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It was over. I sat on the curb surrounded by all my belongings, three garbage bags and two boxes, Blubbering like an idiot . Behind me in the house was all the furniture, the carpets and décor that Ryan and I had saved for months to afford. My marriage had ended, someone else had taken my place. I was only eighteen years old but to me my life was over.

I was devastated, not so much the part about losing my husband. Why on earth would I be upset about him?, he was the biggest asshole that ever walked the earth. One time during an argument he locked me in a closet for hours with our crazy rescue dog “Suzuki“, to teach me a lesson. Clearly looking back this kind of behaviour seemed a little abusive, at the time though I guess to me it seemed normal. If you’d had my life you’d understand. I think It was much more the fact that he’d found someone better that bothered me, the fact that he’d chosen this other girl, over me! It was a huge blow to my pride, unforgivable. Besides, I’d only married him to piss his mother off, the same mother that had chosen everything in our house right down to the paint color. The very same mother who had hand picked our engagement ring that he presented to me ON my wedding day, something I found out much later from someone else. So, how dare he discard me like yesterdays news.

In all we were together for three years, I went from being a svelte tall girl to a plump married frump. I was very ready to admit that I gained a lot of weight. In fact I was so aware and excepting of my weight gain that I even acted like a good sport when my father-in-law joked about how I ran home every day thinking someone was following me, only to discover it was my own huge ass behind me. In my defense though the only reason I got fat was because I quit smoking, which in my opinion is an admirable reason to bulk up. Another point I’d like to make in my defense is that to be worthy of a Yorkshire mans wife I had gotten caught up in the culinary delight that is deep fat frying. Anything as healthy as vegetables were a sin unless of course smothered in some sort of gravy and hidden beneath four or five yourkshire puddings.

Being a good cook was important to my marriage because my housekeeping skills left a lot to be desired. Mind you it was difficult keeping house for our crazy shelter dog, Suzuki, who had paranoid delusions that another dog was trying to steal his food and for that reason had bit half of his own tail off. I couldn’t count the number of times I cleaned blood from the walls. Plus the cat that wouldn’t poo in it’s litter …..never mind the ferret who stole and stashed food all over the place. On top of that I had to work extra hard to balance out my insane jealousy, which apparently was a trait that had gone out of style at the same time humans had stopped living in caves.

When Ryan initially told me he’d found someone else my first reaction was to be disgusted with myself. Any self loving individual would have seen him for the pig he was, not me. During the week after he told me I cried listening to R.E.M’s “everybody hurts” over and over again, taking a break every now and then to call the suicide line. In this pathetic state of mind, I couldn’t help wondering if I was thinner, would he still want me.

So I concluded that it was all my fault. I sat there crying shamelessly on the curb outside the house, waiting for my step-dad Charles to pick me up.

I moved to Lytham-St-Annes where my parents lived in a semi detached house, on a road full of identical houses, pebble dashed in various colors. Summer was in full swing and the atmosphere was alive with tourism, surrounded by scantily dressed girls strutting around the town made me desperate to lose weight. I devised a cunning plan to imagine that food had mold on it. I was quite pleased with my cleverness, I envisioned myself as the inventor of the latest fad in diets. It worked surprisingly well, Thanks to my vivid imagination I was able to convince myself I could actually smell the mold. With my new “healthy” diet I also began smoking again which seemed way easier than wasting my time with exercise, it’s a well known fact that smoking helps with weight loss.

So there I was, young, slightly overweight, sporting a “Bill & Ted” haircut accentuated by black roots on platinum hair. When I looked in the mirror all I saw was a fat skunk. I was single, my heart was in pieces and the tiny shred of self respect I may have had died along with my marriage. I fretted constantly about whether anyone would ever want me again, the long lonely nights on the uncomfortable sofa bed in my parents living room, were unbearably lonely.

