Beryllium (A Sample) (Part 1, page 1 of 5)


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Part 1

"THIS TRIP WILL CHANGE YOU HALIMA ALEXANDER, I CAN FEEL IT," she said.

"But why Venezuela…I don't want to go there," I hold my head in one hand and stuff a heaping spoon full of oatmeal squares in my mouth with the other. Here mom goes again with another one of her crazy notions.

My yellow lab Nanu eagerly waits for pieces to drop.

"Halima, I never ask you to do anything! Come on, it'll be fun. I promise," Mom says, pleadingly. "Pleeaase?"

Ugh. It's so hard to say no to mom. She hardly asks for anything, so when she does-there's usually a good reason.

"Fiiiine," I let out a long sigh of defeat.

Mom slaps my butt triumphantly. "Woohoo! Angel Falls, here we come!"

"Ow!" I gasp, pouring the leftover milk into the sink.

My mother, Beryl Alexander had a difficult childhood. She was found as a baby on a farmer's doorstep somewhere on the east coast and put up for adoption. You'd think that a couple who couldn't have kids would spoil their adopted child rotten. Unfortunately, mom got the exact opposite-all she was to them was a poster child. She was used as something to show off to friends, only to make themselves look good to the community-nothing more.

That's probably why she moved out at seventeen, finished college in three years, then attended nursing school, and had Cayce and I at a young age. She always promised to give us the life she never had-and she has, wholeheartedly.

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