Mother Still Love’s
By. Aglaheth Zaragoza
It is extremely hard to live in the streets, but even harder when you are a single mother with a toddler of the age of three. Every morning since I was kicked out of my home by my child’s father, I have woken up at the break of dawn to scavenge for the freshest thrown food possible for my baby boy Roma. Normally the bakery on Blaker street give me warm bread and milk for my boy to eat. The street isn’t an ideal place to raise a child. After I find breakfast we normally head to the lake or the park and go back to sleep, Roma needs it. The schools have started enrolling, I want to get him in but with my dress appearance, we don’t even get close. The rainy days are the worst for us, it’s harder to find shelter, but we go into the library. It’s always warm in there. Sometimes we are walking on the streets, and we get stared at, I act like I don’t notice, but it hurts inside when people judge me, and call me a poor character of a mother, because of how hungry Roma looks and how he is dressed.
After I find us lunch Roma always wants to go to the park, he likes the water fountain, and swing set, but I have other plans for today. Just recently I saw boxes full of clothes, if we are lucky then maybe some are still there. Winter is here and I need to be prepared, I have to keep Roma warm.
“Roma, sweetie?” His big brown eyes look at me with so much warmth, that I feel a pull in my heart and feel a terrible sadness for our situation.
“Hm?” Roma knew how to talk really well for his age, it’s a shame that his skills will go to waste. I truly wish I could change that.
“We aren’t going to the park today honey.” His eyes slowly began to water.
“B-but why?” I don’t want him to cry, it hurts me to see him so sad.
“Just for today, alright? We’ll go after as soon as we get what we need for later on, okay?” He slowly nods his head and hugs my leg. If I remember correctly we take the following to right turns. I’m right! It’s mainly men and boy clothes but it will do, especially with these past cold nights. Winter will finally be upon us tomorrow night.
“Roma take these.” I hand him a few sweaters and pants for him, I giggle as he drops the clothes and slickly tries to stand over them, so I won’t be able to see them. I grab clothes for me, fold Roma’s and my clothes, and put them inside my backpack. “All done. Where to now sweetie?” His face brightened at my suggestion.
“The park mommy!”
“Hm, I don’t know? I don’t remember if you were a good boy today. Oh well, maybe next time.”
“No. Mommy I was good. I was. I ate my food a-and I didn’t let go of your hand. And…” He looked like a little angel.
“Oh, that’s right. Okay for a little while then.” He clapped his little hands and I picked him up, and made our way to the park like always. It was getting dark when I realized that we had to go. I haven’t found shelter yet! Oh no, this is terrible. I hate staying where all the men are, they stare at me in ways I don’t like, and for both Roma’s and my safety I avoid them as I often can.
“Roma!”He quickly ran to my side and grabbed my hand, knowing it was time to go, he never complained when we had to go. He had no reason to, he was fine with just coming back the next day, or even sometimes enjoying the fact of us sleeping on the bench in front of the fountain. That is our normal daily routine, but the day winter hit is a day I will never forget. It was one of the worst nights of my life, but as well a grateful one. It’s the day my routine finally changed for good.