After a couple of weeks of wallowing in self pity I woke up one morning and decided to get my hair done, I figured if I worked on the outside, no one would be able to see the mess I was on the inside. The hair salon at the top of my parents road was completely empty that afternoon. I strolled in and was seated immediately adorned with black cape, by a very attractive woman. Seemed to be a prerequisite to be a hairdresser, having sexual appeal of some kind. This one in particular was overweight but the kind of overweight that happens to bless your behind and breasts with the curves men appreciate. She also had the straightest whitest teeth I’d ever seen. Her shiny Raven black hair only made her teeth whiter in comparison.
“how would you like it?“ said the stylist brushing her fingers through my hair and examining me in the mirror. “I’d like it a little less mushroom but maybe leave the 2 inch roots?, I‘ve grown rather fond of them“ she laughed at me, I noticed her huge tits swung from side to side when she laughed. Her name was Christine, we hit it off really well. I kept rattling on and she kept laughing at my Jokes, she had this way of stopping what she was doing and using her entire body to laugh. When she was done My hair looked great, Christine was a master of her craft I paid her and headed for the door. With my hand on the door I turned and said “Hey listen, I just moved here last week. Do you know of any good pubs around?” I held my breath hoping I didn’t ooze desperation
“Of course! Come join me and my friends in the Vic tonight, It’s down this road right to the end. We usually get there at about Eight” she smiled an open genuine smile, no hint of being disgusted with me. I was really excited, My parents house had become stifling and I was dying to go wild besides I’d lost a little weight and wanted to show it off, but more than anything I was curious to see if I could attract just one man that wasn’t an asshole.
That night I met up with Christine, all decked out in some new clothes that mum had sprung for, hair looking fabulous. I felt light hearted and pumped up. Christine had a handful of friends all around her and everyone in the pub seemed to know her well, she was obviously in her comfort zone. I got drunk smiled at a lot of men and felt right at home just like that show “Cheers“. I met up with Christine every Friday night religiously for a month, I took flirting to a competitive sport level and attracted a lot of idiots and slept with most of them in an attempt to prove my ex wrong.

After awhile of weekend outings, I sensed that Christine and her friends disapproved of my easy behaviour with men and they made me feel slightly ashamed. What finally put a stop to our nights out was when I had a one night stand with the fiancé of one of their friends, A guy named Simon. It only took a week of persuasion to lure him into his bed while his fiancé was at work. I kind of hoped he’d leave her but that was never on the cards for him, he was so racked with guilt after a less than satisfactory attempt at sex that he cut me off, like I was nothing.

I decided it was best to steer clear of Christine and the Queen Vic for awhile after the incident, I was on a mission to self destruct and the fewer witnesses I had the better. To prolong my break from work and real life and the nagging that was sure to prevail from my parents, I feigned interest in furthering my education. When September arrived I enrolled in some classes at the local community college, I was of course determined to try the hardest I‘d ever tried, put my nose to the grind stone, Succeed in life. That‘s what I tried to believe in hopes that my parents would also. And I vowed to myself never to fall in love again, I would use men for my own needs without committing my heart. It all sounded great in theory.

On my way home one afternoon, my first week of college I saw a girl huddled over in a bus shelter shielding her cigarette from the wind, I was dying for a smoke and she looked friendly enough to approach. It was September in Lancashire England. The wind was a hammer driving rain into my flesh like nails.
“‘ave you got a spare ciggie love?” I said scooting behind the bus shelter wall
“aye, i do” she said rummaging in her bag, she pulled out a pack of Lambert and Butler, not exactly regal or Benson & Hedges but at least they weren’t Marlborough. I took it from her placing it between my lips.
“sound, ta!” I smiled around my smoke “you got a light?”
“you want me it smoke it for you too” she said without even a hint of a smile, she held up her lighter and we huddled around it trying to shield the flame from the wind.
“here, do you know Fergy” she said after she’d lit my cigarette, her brow all creased up in thought while she studied my face.
“Never heard of her” I said
“Fergy‘s a he” she said tossing her cigarette out in the wind . We both watched as it got caught up in the wind, the glowing cherry bounced down the road until it was extinguished by the rain.
“Never heard of him” I said as the bus pulled up to the curb
“I just thought I recognized you, that’s all” she said, she paid the bus driver and waved without looking at me as she walked to the back of the bus.

