By Elika Sepulveda
Illustrations by Christine Lin
I didn’t like my dad holding me when I was a baby, so, my mom cooked potatoes and chicken while carrying me tight against her hip, my head buried into her left breast. It was the Lakers’ winning season and my dad wanted his dinner served. He complimented her on the flavors of the food, While his eyes remained on the T.V., only seeing purple and gold.
She needed coffee with cream and sugar, and more sleep. She pushed a stroller uphill, heavy from three curly headed girls, one tired from sickness, another playful, and me, crying. He woke every day at five, for a job 30 miles from home. He hit traffic on the road, Then returned to the cluttered apartment, feeling angry and alone.
Because he never dropped me off and picked me up from long days at school, Because he cleaned parks while I ran Through dirt trails during dry winters, I invented the idea that my father was never proud of me. My mother cried over my head as I fell into her arms, Finishing each race, exhausted and wishing he were there.
My mom always said that I should be more patient. Someday, she will be the one that needs to be taken care of. My mom feels nervous when she drives at night. My insulin-dependent father repeats, “It is what it is.”
Wrinkles show me that my parents are older, Mom’s vertical uni-brow crease, Dad’s crow’s feet. They are the quietest message. They insist that it’s all love from here on.
-Elika Sepulveda, 4th year Literature Creative Writing concentration