Volume 11: Part 1- Moenia Prima: Friday, May 6th, 11:14 P.M.

Friday, May 6th, 11:14 P.M.
Mom made tacos tonight for dinner.  Dad had gotten off work early, so he was able to swing by the market for some fresh tomatoes and lettuce that made the meal taste better.  At about 3:45, a phone call came in that changed the tone of the evening.  Mom served dinner at about six.  Dad, Sakoshi, and I gathered and started crafting our meals.  After we said the prayer we usually say over dinner and began digging in, Mom, like she always does, struck up a conversation.
I replied, “Yes, Mom,” or at least I tried to say that with a mouth full of taco meat.
“I got a call from the school today.”
Sakoshi energetically said, “Really!  Was it about me?”
Mom, with a smile reserved for only the cutest of young children, said, “No, it was from Hato’s school.”
Sakoshi, continuing with his high energy, gleefully said to Mom, “They could have been calling about me.  I’m smart.  I got a hundred on my math test today.”  Sakoshi is so cute.  It’s going to be sad when the public school system crushes his soul.
Dad put a stop to this cute display and cut right to the chase.  “Belle, what did the school call about?”
Mom took off her smile and said, “Hato missed school today.”
Dad, with a scowl reserved for only older children, said, “Is this true?”
When I skipped school for my interview at Barrett, Copeland, and Reno, I made an effort to lie about it.  I made no such effort this time.  “Yes.”
Dad continued confrontationally, “Why?”
“I had a job interview with Warrior Technological.”
The scowl lifted from Dad’s face.  “Oh.  Well, that’s a reason to skip school.  Not a good reason, but a reason.”
Mom, now beaming with optimism, tried to continue the conversation.  “So, how did the interview go?”
I didn’t respond to my Mom’s question.  I just looked down at my plate and started fiddling with my food.  Dad pressed on.  “Hato, how did the interview go?”  I didn’t want to deal with this, I still don’t want to deal with this.  I got up from the table, left the kitchen, and went down to hall to my room.  I was there for about a minute before there was a knock at the door.
“Hato, honey, are you okay?”  I wanted to snap back with a no, but it was my Mom so I didn’t.  My Mom opened my bedroom door just enough to allow her to poke her head in.  “Do you want to talk about it?”
I told my Mom about the interview, every despicable detail of it.  It was difficult for me to do this, mostly because I rarely use that kind of language around my parents.  As I told her this story, my Mom just sat with a very concerned look on her face, allowing me to vent my story unobstructed.  Only when I was done did Mom give her thoughts.
“Hato, I’m so sorry that happened to you.  You’re right to be offended.  What that guy did to you is wrong, and the fact that he did it speaks poorly of his company.  That being said, you can’t let this get you down.  You just can’t.  Your father, when he was younger and looking for work, received a lot worst insults than what you described.
I was shocked by what my Mom had just said.  “There are worst insults?”
“Yes, there are, and I pray you never find out what those insults are.  My point, Hato, is that your father didn’t let those insults get him down.  If he had, he wouldn’t be the person he is today.  You shouldn’t let those insults get you down either.  You need to keep your chin up and keep moving forward, because things will get better.”
What my Mom said made me feel better, as well as the kiss she laid on my head before she left my room.  I can’t allow the insults people throw at me to get me down.  I can’t.  If I do, the racist win.  I’m going to try to keep my head up as I go to my interview on Monday.  Perhaps that one will finally go well.
Hato Shurtleff

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