I walked home in the rain and the wind with nothing more than a hoody, my hair was soaked and by the time I did the few miles back to my parents house my entire body was drenched. I liked the rain though, it had a way of reminding me that I was alive. I didn’t mind getting wet. Often I’d go down to the beach when the tide came in. The huge waves would be crashing over the stone walls right over onto the boardwalk. If I was really down, I’d stand real close to the edge, there was a certain satisfaction in being catapulted by a heavy wave, close to drowning almost. When the weather was bad I was always the sole person on the boardwalk, which is why I suppose I chose it.
I saw Chloe at the same bus stop on a regular basis, with her friend who attended the beauty school program at the college. I repaid her a cigarette and it became part of my routine to stop and smoke with her. After awhile we became friends I liked how boyish she was, seemed I got along better with Ladettes.
Chloe was big trouble though, as rough as they came, vulgar explicit language, peppered with aggression. She struck me as someone who’d been unloved and rejected from the moment of birth. Chloe had strong Scottish roots and every once in a while when she talked she adorned her best impersonation of a Glaswegian, she nicknamed me peter pronounced Pee’a. She was danger and excitement rolled into one and of course it attracted me, I myself had been a troubled teen and had been acting like someone else for the past three years, The shackles were about to come off.
  Our friendship blossomed fast, like wildfire spreads in a dry spell. Chloe and I hung out at predominantly Irish and Glaswegian filled pubs in the back alleys of Blackpool. Our favorite one where Chloe was well known was the kind of pub that employed a heroin addicted stripper. One day Sherri didn’t show up to strip, Tracey and i decided that we would turn the karaoke into a strip tease that night in honor of Sherri who had that day collapsed from a heroin overdose. We got on stage and Tracey started belting out Alanise Morissette’s “Ironic” only she sang it like Janice Joplin. I riled up the men by pretending I was going to remove a piece of clothing which I never did but by this point all the Glaswegians in the pub were chanting “pee’a, pee’a!”

I was so high on adrenalin, and when the song ended there was a roar from the crowd. Chloe and I went another round teasing them unmercifully. Afterwards the free drinks rolled in which of course had been the whole point, fully loaded we legged it down the alley to a tattoo artist that Chloe wanted to go to. She’d been wanting to get her tongue pierced and talked me into getting my belly button done at the same time, the tattoo artist looked like Sean Connery, only rougher. That was the thing about Chloe that I liked she always needed to do something spontaneous and crazy, she was driven.

Chloe and I became inseparable, I got a rush just from being with her. The air was always heavy with the possibility of trouble as we skulked around from pub to pup at night. she was aggressive and possessive and I was more than willing and passive we made the perfect team. she’d had her own apartment from the age of 16 straight from a foster home. I’d had my own place at 15, when my Ex and I had shacked up together. I loved the freedom of her apartment and stayed over most nights. she entertained many men, I wouldn’t have said she was easy though. Usually she kept the same one for a week or so until he did something that infuriated her, then there‘d be fireworks and she‘d threaten to kill him. On the nights she did entertain I tried to block out the sounds coming through the paper thin walls as I tried to sleep on the couch, concentrating hard on the soft lyrics of Tracey Chapman that Chloe always had on. Sometimes if she entertained a man that came with a friend it was my job to keep him busy. Whatever it was that I had going on at her place it was ultimately better than my parents house..

