Last Updated 31 Jan 2023

Our Moving to Canada as a Time to Start a New Life: Personal Narrative

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The dark, damp soil dredges its way into the underside of your soles while they step ever so lightly over the carpet of brittle branches covering the forest floor. The slender shadows slip in and out of sight through the tall, never-moving trees instilling an ominous, eerie feeling in the very core of one’s body.

The fleeting moment, during which your racing heart beats faster and faster as if trying to rip free of its pinfold. The moment when you feel a piercing cold grab onto your shoulder creating a split second of sheer terror as your heart sinks. The moment when you realize that it’s over.

“Got ya!” He laughed breathlessly.

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I was too over exhausted to argue. Though it didn’t matter because it seemed as if I was the last one left, which was exceptionally rare. It seemed like scarcely any time had passed since the cockcrow, and yet, the umbrage stated otherwise. As we began the journey home the other players had caught up to us on our way back, joining in the array of laughter, and boasting of their great feats of cunning and furtiveness.

Looking back on it, it did not matter if I had won or lost, but at that moment, the triumph had tasted as sweet as anything I’d ever tasted. Soon thereafter, the pulsating rings of the dinner bells had split our group apart for the time being. I rushed off home, feeling content about the way the day had gone.

As I was walking up the creaking cedar porch, I noticed my mother, sitting in the Adirondack chair, with tears swelling in her blue eyes. She had been fine just this morning; there had to have been a letter. She brought me inside the familiar cottage house, with the single buzzing light bulb suspended in the middle of the room. The floorboards let out a creak with every step, as if warning us as to what’s about to happen.

At the end of the room, my brother was seated on the opposite side of the table. The next ten minutes had been near stagnant. Each second had crept behind the other as the methodically slow clock ticked away. The seemingly never-ending moment had concluded with words that had beaten all breath out of me.

“We’re moving to Canada.”

The words echoed in my head, over and over again. Abashed, and in disbelief I helplessly reached out for words to put together a sentence. I was speechless. The news had come as sudden and as painful as an arrow piercing the shell of a person I had been at that moment. For a split second, I felt the void that had been filled by friends and family.

How was I to accept that this time I spent with my friends would be the last? How was I to understand the reason behind being ripped out of my life?

The next day we were gone. As we were riding the train back to our small, cramped apartment in the city, I gazed out the window to see the life I had grown to love pass before my eyes. The rolling hills of green grass, fresh with morning dew, and the roaming cattle dispersed upon a pasture stretching out to the horizon, touching the rising sun.

Amidst the fields of grain were woods teeming with wildlife; the very essence of nature itself. It all slowly began fading into a memory.

Boarding off the train onto the slatternly, crammed platform, I was led through the amassed crowd into a run-down taxi cab to take us to my only remaining home. After the arrival to our tiny apartment, I ran outside. I did not know why I was running, or where. Sprinting in between a rundown alley created by the adjacent building I crashed into a garbage can, plummeting to the ground.

The hard cracked pavement had provided no cushion to soften the fall. Skin slid against the sandpaper like pavement creating an abrasion from elbow to fingertip. The exposed aching flesh needed tending, so defeated, I went home.

The next two days were spent abed in a small crevice within the cramped apartment. My brother and I watched as pieces of our lives were either packed up or thrown away. With no choice in the matter, I helplessly watched as my life was being torn apart. The etchings in the wall that had shown my height since the day I could walk were painted over while I was forced to throw out every possession that I had acquired.

By the end of the week, it was no longer our home; it was an empty desolate place that belonged to a stranger. It was time to leave.

On our last day, our family and friends had gathered up to wish us farewell. Gazing out onto the airport walkway I did not know what awaited us, though I knew what I was leaving behind. We were abandoning our family, our friendships, and our home. We were leaving our life to begin again in a faraway country.

As the tears ran down the faces of the ones we loved, we said our farewells. At that moment, I realized that it was over. It was time to start a new life.

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