The four hour drive to San Francisco seemed to take days. With each town that we passed I was farther away from home. And with each town passed the knot in my stomach grew bigger and my tears fell harder. "I don't want to move to Indiana!" I sobbed. My mother drove silently most of the time, only occasionally responding to my tantrum with a lost attempt to plead her case one last time. I didn't want to hear it. In my mind she had given me up long before this day. I had been living with friends for some time already, not with her. I was 14, getting started in high school, and now she decided that pawning me off on friends wasn't enough, she needed me to be half way across the country. You see my mom had had a rough couple of years. She had lost her job, her third husband, and along with that went our home, and in my opinion her will to fight anymore.

 Things had been bad for us for awhile. My mom was drinking heavily, she had kicked me out once already which led to the end of the modeling I had just started to do- the modeling that I thought was my ticket out. Instead I was homeless, and wound up living with my boyfriend and his family. From there I went to stay with another friend. Eventually my mom decided I should just go live with my dad, whom luckily for me had moved to Indiana. The child that I was then hated her. I hated her for drinking and I hated her for not caring enough to fight for us to be together. As the adult that I am today I realize how much this very moment in the car on the way to the airport must have killed her inside. Yet she just drove. 

When we finally arrived at the airport I could barely walk. My legs felt so weak, and everything inside me wanted to refuse to leave the car. My cries had weakened too, and I felt an overwhelming feeling of defeat. I was leaving today- and there was nothing that I could say or do to change that. By the time we reached the gate my tears had stopped completely and I was silent. The chatter of passersby and the sound of the arrival and departure announcements over the loud speaker were drowned out by the thumping of my heart in my ears. I felt as if I was in a trance, my body had become numb, and the airport was glowing with the essence of California, an essence that I may never see again. The announcement calling for me to board the plane snapped me back to reality and my heart sunk further in to my stomach.

I started to walk toward the small doorway and the way too perky attendant behind the podium to hand over my boarding pass. My mother grabbed my arm and pulled me in to a tight hug. I rested my head on her shoulder and realized at that moment how good my mom smelled and how much I would miss that aroma. I hugged her back with all intentions of never letting go. She put her hands on my cheeks and pulled my face up towards her. There we stood face to face- both wondering when we would see each other again. The light shining in through the window illuminated my mother like an angel, the soft light reflecting off of her dark hair. For the first time since we had left Fresno I saw tears building up in her eyes. "I'm sorry" she whispered. "Me too," I replied. We hugged again and said I love you, and then I left. I put my headphones over my ears as the perky attendant checked my ticket. She handed it back and I began my journey down the little hallway to plane. I found my seat, stowed my carry on and got comfortable next to the window. I pressed my face up against it and looked out on California for the last time.