We spent our days sleeping and our nights clubbing sometimes when we had no money it would consist of getting a buzz off a can of Pepsi and dancing in the empty clubs of winter. I went home periodically to get clean clothes and steal money from my parents. On this one night when we had lots of money thanks to her dole check and a nice crisp 20 from my mum‘s purse. We went to a pub on the more hip side of town searching for Ecstasy. Of course I was no stranger to drugs, I’d had my first E at 13, when I was married I stopped getting high respecting the life my young husband wanted. We found a gay guy sitting in the pub who had a whole pharmaceutical stash to choose from, but all we were interested in that night were the white pills with the dove the best E around at the time. We handed over our hard earned 15 pounds for 2 E’s and went out the back door onto the parking lot the beers were way too expensive in the pub and we still had cover fee at nightclubs to think about if we were going to go dancing. We counted our money and figured we had enough for bus fare and door fees at the club but once in we’d be hustling for drinks. Anyway even if we didn’t have drinks, the E was more than enough on its own.

When we got to town it was pretty busy for a Thursday night, considering it was the dead of winter. We got into the club no problem and judging by the handful of people upstairs I figured they were glad to have us. As the E began to kick in we headed for the dance floor, as far as good looking guys, that night it was slim pickings. There was just 2 men near the dance floor one was in his forties, well dressed, smelt nice but he looked like he was off his face. Obviously a lonely alcoholic, perhaps married even. The other was a young desperado looking for pussy. Even in our baggy tomboy clothing we seemed qualified as girls, for this crowd we were a good catch. I headed for the young guy which was a more comfortable environment for me. Chloe headed for the older guy in hopes that he’d have money and she could scare him into spending it. Before long my guy got so drunk he had to leave, I managed to get a few drinks out of him but I didn’t really need them because by this point I was in Drug Heaven.

Chloe’s choice of man was faring well still on the dance floor spilling his drink everywhere, she actually looked like she was having a good time. I could never figure out what her taste in men was, it was so random. I didn’t realize what I was doing until it was too late, Chloe was in the bathroom and her guy came over and started talking to me in the language of drunk and when Chloe came back I was grinding a dance out with him. I didn’t even notice her coming back I was just so into the music and my head was in another dimension. She just sat there staring at me make a fool of myself from a table next to the dance floor. Foot taping psychotically. I finally noticed her oblivious of her anger and all I felt at that moment was felt releif that she was back, I was bursting for a piss. I waved and smiled at her and I floated to the bathroom on my cloud of ecstasy, I had no idea she was right behind me. I’d no sooner got through the door when I was pushed violently into the wall. I heard a crack but didn’t associate it with my head hitting the tiles behind me. My vision cleared and I saw Chloe’s angry face close enough we could have kissed, it was obvious to me even off my face that kissing was the last thing on her mind. She was holding me by the collar of my t-shirt she had spit on her chin and her eyes were big and scary.
“You fucking slag” she said with more spit flying into my face “Stab me in the back would ya?” she dragged me to the first stall and threw me through the door, I fell backwards and sat down hard on the toilet.
“I don’t understand” I started crying she stood there with rage in her eyes fists balled up tight, she punched the stall door. Then just like that in an instant Her face changed and softened up, the darkness lifted from her face and it looked like she was suddenly aware of being conscious.
“Don’t cry” she said softly holding my face with her hands “I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have done that”
“You hate me?” I spluttered, snot bubbles coming out of my nose.
“No I don‘t” I must have looked scared because I’d never known her to back down so easily.
“Can you hear the music” she asked me playing on the Ecstasy running through my blood in hopes that she could get me back to feeling good.
“yeah I can” I said smiling through my tears, the forgotten beat outside the bathroom suddenly became audible again and it lifted my spirits.

“D’you wanna dance” she asked me, she was quite lovely when she smiled. Which wasn‘t often.
“Yeah I fuckin’ do” she started laughing and bounced around trying to get my cheer back up. She grabbed my hands and yanked me up off the toilet and just like that we went back out to dance. My tears dissolved into dried tracks, and the whole nasty incident was forgotten.
We danced for what seemed like forever, well after the E wore off.

Later that night a little more level headed and snuggled dreamily in bed I wondered what would happen if someone she really liked showed any interest in me.


