Mom Or Dad?

By Mishell Bunay  |   From : Ecuador  |   School : Bloomfield High School

A long time ago my “tia” who is an American citizen applied for my mom and me to get a visa. I spent my first days in the US in my father’s house, in Newark. The house itself was big and very pretty. It had 3 floors and a really big backyard, But the neighborhood was not good. It was a very dangerous place where you could see fights every moment of the day, where there were guns, drugs and gang members. My dad’s apartment was on the third floor. When I arrived here, I had to sleep in the living room on a comfortable sofa. It felt soft and warm like you were in the clouds. There were three other pieces of furnitures in the room, two medium sofas and one small and they were all brown. Under the chair rail, the walls were green and above they were white. This room had a beautiful carpet covering the whole floor. It was brown and black. It felt very soft. One day, my father, a very friendly man with a great sense of humor, a little bit fat, who is short, with brown eyes,  was still wearing his work clothes. He came into the room and asked me to talk to him. He  was sitting on the sofa in front of me while I was under the covers on the sofa that was my bed.

He started talking about how happy he was to have me closer, and above all, how much he has always loved me. He told me that I would have to make the difficult decision of choosing who I wanted to live with. He said “I will be very happy if you come with me, and we will move to a better place for you”.

He and my mother had been separated for many years, and he came to this country when I was 3 years old. I have always wanted to live with both or at least nearby to both, that way I could spend time with both of them. The problem was that my mother wanted to live in Ohio which is 8 hours away from New Jersey. I thought and thought every day about what would be the best decision for everyone, not just for me, but inside me I knew exactly what I wanted and what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to be a burden to my mother because she was just settling in a new country and a new life, surrounded by her hermanas and my abuelita, and on the other side, I wanted to know more about my father because I had not seen him for almost 14 years and we practically didn’t know each other. I knew how hard it was to have a life without my father because when I was little at school I saw fathers picking up their daughters and in the parks. Always I was seeing fathers playing with their children. At those moments I still remember feeling a lump in my throat, and almost crying.

When I made my decision to stay with my dad, my mother approached me and told me that she would always be with me, even if we were not living together. Now I live with my dad and I’m happy that both are happy.   My dad has me like a support in his life and  my mom finally decided to live in Queens with my little sister because she got a good job there. I do not regret the decision I made because I have a wonderful relationship with my father.  He actually can understand me more than my mom. In fact, my relationship with her is not really good. When I lived with her in Ecuador we had some problems which started when my sister was born. Even when something was my sister’s fault, she was always by her side. Here it is very different. My dad is always caring about me. Although he has a lot of work, he always tries to have time for me. He tries to take me to new places and have fun every weekend. My dad and I share the same views and opinions. Most of the time we like the same food, movies, activities and music. We almost never disagree. When we have to decide something we have the same ideas. For example, we like chicken, action movies and when we have a problem, we talk to resolve it. I live happily with him and day after day we are trying to recover lost time.

Now I have lived with my father for one year in Bloomfield. I love this town because it is more comfortable and secure than Newark. There are  beautiful parks to go to and very good places to eat really amazing food like Rosys’s Garden Restaurant and Grill Master Chicken. Nearby to my house we have a laundry, the supermarket and the bus stop, and this makes it easy to get the bus, to do the laundry, etc. We are living in a very cute apartment with enough space for us. There are 2 bedrooms, the kitchen, living room, and the bathroom. My room is pink and it has two windows. This is my personal space where I live with my two cats. My father’s room  is blue and it is bigger than mine. Every day I make dinner and when my father gets home I have the food ready for us. Since I live with my father, I feel more independent and above all calm. We live in tranquility, and I have my own space.


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