the short story project


Melina Quintana

The Conflict

All throughout my life, I have trouble with remembering the good that has happened. My mind doesn’t allow me to remember the good because the bad is stronger. There’s one memory that sticks out the most. I was around the age of 13 and it was warm outside. If I close my eyes I can remember the way the sun  felt against my skin. The way the wind blew through my hair. My mom and her boyfriend Diego, along with his kids, were in the backyard talking and laughing with each other. Before this moment, I started to notice little things about my mom. She was beautiful and she was smart. But she had a habit of drawing attention from men who she thought she needed. The first was Kenneth. He was a tall guy who had 3 kids who were older than me. He was nice but he had problems with theft. He was influencing my mom to make bad choices and she listened. She had a heart of gold, but she was tempted. So she fell. Then the next was Diego. He also had kids. Two boys that were like their dad. Diego was a weird guy who had a temper he only showed my mom. Around us, he played nice and wore purple. He seemed like a good guy but his true colors were shown. He pursued my mom to drink and that was never a pretty sight. When that didn’t last, my mom moved on to the last. His name was Will. He had 2 girls who were my age. They were kids who didn’t live with their dad all that much. Now Will, he was nicer than the rest. He was only one who influenced her in the right way.

All these men had influenced her and changed her. I’ve always had a temper and I’ve never had the ability to keep my mouth shut. When everyone was talking on that sunny day, I brought the topic of how she didn’t care for us. I wasn’t the only one to notice that my mom had changed.  My mom stood up from her chair and started to yell about how she hasn’t changed. Then I got angry. I stood up and said, “You care more about these boyfriends than your own daughters! You have daughters who love you but you’re too selfish to see that!” At this point I was directly in her face, glaring at her. I remember feeling betrayal at how she acted. It seemed that at that point, she didn’t like that I was telling her the truth. The next thing I knew, she had slapped me. I was silenced into shock. The stinging of my cheek was the only thing that I was aware of. I started to cry and I ran to my room. I slammed the door so hard, it shook on its hinges. I was in hysterics and crying so badly I could barely breathe. My breath was coming out rapidly, blowing my hair. My head was in between my hands when I heard loud knocking on my door.

After this, my mom and I never got along. I was angry, while she was in denial. She knew that Diego was making her drink and influencing her to become dependent on men. She r A few months before she was diagnosed with cancer, she started to change while she was with Will. She stopped smoking and drinking. She took long walks around Centennial Park, while my dad was watching us girls. She spent more time with us, and put her daughters first. She never got a chance to fully become the person she wanted to be, but I will always remember that she tried.


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