The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


No Matter What, No Matter Where

Senior Maddie Yepez works through the struggles of her childhood
Annamarie Torres
Standing with her mom, senior Maddie Yepez smiles at the camera Sept. 29 in Room 151.

April, 2017.

Senior Maddie Yepez gets dropped off by her best friend Mia’s mom, in her 2007 silver honda.

She can see the lime green slip from a mile away, the big red letters almost blurring her vision. 


“Maddie, Marina’s right there,” Mia said, gesturing to her three year old sister in the back.

“Thanks for the ride.”

She darts out in her sweatshirt and black leggings, across the lawn, up the concrete steps, face to face with the screen door of her home.

Was her home.

I’m gonna cry.

I’m gonna cry.

Embarrassment turned her face beet red.

Oh my god. What do they think of me and my family? Who else has seen this? Who else knows?

She crumples the paper and runs inside.

Eviction notice.

No more late night talks by the pond, where she took photos of the geese with her Canon camera.

Eviction notice.

No more days at the pool across the street, playing sharks and minnows in her american flag bikini.

Eviction notice.

No more spaghetti and hawaiian rolls on the new couch binging six seasons of Glee.

Eviction notice.

Boxes had littered the apartment for the past week, her favorite accent piece, a yellow love sign that hung in the living room, strung with fake flowers and candles sat wrapped in plastic, mocking her. 

“I knew it was gonna happen,” Yepez said. “A part of me really didn’t want it to.”

That evening her mom got home at 5:30, when Yepez showed her the green slip she said “Well we’re already packing.” and went upstairs. 

That made Yepez angry, really angry. How could her mother of all people not care? How could she allow this to happen? She could’ve done more. Yepez knew this wasn’t true but a part of her was still unsure.

In a week they were out, they grabbed the stuff from storage and moved into Carlyle apartments, where they got evicted again. Then they moved to the Boulevard with her big sister Jasmine and her fiance.

But this time was different, Yepez was in middle school now, math was harder, she was sleeping over at Mia’s most nights and when she wasn’t she had to listen to the screaming matches between her mom and her sister. She got to a point were she couldn’t handle it. She couldn’t keep eating dinner in her bedroom, avoiding her mom. She couldn’t keep pretending she was fine.

That’s when Jasmine broke the news “I’m pregnant,”.

The timing couldn’t have been worse, and her mom couldn’t have more upset, threatening to leave every other night.

“After a fight, my mom came in the room to say we were leaving,” Yepez said. “I sat and said ‘I can’t, I wanna stay somewhere more than a year’. That’s when it flooded all out, the first to the second eviction, all the domestic violence growing up. She was just crying. She kept telling me how she was so sorry and she knows how bad it’s been. How I’ve seen way more than I should’ve at the age of 13.” 

They hugged, tears streaming down their faces.

They packed their stuff and moved to Retreat of Shawnee, but this time was different, not in the way it had been before.

Yepez and her mom talked. They talked about her dad. They talked about the 20/90 Yepez got on her psychology final. They talked about drama and boys. They went shopping. They bought tickets to see “The Little Mermaid” at Cinemark.

Yepez was no longer angry like she was before, her mom looked different, calmer.

And when she turned 16 they got tattoos.

Her mom’s forearm saying No Matter Where in swirly ink, hers saying No Matter What.

Yepez is 18 now, and she’s moved a total of seven times.

“I don’t know where I’m going to college,” Yepez said. “I don’t know if I’ll graduate. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop living with my mom. But I know that even if I’m 40 and half way across the world and I need my mom she’ll be there.” 


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About the Contributor
Sofia Ball, Writer
Hi! My name is Sofia Ball and I am a writer for the Northwest Passage. Writing started out as a hobby for me. Something I never imagined I would be good at until about 7th grade after taking a creative writing class with Dr. Van Zant. I just started out as a freshman, and already, I've come to know and love many of the classes, teachers and students here at Northwest. I’d like to think of myself as an extrovert, but most of my freetime is spent either reading, writing or watching Netflix in my bedroom. I used to watch The Office all the time before it got removed. The only time you'll ever see me out and about is probably at Cross Country or Track practice. You may even see me handing out our latest newspaper issues around the school.

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