The only sound I heard from my room, was my mom’s crying and yelling. I rushed into the room to see my dad rubbing her back as her white knuckled hand clutched the phone, as though it were her only connection to her mother. It felt as if I was standing on the sidelines of a funeral. My brother and I stood to the side, and we never spoke. We stared at each other with questioning expressions, until my parents noticed our presence. It was as if my parents intuitively knew what was to come next. My mother was out of her chair and packing a suitcase, getting ready to go to Istanbul, Turkey. My grandmother had collapsed on her balcony; my mother, her only surviving relative, was urgently needed. My brother and I knew that my mom would be leaving, and neither of us knew when she would come back. As the beginning of the school year was quickly approaching, life only got harder.

My mother was the, “battery,” of our family. When she left, it was as though her absence took away our charge. I took action in the household, it seemed I had temporarily become the new, “battery,” for my family. During my mother’s absence, I cleaned the house, did the laundry, watered the plants, and cooked the meal. In addition to being deluged by chores, I had an enormous workload at my new school. I could not create a balance, because my brother was constantly asking me to do his laundry. Right when I had a chance to sit down, my dad would come home hungry, asking what was for dinner. By the time I sat down at 11pm to do homework, the howls of coyotes were audible outside my window.

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While I would be getting the night’s meal ready, or folding clothes, I constantly saw my brother lying on the couch watching T.V. or playing on his phone. I became frustrated with him, as he was ungrateful for many of the things I did for him. As the semester progressed, I reflected upon my brother’s actions towards me, as they mirrored my actions I imposed on my mother. I …

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