This is completely fictional! Any names, events, or circumstances that seem to derive from real-life happenings are purely coincidental. Enjoy!
I don’t know where Dad found her this time; when she’s this drunk she stops answering her phone.
“Beep…beep…beep.” The steady sound of my alarm comforts me in a way, maybe because I can actually rely on it. My mother stopped being reliable after my granddad passed. He died when I was four years old, he was kind of her everything. I guess she traded one obsession for another, now she and “the bottle” are inseparable.
I really don’t have time for this. I use the last ounce of energy I have in me to get ready for work. Once I’m dressed, I looked in the mirror, despising my khaki pants and red top. For the slightest moment, I transfer my attention from my Target (Job#1) uniform and look at myself wondering if there is more. I stopped dreaming a while back but sometimes I wond…
My dad interrupts my thoughts. “Kris!”.
“You better get down here and eat something. I’m leaving in ten minutes.”
I need a car. I grab my purse and Victoria Secret duffle that has my McDonald’s uniform (Job #2) in it from off the bathroom floor. As I am lifting the bedazzled duffle I take one last look in the mirror.
Leaving the bathroom heading for the stairs, I stop…as if a force field has blocked me from taking another step. This is the part where I prepare myself to act as if everything is OK when we know it’s not. I have to pretend I don’t notice my mother’s bloodshot eyes when she tries hard to stare at the kitchen floor and pretend that I don’t notice her rediscovering gravity, trying to maintain her balance.
Slowly I start to walk down the stairs with procession and caution. When I reached the kitchen and see my mom, I noticed something different in her. I almost wanted to, but I couldn’t look. I can feel her emptiness; she seems so hollow.
“Baby did you eat?”, my Dad ask, as he comes up from the basement stairs into the kitchen, his freshly pressed David’s Repair jumpsuit half way on. One of the things I love about my Dad is his optimism. He’s the owner of a car repair shop not the CEO of a multi-million dollar business but you would never know this by the way he takes time and effort to make sure his jump suits are without spot or wrinkle.
“Dad, I just got down here”
“Well Kris, you just need to eat! I ain’t got time today; I gotta get to the shop.”
I NEED a car! “Alright Dad, I guess I’m ready.”
“No, get something to eat and hurry up. Imma be in the car” As if it’s possible to do both. When he turns to leave the kitchen he doubles back, “Oh, Hand me my keys.”
I grab them of the kitchen counter and toss them in his direction.
“Thank you, baby.”
Now it’s only us two in the kitchen. “…Hey Mama” I pull out the orange juice from the refrigerator.
Without moving her eyes from kitchen table she mutters weakly, “Hey Krissy”.
I look at her. Her entire body is bent in submission; her back doesn’t even address the back of the chair. What happened to her? I’ve never seen her like this; I usually take every effort to avoid direct encounters with her.
I can’t bear the sight, “Bye Mama”…… And, there goes breakfast.
My dad dropped me off right in front of Target. I don’t know when he will have time to fix his muffler, but that definitely needs to be handled. Not only can everybody see that my Dad dropped me off but they can hear his loud car.
“Bye. Thank you.”
I walk through the sliding doors only to be bombarded by displays of note books, book bags, binders, pencils, etc. School’s coming back already?
My boss, Tom, speed-walks toward me with an awkward smile; I never know what to expect from him.
“Glad you’re here, we weren’t sure you were going to show,” says Tom. This is what I am talking about, he is so sarcastic. I missed one day out of two months of working here and now he doesn’t know if I’m going to show.
“Mhhm, which register you need me on?”
“Actually we need the rest of the school supplies put up in the front here (gesturing to the aisles lined with supplies) I was hoping you and Leah can take care of that for me.”
“Super!!!”He exclaims as he walks off.
Fortunately, Leah is my girl, work is never work when she’s around. After I clock in, I meet her back up front. She’s already gotten started on some boxes.
“What time you got here?”
She looks up at me and responds, “Like around 5”.
I look around at the things she already put up on the shelves. I can remember years of Lisa Frank folders, Crayola crayons, and Elmer’s Glue. “Girl we only got one more year.”
….Awkward silence….”Remember when you fell dow…”, my phone interrupted her attempted to remind me of the terrors of Junior year a.k.a the worst year ever 😦 .
I looked down and grabbed my phone out of my pockets; it was a text from my Dad, “I’m at Strong Hospital”.
“fate: Kris” is a fictional written series of episodes. Episode 1