Out of boredom Chloe decided she wanted to go see her mom, surprisingly she lived 3 flats to the right of Chloe’s. Right on the corner of a quiet intersection. When we got there her mom answered the door in a silk dressing gown, obviously hammered . I wasn’t surprised, I was sure the woman standing before us was part of the reason Chloe had grown up in foster care. Nothing like my sober little bible-cult-upbringing. Her mum didn’t say a word just lurched to one side and let us come in. We made our way down to the only door in the claustrophobic hallway when it opened into a sitting room I felt relieved. It was sparsely furnished, just one step up from a milk crate seat and a cardboard box table. I wasn’t formally introduced me to her mother but she stumbled over to me sloshing her drink all down her hand, she reeked. Her breath was about 80% proof.
“hello, sweetheart, your a lovely looking lass!” she said leering at me. she swayed back to her chair and leant over to Chloe with a whisper only a drunk can pull off. “If she ever wants to work, send her here!” which she then accentuated with a very convincing wink.
They chatted for a while, when the doorbell rang Janice rushed us out of the front door. The east Indian man standing there didn’t seem to mind two filthy rats like us scuttling by him. There at the curb sat a black Mercedes, completely decked out with chavy tinted drug dealer windows. The second the guy stepped through that door I could feel a wave of aggression pulsing through Chloe. the volcano was about to erupt.
“who the fuck are you” Chloe said in a low but poisonous voice. Her stance naturally assumed the ready to fight position. In our short friendship I’d seen it more than once starting with that fine head butt she’d landed on me that night we’d dropped the ecstasy together.
“Clear off Chloe, don’t fucking start” Janice said and slammed the front door. Chloe stood there with her fists clenched down by her sides. When she’d gotten over it she stormed back to her flat, naturally I followed her. Inside we picked out all the small bits of hash she had in her little rolling box, we got high listening to Tracey Chapman as loud as the cheap CD player would go, Chloe sang along. I foolishly thought she was over what had happened at her mum’s

The next day though she was on a mission, I suggested we have another smoke of a joint in hopes of calming her down. That was more for my benefit. I didn’t like the color of her mood, it was dark. Eventually I couldn’t distract her any longer. she was at the door slipping on her shoes, like any good sidekick I did what she expected. I followed behind a little as we walked to her mum’s, sure enough my worst fears were confirmed the black Mercedes still sat there. The little bit of early autumn frost all over the car told Chloe what she needed to know. Instead of knocking she went down the side alley, climbed up so she could unlatch the wooden gate and beckoned for me to follow. When she bolted the gate behind us I got a little uncomfortable, what was I going to witness? but my curiosity was to overpowering I had to see what was about to happen. I followed her into the back door to the flat, the air was crackling with bad intentions.

Like a bad movie the east Indian appeared before us at the bathroom door with only a pink towel around his waist. Chloe made what sounded to me like a tribal cry and charged for the sitting room. She stopped dead inside though, when I peaked over her shoulder I saw why, her mother lay on the couch out cold. Her dressing gown lay open it was obvious she was naked and I thanked god we stood at her head and not her feet. Feigning interest in anything around me was vital to my survival as Chloe pulled the two halves of Janice’s gown together.
The east Indian appeared fully dressed whistling while he fumbled with the clasp on his Rolex.
“Tell Lisa I’ll be in touch” he said not even looking our way. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared cause I was. Growing up in the house of God, random acts of violence are seldom seen. Chloe grabbed his leather jacket and started pummeling him with it, if I’d been an outsider looking in I might have laughed it was so comical. I didn’t laugh though I just stood still, tried to make myself invisible. Janice suddenly came to life on the couch groaning and holding her head, I wanted to scream at her to “stay down, keep sleeping“. Luckily for the east Indian, Chloe turned around so she was right in Janice’s face. “you fuckin’ whore! your shagging Paki’s!!” she screamed into her mums face, her own face purple with rage.
I stepped back a bit, Suppose I was afraid that that I was about become a witness to murder. Chloe yanked her mother up from the couch, to my astonishment Janice actually started fighting back. They scuffled for a while like a couple of drunken men in a bar fight. then Chloe got the advantage, Janice went flying into a lamp in the corner she hit the wall with her side and slumped down. I knew she was aright because she started crying.
“you SLAG!” Chloe shouted into her mums face and then kicked her in the ass.

