aesthetic 💖

See you in Chapter 2.



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