Arriving to Los Angeles was my dream come true—
I held my mother’s hand as we disembarked,
with wide eyes searched for a face I had only seen in pictures,
strained my ears for a voice I’d only heard through a phone receiver
during international calls cut short in haste to save a few cents.
I don’t remember seeing my father’s face when we finally found each other,
but I remember at eye level the light shade of the brown khakis he wore,
but that could’ve been a memory I made up
to make myself feel better about the blur of this day.
I remember launching myself into his arms,
in a voice as joyful and innocent as the first cry of a newborn.
But from then on, I saw.
We passed by countless white cars as I tried to guess which was his,
and didn’t even notice the little two-door until he pointed it out.
I crawled to sit in the back.
Our new home was one large room. With a bed against the wall and
too much white space.
This was the life he’d left us for.
That we’d left behind our lives for.
Before I had even heard of the lie of the American Dream,
I had the feeling that the dream promised to me
was a sham.