In high school, whenever there was a pizza party, I would ask my teacher for the leftovers to bring home.
One time, I got the leftover pizza at lunch. Half a Little Caesar’s cheese pizza and 4 breadsticks. I was literally shaking with happiness, pizza was such a rare occasion for me, and it was my absolute favorite food.
I took the city bus to my college class with the box on my lap. It sat next to me during class, people questioned me. I didn’t really know what to tell them. I was embarrassed.
Another bus ride home. 2 mile walk to the front door. I had been waiting for this all day. I put it in the oven and called my brothers and sisters from their rooms.
I was so happy to give them each a breadstick and a slice of pizza. I had carried that big, greasy box around for 6 hours just for them. They were 4, 6, 8, and 10. I didn’t get a slice, but I was so happy that they had some. We could never afford pizza and it was a really special treat. The 6 year old gave me her crust. That’s my favorite part.
I remember going into my room, sitting on my bed, a mattress on the floor with no sheets, and crying while eating my crust. Now I remember that all my furniture was cardboard boxes. My nightstand, my bookshelf, my dresser…all boxes turned on their side or upside down. That was four years ago. I really want to go back and hug 16 yr old me and say things will get better. Not soon, and not by much, but it will happen.
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