Read “The Betrayal,” Creative Nonfiction, in Moria

In a family struggling to make ends meet, there’s rarely any need to debate how money is spent. Paying the bills comes first—if you’re lucky—everything else is a distant second. By the time I was a high school senior, my mom had been supporting me and three of my siblings for almost a decade, working two jobs, with no help from my abusive, alcoholic father. So the good news of my acceptance to college was not really so good, because we couldn’t afford the tuition. Not even a full scholarship could solve the problem, because my mom didn’t need a scholar in the family, she needed someone to find a job and help pay the bills. In “The Betrayal,” I try to convey what it was like for me as a teenager to want something—even something good—when it could only make life harder for the person I loved most in the world, a woman hoping for a better life at a time when help was in short supply.