Losing a day of pay causes the pain in my head to magnify. Losing Jerry’s respect makes me want to crawl under a rock. I use the excuse of my car but he knows and he’s not the only one, Mom is onto me too. She asks why I’m hanging around on a Tuesday, a typical work day. I tell her the car story. She peers at me with those eyes that know things about me that I don’t want to know. I hand her a plate of pancakes hoping to distract her. She takes a bite. I sigh in relief and turn to go back into the kitchen.
“What were you drinking last night?” She says mouth full of pancake. “Whiskey, wasn’t it?”
“Does it matter?” I say continuing to the kitchen. I take the bowl scraped clean of batter. I made breakfast for all the kids, Stan and finally mom. I couldn’t take a bite. Though now, I’m suddenly ravenous, but there’s nothing left. I look up from the empty bowl and there’s mom in the doorway. She hobbled her way to me. Progress. Good.
“Where’d you sleep if you don’t have your car?”
“Does it matter?” I say again.
“I don’t know why you’re sleeping in that car anyway, like you’re some kind of homeless person with no family. You should be sleeping in the house. We’ve got a couch, or we could put up a cot.”
I start to wash the bowl turning my back toward her.
“What is my house not good enough for you?” I hear her behind me but I don’t face her.
“Then why don’t you act like you’re part of this household?”
“Don’t you get it?” I say whirling around, my head blaring, my stomach churning. “I don’t want to be part of this household. Ever!” I yell for emphasis.
There’s a loud thud. A back pack thrown to the floor. “Maybe we don’t want you anyway,” a voice as angry as mine yells back.
“Liam!” Mom says. “Why aren’t you at school?”
“I missed the damn bus because damn Junior told me to get something in the shed right when it came.”
“Don’t you cuss like that. Where have you been for the last hour?”
“Been sittin on Tyler’s bed, in the shed. There wasn’t no chocolate bar there like Junior said.”
Mom turns to me. “The shed? Really? What are you some kind of stray dog?”
On cue Roady trots into the room. If only I could be him.
Read this series from episode 1 by choosing the category- “Roady Series” – Find it in the drop down “menu” at the header of this blog. ———————————————————————————————
This post is fiction based on the back story of a supporting character in a novel in process by Clare Graith. See ClareGraith.com for more info about the author.