-Riley ILoveRedPoodles 01:46, July 3, 2012 (UTC)
I wake up to my alarm buzzing at me, and I sit up straight in my bed, immediately alert. I know, the usual teenage thing to do would be to roll over in bed and press 'snooze', but... I guess I'm just not a typical teenager. I get out of bed and go over to the couch where my older brother sleeps. He, of course, is still sound asleep, so I shake him until his eyes open. Perhaps if we were rich, and had no worries, he would be the annoying type of brother that would have swatted me away, but we aren't, so he gets up. He slips out of the house to go to work, careful not to wake up either of my parents. I go into the kitchen and begin to make breakfast for my mother and father before I go to school. Yeah, I know this all sounds backwards. My brother going off to work every morning, and me making breakfast for my two parents. It's like we're the adults and they're the kids. But desperate times call for desperate measures, right? Not to mention that I'm only 15 and my brother's only 17.
Yes, my brother dropped out of high school. We would have all been thrown out on the streets if he hadn't. Neither of my parents work. Well, my mother used to have a little bit of a job... but it hardly made anything, it wasn't enough to support our family, and she doesn't have the job anymore, so what does it matter? I have jobs after school, just to make a little extra money. Even so, we still can never afford enough of anything. We've had to live for months without electricity, hot water, you know, that kind of stuff. Big cities aren't very welcoming to the poor, I'll tell you that much. Don't even get me started on school. The public schools here are down right awful, and that's me being polite. I at least have one friend there, which is more than some can say. Yes, in a school with an outrageous amount of kids, there are some who are still friendless. Not like we learn anything there anyway. It's disgusting to see how uneducated some of these kids are. But I'm determined to get my high school degree.
Growing up, I had an uncle. He would lend us the money that his brother in law and sister couldn't make, and he would teach us things. He would tell us stories and educate us on all sorts of things. I believe myself very lucky to have had him. He was almost like the father I never really had (though he was always physically there, sitting on the couch, lazy as ever). My mother came from a good family, she did. I guess... things just went wrong for for her... Anyway, my uncle died when I was 12. Ever since then, we've been struggling to keep our apartment and just keep living in general. My mother never did tell me how he died, but perhaps it's best I don't know.
I get breakfast ready for my parents and set out two plates for when they wake up. As for now, I have to get to school on time. I get dressed, brush my teeth, you know, the usual things. Then I head out the front door of our ugly apartment building to make the bus. I get on the yellow vehicle and search the sea of heads to find the one with the bright red streak on top. That would be my best friend, Lizzy. She died that bit of her hair when she was eight, and has kept it that way ever since. I always thought it was strange, but I couldn't argue that it wasn't any help for locating her on the bus. When I do notice it, I make my way over to her. I take my seat next to her and she smiles.
"Hey, Dani," she says, in her usual happy voice.
"Hey Liz," I respond. My name is Danielle and everyone but my brother and Lizzy calls me that. I don't really open up to people much, so, as you can see, I don't have many friends. I guess not trusting my own parents doesn't help much with that. But my parents don't really help much with anything...
"Why do we have to go to school again?" asks Lizzy, annoyed. She hates it as much as I do.
"I have no idea," I respond. Like me, Lizzy was lucky enough to have an educated family, therefore she was educated as well. However, in her case, it was her parents that taught her. She was one of those poor kids with the tightly knit family. That kind of thing. I was far closer to her parents than my own. Both of her parents worked hard to earn enough money, in the hopes that one day they could move into a better part of the city. That is to say, away from here. I don't know what I'd do without Lizzy or her family, but luckily for me, her parents are still struggling to make it by, similar to me and my family, so I'm not really in any danger of them leaving.
I envy her greatly, though I don't think she's ever taken notice of it. What she must think of me. She must think every night how horrible it is to be me and how she would never ever want to be in my shoes. She must be glad to not be like me at all...
* * *
I get home after school, half asleep, as I have just wasted yet another day of my life. I'm expecting both my parents to be either out of the apartment or hung-over from the previous night, but am surprised to find my mother in the kitchen area of our apartment when I get home. My stomach flips when I see her. Honestly, I'm scared. With either of my parents, there's always the chance that they're under the influence of things that could blur their thoughts. And even if they are sober, that doesn't count for much with them. She's leaning against the table, head down.
"Mom?" I say slowly. She looks up at me, her eyes wild, but she seems to be surprisingly sober.
"Danielle... What did you do?" she asks in a confused, soft voice. Very unlike her, but still...
"W-what do you mean?" I ask, mystified. I didn't do anything. Nothing but go to school and keep her and her sorry husband living.
"How could you do this to me?" she asks again, not helping my comprehension of the situation.
"What have I done?" I repeat.
"Y-you killed him!" she gasps, finally.
I really don't know how to describe my father. An arrogant, rude, man who somehow got my mother to marry him. I think his laziness hit my mother like a slap in the face. She was expecting to get whatever man she fell in love with, and not someone who threw her money down the drain and better yet, didn't work. For some insane reason I'll never know, she had two children with him, only to worsen the fact that he didn't have a job. Seven years after her first child's birth, (yes, only seven) she grew depressed, and, with her depression, well... other things came. By the time her first child was ten she had completely quit her job as a mother, leaving her two children to practically fend for themselves, with the exception of the little bit of money she was able to earn. Yet all this time her husband was the same drunken jerk that sat around the apartment doing nothing for anyone but himself.
But now that man is dead. And apparently, it's my fault. After an hour of reassuring my mother everything was fine and calming her, I was able to coax out the real information about what happened, though I haven't changed her belief that it's my fault my father is dead. He apparently got into some sort of fight out on the streets and the cops didn't get there in time... Who knows. It could have been about anything. Most likely money, but still... with a man like my father, one wrong word and you've set him off completely... I have plenty of scars to show it. Mental and physical. I guess a friend of his that was there came over and told my mom, and I came in on her just as her first session of grieving had begun, resulting in her blaming it on me.
I'm now sitting in the little room I share with my brother, nursing the bruise across my cheek and right arm. I was lucky just to get out of there with that. But the wounds will come in much smaller numbers now that it's just my mother... that much can be said.
I can hear my mother banging and clanging in the other room, who knows what she's doing... I just know I'm not going to go in there and find out. She very well could be destroying the entire apartment, so I don't want to get caught up in that. This is her usual break-down cycle. She starts off by crying hysterically and shaking. Then she'll start yelling at anyone near her and lashing out at them. Then she goes full blown crazy on anything or anyone around her. It's quite frightening. But you learn to get over it after 7 years. I can hardly remember what it was like when she was completely sane. She's done so much to herself over the years that I'm not sure if she's even thinking clearly when she's not on drugs or drinking... She needs help, so did my father, but there's nothing me or my brother, Peter, can do about it. It's all we can do to keep her alive.
I take a few deep breaths and go through my own cycle to deal with my mother's break-downs. I close my eyes and imagine, just for the moment, that I'm anywhere but where I actually am. That I'm a different person, with different parents, with a completely different life. Then, after a minute or so, I reopen my eyes to my reality and sigh. But after taking the time to imagine a better life for myself, I'm somehow calmer. Less afraid.
What do you think? Is it any good? Please Let me know!!!:) Thanks for reading! -Riley ILoveRedPoodles 13:22, July 13, 2012 (UTC)