Forever was my hope gone; motivation had been ceased to nothing. I was nothing. He made me feel that way, like dirt in a field of wheat. I was the soil that others used to grow, just like my father had been. Used only for his riches, my mother had married him and ran. She left one night, dark as that same night I stood alone in the cold. I looked just like her. My father hated that.
One night he was gone too, just like she had. Except no note was left, no farewells given. I was alone in the world. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to be loved. I was the dirt on the side of the street. I wondered if my mother had ever been where I was, standing outside in the rain, wondering. Wondering if she made the right choice, wondering if she should return, wondering what I would become. I became nothing. She had nothing to be proud of.
She came across me that night. That night where I gave up hope, where I sat by the old oak tree at the side of Highway 34, watching the cars go by. I gave every car a story, a future. Usually it was two kids, the best of friends. Each getting married, having kids, living happily ever after. The parents loved each other so much, and when their kids got married and they became grandparents, the happiness multiplied. They would watch them grow, and never let them get messy in the dirt. I gave them the life I would never have.
The night she came, she helped me. She didn’t say her name. I was weak, she was strong. I stared at her angel face through the pouring rain, capturing every feature forever in my soul. She smiled at me, showing off every hope and dream and positivity in the world. She brought me to the hospital, where they wrapped me in a blanket and gave me water to drink and food to eat. I slept. When I awoke, my angel was gone. They tried to call my father, to no avail. I told them he was gone. So they found my mother, who lived in Florida now. She didn’t want me. I was nothing but dirt to her. They gave me to a new family, who sent me to boarding school.
I kept her in my mind, that angel. Her smile motivated me to continue on with my day, just to get to the night where I would see her. Always was she smiling, encouraging me to continue. I was going to be someone; I was going to see her again. We would meet once more.
Two years later, I left boarding school for college. Every glimmer of that dark brown hair made me spin in my tracks, praying it was her. It never was. Oh, how I wished she had been one of them. I hated how the other girls chased me, always being let down. They said I treated them all the same, just like dirt. I couldn’t help it. I was waiting for my pearl. They called me an as*h*le, I kept my distance. Eventually they stopped.
On my twenty-first birthday I got accepted to medical school. Graduating with honours I had hoped she would be in the crowd, maybe watching a brother or cousin graduate as well. If she was there, I never found out. It had been five years now, and not a day had I not thought of her. I wondered if she thought of me, or if I was nothing but a hopeless bum on the side of the road that night, blending in with the dirt. If I were to ever find her, I would ask her to marry me. I prayed she would say yes.
In Med School, the teachers treated us all as if we were the same identical pieces of dirt, useless and dirty. Some of the students couldn’t handle it. They left. Those of us who either knew we wanted this or had been treated like dirt at other times of our lives stuck through.
I prayed that I would see her at the hospital during residency. I prayed that I could help her like she helped me. Every glimmer of dark brown hair sent me straight to her, only to be disappointed. One day I realized what color it was. Dirt. It wasn’t the bad dirt though, it was the dirt you wouldn’t be worried about being on your jeans. It was just dirt, plain and simple.
I continued being a doctor and helping people, hoping every day for the best. The years continued on, but I never saw my angel. One day, I got a call. My father had passed away. At the funeral, I saw my family members that I hadn’t seen in years. They were shocked at who I was. One of them told me that my father had only left me to find my mother. When she turned him down, him being nothing but the dirt to help her crop grow, he was too embarrassed to find me. He turned to alcohol and had developed kidney cancer. That was how he died.
I went to his house after the funeral, shocked to find it the exact house that we had lived in before he had left. I wandered the house and was shocked to find the jar of dirt I had collected for him on his thirty-fifth birthday, when I had been five. It wasn’t anything special; it was dirt.
I cried. I took that jar of dirt and as I drove down that same tree-lined highway road that I had stood along so many years ago, I reminisced on all the aspects of my life. And as I took that same turn I had stood by, there was a car coming around the corner as well. I was going too fast; I hit it. In my sorrow I forgot my seatbelt and soon found myself lying at the base of the tree I had sat at so many years ago. I heard a scream and a frantic voice talking to what must’ve been an emergency operator. From my condition, I figured I was going to be passed out soon, possibly in a coma. Maybe even paralysed judging by the absence of pain in my lower body. I hurt.
Out of the dark an angel face appeared, begging for me to stay with her. It was my same angel, the one I thought I’d never find again. She stood near me as the tears fell from her face. There was nothing she could do to save me this time and we both knew it. She had been waiting right here this whole time, and I never had thought to find her here. My eyes slowly started drooping and she came closer. She cried harder and I tried to tell her to stop. I didn’t like to see her in pain. She put her satin hands on my face, and I noticed she had no ring. Had she too been waiting for me?
I felt one last breath enter my lungs, and before I succumbed to the darkness that I was now ready to face, I muttered the words, “I love you” to my angel, and let my body sink to the dirt.