Not Today, Baby | Teen Ink

Not Today, Baby

May 3, 2017
By Akayes1494 BRONZE, Royal Oak, Michigan
Akayes1494 BRONZE, Royal Oak, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You have two lives. The second one begins when you realize you only have one." -Confucius

Seven. I was only seven years old. The future was so far away and because it was October, my most distant plan was my birthday party at the end of November. We were at grandma’s house. At our house we didn't have a piano, so at grandma's house, that's where I stayed. I sat in front of the black and white keys: the combination of notes were endless but I focused on Fur Elise; E, D#, E, D#. The vibrations from the simple sound made the blue flowers on the vase atop the piano dance, reminding me to play softer. The smell of pot roast was coming in from the kitchen. That was mom's comfort food. My legs hung from the piano bench, my toes barely brushing the soft, cream carpet. I was comfortable.

Footsteps from down the hall grew louder. The grandfather clock in the foyer rattled with each step. Grandma’s delicate, manicured hand fell to my shoulder.

“Will you join your mother and me in the living room?” she asked. “We would like to talk to you.”

My heart dropped. I had no way of preparing myself for bad news. It was the voice an officer would use to tell you someone had died. My innocent mind raced, trying to figure what the worst thing they could say was. At the time, it would've been my birthday party being cancelled.

I walked with her to the couch. I sat in between mom and grandma. Mom had been crying, her red eyes gave it away. She held my hand in both of hers.

“I took mommy to the doctor,” she began. “She had a bump on her breast. The doctor told us she had cancer.”
Tears swelled up in her eyes. Her mouth opened but no words came out because she knew if she tried, it would only come out as sobbing. Her lip quivered so she bit down on it, distracting herself from pain with pain.
“Mommy will be very sick for awhile. We will do everything we can to make her better.” she said with her strong voice.

“Everything?” I asked.

“Everything. I will spend all of the money in the world if that what it takes.”

All of the money in the world. I thought to myself. For all of the almost eight years I had spent of the earth, there was no pain that money couldn't fix.

We sat there for a moment as mom wept and grandma attempted not to.

The word “cancer” was not very familiar to me. Sure, I’d seen it in movies. But movies never show funerals or motherless children. They show what people want to see; miracles.

“So, you're going to die?” I asked, confused and unable to wrap my head around the future.

Grandma was crying now. Small rivers of tinted tears navigated down her face. I turned back to mom.

“Not today baby, not today.” She responded in her exhales, for her inhales had the sole purpose of flooding her lungs with oxygen.

Not sure what to say next, I got up and went back to the piano. Mom followed me.

“I am going to try my hardest to make it to your high school graduation.”

I did the math in my head. 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade. That was only ten school years away. Nine and a half to be exact.

Suddenly, the future was a short ten years. It would be a twisted countdown. Ten years to be the best daughter, to make mommy proud, and to take care of her. Ten years to grow up. Ten years to learn how to be a good woman. Ten years that would expose the pain and heartbreak of the world before I was ready. Ten years left with my first love.

As I entered my junior year in high school, my idea of the future became the SAT and and college visits. The world grew closer and louder but three days before the first day of school, that all came crumbling down. The walls caved in around me. It wasn't her time yet. I wasn't ready to say goodbye, not that day. I was angry. I felt so unprepared for everything I’d been preparing for. Mommy left too soon but in the moments I’m alone, surrounded by the ruin and defeat of the walls that I spent a lifetime building, so tired from the pain, I remind myself of all of the days she did come home from the hospital. All of the days she didn't give up. “Not today”, she’d say. Today will not be the day.

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This article has 25 comments.

on Oct. 11 2017 at 11:22 am
WritingAddict03 SILVER, Saint Peters , Missouri
5 articles 0 photos 67 comments

Favorite Quote:
Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. - Albert Einstein

I'm so sorry for the loss of your mom! I can't even imagine going through something like that; I hope that you found a little bit of comfort in writing it down. Your writing is beautiful, and I wouldn't change anything you did.

on May. 23 2017 at 10:32 pm
Beautiful and very loving words. Deep
Love that is felt by all who read this.
Your mommy is so proud of you.

mamaTina said...
on May. 12 2017 at 7:07 am
My first thought was, this was only a short summary of the book you are about to publish! Your mom is very proud of you, I'm sure of it!!

Jody said...
on May. 11 2017 at 9:19 pm
Beautifully written! ❤️

Sampaguita said...
on May. 10 2017 at 9:58 am
Love your poem.

Purplecat said...
on May. 10 2017 at 9:47 am
You are very talented young girl. Continue your passion in writing beautiful poem. You inherited your Aunt Luba's genes as a writer .

Rach said...
on May. 9 2017 at 12:43 pm
As always, and again you made your mommy proud! Your words provoked so many emotions. Your mom loves you so much and has always been proud of you!

Tyko said...
on May. 9 2017 at 12:27 pm
Impressive narration of events. You did it beautifully. Outstanding! RIP Mom.

Keena said...
on May. 9 2017 at 11:24 am
You are wise and mature way beyond your age. And you have a wonderful talent that allows you to go deep in your soul, and express what is there. Please keep writing. as it is beautiful.

Victoria said...
on May. 8 2017 at 7:26 pm
I can relate to the soulful story. With all the feelings that was placed in the short story beautifully with it's raw feelings. My Mom had the same condition. I love the way you wrote your story. Keep on writing.

Kreiner said...
on May. 8 2017 at 2:08 pm
Sweetie, your mom was so proud of you. I know she is looking down on you watching how you are becoming a wonderful, talented young lady. We are here for you if you ever need something.

Neta1971 said...
on May. 8 2017 at 1:34 pm
Good Bless you , you made me cry , your mom is in Heaven watching over you and your have a amazing grandma that will always be there for you

Westbeverley said...
on May. 8 2017 at 1:19 pm
I read this and tears filled my eyes, so beautiful. I wanted to say that I'm so sorry for your loss, sorry beyond words. I went to high school with your mother and thought she was really cool and very sweet. You are in my prayers.

Jdiaz said...
on May. 8 2017 at 1:18 pm
Very sad. More sad since it was written for her.

archjc said...
on May. 7 2017 at 1:06 pm
A simple narrative style but expresses deep emotion, thoughts and feelings. Keep up the good work.

Ellam3i said...
on May. 7 2017 at 11:09 am
The innocence and vulnerability the author incorporated into this piece is truly heartbreaking, yet empowering. The imagery the author utilized makes one feel as if they are the writer who's experiencing all of this.

Ktbanks said...
on May. 7 2017 at 9:34 am
What a beautiful tribute to such a difficult experience. Very impressed with your ability to express. Thank you for sharing this.

Deedee said...
on May. 7 2017 at 9:19 am
Thank your for sharing this life experience with everyone. You are a gifted writer, plz continue sharing your gift with everyone.

MyBoo said...
on May. 7 2017 at 3:17 am
Great talent! I am your fan!

LsaPR said...
on May. 7 2017 at 12:05 am
gutwrenchingly beautiful. writing always helped me during times of darkness. i hope that you will find some solace in it as well ❤