All the way back to her flat I ran to keep up to Chloe, she never mentioned what happened again and nor did I. I was fascinated by the dynamics of the lower class people, its where I’d come from before Charles had married my mum and took us to the land of middle classed opportunities. The bottom was more familiar it was where I felt most comfortable.

The next few weeks had us hustling men for money in some of the dingier pubs we favored, where the air was rank and the 1970‘s wallpaper was stained orange from nicotine. The toilets smelled like a graveyard and the barmaids didn’t look like they’d live through another shift. We’d flirt with the punters until they were drunk and con them out of their money to go get the next round. When we had the money in our hands, which was always far more than the round cost, the change would always magically disappear. Most of the time the men didn’t remember the next day, they were chronic drunks. I was sick of being broke though and I grew tired of our schemes and the low life’s we had to play. I wanted to get high night and day, So one night full of beer and someone else’s hash. I summoned up the courage to say what I had to say. “I need money, I’m thinking about becoming an escort” I said it, it was out and I refrained from making eye contact with her while she digested my words. Chloe and her mum had patched things up since the fight, as though it were nothing to throw your mum into a wall. So we’d been there a few times and It had become safe to let on that I knew that Janice was an escort. Every time we went over there Janice bugged me to come work with her.
“So do it then” Chloe said, her face all contorted with disgust. I knew that the power of drugs would be stronger than her moral position. Besides it meant her mum would be taking a cut from me rather than doing the dirty work herself.
“you sure your aright with it?” I ask tentatively, afraid of her fist suddenly popping me in the face without warning. I realized that I wasn’t even that frightened of her anymore, apparently my drug fueled alter ego was braver than me. I was becoming hard……………….to be continued

A social butterfly
That’s how,
You remember me.
It was all a lie
And the people,
At the party
Used to laugh,
At my jokes
But now they only laugh at me…..

So, Fuck You!
When I don’t feel right
Hello! when I need to talk
Don’t, call me
On the telephone
Cause I’ll call you
When I want

Used to chat
For hours
When I still could
Forget that
Every time I speak
These days
Its hard to hear
Because it’s muffled
From the foot that’s in my mouth

So, Fuck You!
When I don’t feel right
Hello! when I need to talk
Don’t call me
On the telephone
Cause I’ll call you
When I want

I want to be alone
Just want to be alone
Because it’s easier
So easy… be…….me

Infinite, Circle, Un-breaking, Continuous
Laying Eyelids Flicker
Under Heated Silenced, nothing
Not quite silent
Not really loud

White flakes of petals fall
Snowing under frozen ice
With the warmth of summer
Nothing heated
Nothing chilled

Cotton candy rolling hills
Casting blocks of shadows
Bands of light and dark
No lightness
No darkness

Blended, with red clay earth
Body lying deathly still
Faint pulse, a rise and fall
Really Alive

Nothing is everything
All is for none
Infinity is only Equal to one

Lying next to you at night
Red brick wall between us
Driving in the car
A million things I wanna say
But I can’t share them
Won’t compete with the radio

When did I become,
Part of the scenery?
A piece of the furniture?
The background noise?
How did I become so obsolete?

I say your name so many times
Yet you don’t hear me
Too busy watching T.V
I call you on your cell phone
And all we do is argue
We used to talk for hours

When did I become,
Part of the scenery?
A piece of the furniture?
The background noise?
How did I become so obsolete?

What happened to us?
When did we fall
Out of the love we had,
Instead of your arms
I fall to the floor when I’m crying
I never whisper your name anymore
Before I fall asleep
Just to hear it.

like yesterdays news
How did I become so obsolete?

