What I learned from my father

My mother called me. “Your father is dying. Will you come home?” “Sure,” I say, and hang up the phone.

Two weeks later she calls again. “Your father is dead. Will you not come home?” “Sure,” I say, “be home in a day.”

Three days later she calls again. “I buried your father, please come home.” “Of course,” I say, and hang up the phone.

A week later I knock on her door. “Momma I’m home,” I say.

“Have you no shame?” she says. “You abandoned me when I needed you most. What would your father say?”

“Mom, he’d be proud,” I say. “What I did to you, I learned from him.”

Natalie Nazar is a Junior at The College of New Jersey, majoring in English and Secondary Education with a Minor in Spanish. She’s the resident spider killer in her college townhouse, her mornings always start off with a one-sided conversation with her beta fish, Blu, and she plans on applying to the Peace Corps after graduation.