"Today is the day, the day that a new chapter in my life begins." I really wish I wouldn't have said that. It was the day I was to leave for college, the day I was to finally go to my dream university. It was the day I was going to go from Imirial Parker, high school student to Imirial Parker Harvard Attendee. I smiled as I packed everything in my father's truck. Each bag brought me closer to the time of saying goodbye to everyone I loved. It was a long trip to Harvard and I had a lot to organize. I guess I took after my father more than I thought, and I guess that was about to be my biggest downfall. I have always been quiet, organized, studious, and polite, everything the perfect daughter is supposed to be. I was always my mother's daughter and the perfect everything to her. Perfect daughter that got perfect grades, perfect soccer player and captain of the squad, perfect artist winning regional competitions and of course I was the perfect hostess and helped her plan her get togethers. My father on the other hand, the only thing he cared about was that we didn't ruin his routine or reorganize anything. If I thought I got the best of both worlds I couldn't have been more wrong. My father was always distant, not just from me but from the whole family.
"Imiri I am going to miss you so much. Oh baby girl what am I going to do without you? Call me everyday and let me know how things are going, and it you aren't able to call send me an email. I love you so much, take care of yourself alright, don't overwork yourself."
I smiled at my mother, she was always smiling and you couldn't help but to be happy. She was like a beam of light that balanced my father's darkness. She hugged me tight like she was trying to squeeze the air from my body and then moved to let my little brothers through. Unlike most sibblings that don't get along my twin brothers and I had no such problems. They worked just as hard as me, but they also knew how to have fun. They both engulfed me in a hug, a hug that made me want to stay.
When I could speak I pulled back from them and smiled. "Come on now, don't do that. You know I am going to be home for Christmas so don't treat it like I'm never coming home. Conner make sure you take care of Collin, and Collin you do the same for Conner. I am going to miss you two so much. Make sure you keep me updated on how your season goes, I can't believe that you are both starting on the football team. I guess all that extra practice really did pay off." I hugged them both again and smiled as the tears started to form in my eyes. "I love you guys and you have my number so don't become strangers."
They playfully pushed me towards the truck and nodded. Dad was already in the truck and was ready to go. I knew his patience was only going to last so long so I looked back at my family one more time before getting into the truck. As soon as I closed the door my father took off, I sighed deep and took my zune out of my purse to see a note on it.
I know you told us not to ever touch this, but we added some songs that we thought you would like. We will miss you so much while you are gone, but always remember that we love you and just as you are always there for us we will always be there for you. Stay safe Imiri and call us when you get to school.
Love you Always
Collin and Conner
I felt the tears stream from my eyes, but kept my tears silent. There was one thing my father hated more than being disorganized, that was emotion. How he survived with my mother for so long had me shocked but he seemed to be just a decoration around my animated family. The silence in the truck was deafening and I couldn't stand it anymore. I put my earbuds in and listened to the mix my brothers came up with. At some point I fell asleep and I guess that is the point where things started to go wrong. I was abruptly woken by my father as he pulled into a restaurant. I pulled the earbuds out and put my zune back in my purse. Part of me still wondered why I didn't drive myself up to Harvard, but then I remember what it was like without a vehicle and my brothers would need mine since their schedules were so different.
I opened the door to the truck and stretched before walking into the diner. My father's phone rang and he quickly answered it speaking a language I had never heard him speak before. The conversation wasn't long but I was still confused, this was the first time I had ever actually paid attention to something my father did. If he wasn't scolding me about being organized we usually ignored each other. This was the first time I had ever seen an emotion on his face let alone such disquiet.
"Dad is everything alright?" He looked at me then and I felt really small. I have never really asked him anything other than "Dad is my homework correct?" so this was new territory. The look on his face made me really wonder if I had overstepped my bounds. It wouldn't be the first time and probably not the last, but normally I wouldn't even dream about asking my father something personal.
He opened his mouth to speak and then closed it a few times before forming words. "Yes, things are fine, just a crinkle in a business deal, now let's order so we can go." At that one comment I decided to cease all conversation attempts and just go about my life. Apparently he wasn't interested in learning and I wasn't in sharing, well not with him anyway.
I think that eating in silence has to be the most awkward thing ever, yet it didn't seem to bother my father any. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't end up with a father that actually gave a shit and did things with us, but then I look at my mother and I am glad that I got to spend everyday with her and learn so much. Soon enough our meal was done and we headed back out to the truck and got back on the road. I immediately placed the earbuds back in my ears and kept listening to the music. I could faintly hear my father's phone ring, but I still enjoyed the music more than listen in on the conversation to quench my curiosity. I think if I knew then what I know now I would have listened in, maybe I wouldn't be in the situation I am in and I would be where I want to be in life.
Hours passed and I slept on and off. The times I wasn't asleep I was barely aware of my surroundings as I was writing in my journal of all of the things I wanted to look up when I got to school. My mother had always encouraged me to follow my own path in life and that path led me to a whole new religion and a different path. I was raised to be catholic, but to be honest it didn't truly fit my personality, I had never been an uptight person. I chose to walk the path of traditional witchcraft and herbal medicine, Harvard was a step along the way. Harvard was one of the best business schools in the country and I wanted to make sure that I could have my business and after Harvard would be a college for natural medicine. I guess since I wasn't following into the import/export business my father didn't find me important enough.
I think it was on the second day of travel that I noticed that we weren't where we were supposed to be, even I wasn't so turned around that I didn't notice that we were in a desert. I finally looked over at my father and the look on his face showed he was miles away, well at least his brain was. "Dad, where are we going, Harvard is in the other direction."
He started to mumble things as he drove. It was almost like he couldn't hear me but he mumbled the same thing over and over. "I can't, I won't, they can't have her, but I have to. They won't forgive me, I shouldn't do this, she is my daughter." Those were the last words I heard before my world went dark.