When you move out on your own, you will hear sounds reminiscent of your father coming home after a long day at work. You realize it’s just the sound of cars passing along the highway outside.
In the morning, you will look at your unmade bed and smirk, knowing no one will tell you to make or spread your bed, because Mom is thousands of miles away.
You will double back, after heading for the door, gently folding the blankets, smoothing out the sheets, fluffing the pillows. You’ll spread the comforter out to the four corners of the bed, finishing the task.
You will roll your eyes, because yes, you are becoming her.
For the first time, you realize that it is now your responsibility to switch off the outside light before heading to bed.
You’ll take extra care to triple lock the doors at night and before you leave. Because after all, this place is yours now.
You might—okay, you will—cry the first time a spider intrudes on your personal space of solitude when you realize Dad isn’t coming to rescue you.
You will channel his quiet strength and knock it down on your own, screaming.
It will feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks when you get your first cable bill and it’s much too high. You will spend hours on hold with the frazzled customer service agent, frustrated and weepy, overwhelmed by the gnawing thought that you are not strong enough to defend yourself to the next representative they will pass you off to.
You will remember your mother’s fierce and assertive battle cry. You will channel her brilliance and make your voice heard.
Things will go bump in the night. You may lose sleep as you adjust to this new place and life stage.
But you will be okay.
You will let the water fill the tub and drop in some essential oils. The water will be warm and smell like oranges. As you sink into the tub, the water will wash over you and you will take a deep, long breath.
And suddenly, you will remember that this is exactly what you prayed for. This is exactly where you are meant to be.