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Two weeks later, it feels strange standing in the driveway of my home, holding a large black duffel bag in one hand and a suitcase in the other. My mom and Poppy stand in front of me, ready to bid me a temporary farewell. I keep reminding them I'm not leaving forever; I will return home in five weeks as a new and improved person.

Haha, almost believed myself for a second.

"Look, just remember that if anything bad happens, call me, and I'll drive over there before you can blink, okay?"

I smile to feign some confidence for my panicked mother. "Mom, I'll be fine, okay? Remember that you're sending me off to college in the fall." I let go of my suitcase and reach forward to give her a hug.

Poppy stands off to the side with her lips pursed, hands placed on her narrow hips. She smiles, reaching forward to give me a warm hug. "Good luck okay? You do everything you put your mind to. You're not stopping now." I nod and begin to pull away, but she leans forward and places her lips by my ear. "And oh yeah, go find yourself a hot guy."

If that's even possible.

I chuckle, and she gives me a wink. Poppy ignores whatever our mother says to her and marches back into the house. That was everyone, since my father gave me a hurried goodbye and kiss this morning before hopping on a conference call, like clockwork.

"Is it too late to give up?" I ask my mom with a slight wince.

She stops the car and gives me one of her death glares; you know, the motherly stare that makes you want to melt into a puddle on the ground. "Whitney, if you decide to quit right now, I will personally pick you up and throw you into that camp."

Throwing teenagers. Don't think they teach that at her Saturday afternoon Pilates class.

Choosing not to respond, I stare at the endless array of thick green trees on the side of the highway, the only source of natural entertainment in Connecticut. In the silence, I reflect on yesterday afternoon. A huge altercation broke out downstairs between my mother and Poppy, resulting in her locking herself in my bathroom for two hours when I needed to use it.

An expert eavesdropper, I crouched at the top of the staircase and listened to their yells resonating across the house.

"Mom, you don't get it do you?" Poppy's voice was thick with tears, but I doubted she let our mom see them. "It's my decision. I want to do this."

A few seconds of silence passed before I heard our mom. "Poppy, listen to me. Just because you're twenty-two and a responsible adult, doesn't mean you always know the best for you. What if you're rushing all of this?"

"Why do you always say that?" Poppy shouted. "You never look at the bright side of things. Ever! Please look beyond your plan for my life for once."

"I am your mother, and I have a job to look out for what's best for you!" she yelled back and after a moment grumbled, "I thought Whitney was the tough kid to handle, now you?"

That was slightly hurtful but moving on.

"And how are you so sure?" Poppy said, her tone gravely firm. "Do you know me as well as you think you do?"

Once again, a long period of silence followed. "What I know is you are my daughter, who I raised to be mature and intelligent, and you have plans to apply to law school soon. Do you really want to turn into me? I threw away all of my potential to marry your father! What I wouldn't give to be your age again."

"But I'm not you!" Poppy cried. "I'm not repeating your life, Mom. You just refuse to see otherwise."

A huff from our mom. "Poppy, I can't argue about this anymore; it's ridiculous and quite frankly—"

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