She lit up fire’s of destruction, Stole money from the blind beggar
And Thieving cars was just for fun

She got her thrills from breaking heart’s, Wore rejection like a trendy hat
Even the devil named her “dark”

She never knew what love was
Branded with the tortured soul
Of a trouble maker
Unloved little troublemaker

What a crazy sight she was, screaming silently into the night,
When the loneliness ate at her.
The talk of the town, when she’s gone she’ll never be forgotten

She never had a sense of peace
Branded with the tortured soul
Of a troublemaker
Born alone
Hated troublemaker

So, think you have all the answers?
Think you know it all
When someone tries to talk,
You have to disagree
The only voice you hear, your own
So confrontational,
Always fighting.
Have you stopped to listen?
There’s a person speaking,
But all you hear is you.
You push potential friends away
You make the world uncomfortable
If only you could see
That you’re not always right
When your buried in the ground
There, upon your gravestone
Engraved below your name
The written words will read..
…….“None the F**kin’ wiser”

When you saw her sleeping, unaware
Your heart grew very fond of her
Quite unexpected were your feelings
That you ran away to hide

Alana, with sunshine colored hair
Her green eyes lure you in
She’s as tempting as sin

You locked the door, closed the blinds
Wouldn’t answer the damn telephone
You did however surf the net
Accidentally there she was, left you breathless
Staring back, right through you
From a picture that you took
With a sudden need to see her sleep
You ran coatless, out into the rain

Alana, with sunshine colored hair
Her green eyes lure you in
She’s as tempting as sin

Standing there unsheltered from the storm
Shivering from the cold, she was
A vision surpassing any picture
You held her tight, unable to let go

She’s Alana, she’s lured you in
And now you’re the product of sin
Sweet Delicious sin.

The Angry, was the bacon
Spitting at my eye
Biting into my flesh
Leaving a sting
Like something alive
I ceased making eye contact
Looked down at my feet, poking blindly
Forking the beast
Trying to resume
Some normality
In my morning

I got off the school bus in front of my house. I was so busy re-adjusting myself and my huge Art portfolio that I didn’t notice the car in the driveway. When it caught my eye I was almost past it. It was a bottle green Toyota of some kind, not that it mattered to me. I paused at the front door. My mom hadn’t exactly been sociable since dad died five years earlier, Unless you counted Smirnoff as a friend. So, I was a little uneasy about the owner of the car. As I walked into the house I could hear a man’s voice speaking softly. I slammed the door to announce my arrival.

“Shawna, I’m in the kitchen” mom called out “come in here for a sec?”

I rested my portfolio against the stairs and gave myself an eye roll in the mirror above the shoe rack. I was pleased with my reflection, the light streaming through the window made my hair look like pouring honey.

“Shawna?!” my mom sounded impatient but surprisingly sober.
“I’m coming, I’m coming” I muttered. As I walked into the kitchen a Thin man with curly black hair got up from the stool at the breakfast bar. Both He and mom were plastered with these fake nervous smiles that seemed inappropriate for the kitchen, they’d have been more suited to a toothpaste Ad, showing that many teeth.
“Shawna, this is Michael….” the combination of mom motioning and smiling i was reminded of Vanna White from wheel of fortune. Michael stepped forward, he was shorter than me which surprised me even though I stand tall at 5’10. He thrust his hand out towards me.
“nice to meet you Shawna” he said his voice was creepy, like someone whispering in the dark.

“It’s great to meet you too” I said in the most genuine voice I could muster, then without shaking his hand I sauntered over to the fridge. For some reason I felt arrogant. I grabbed a can of coke and could feel the two of them watching me. I took a huge chug of pop and instantly regretted it. I never drank pop and right then I was reminded why… felt like lit sparklers had been shoved up my nose, my eyes began to water. Although it was torturous I forced myself to swallow. Nothing in the world could have stopped what happened next. I belched REALLY loud. My mother suddenly got all twitchy and jumpy. Michael cleared his throat.

“Uh yeah” I finally managed to say “if you guys are done with me, I’m gonna go upstairs. I have to get ready to go out.”

“great meeting you Shawna, hope to see you again sometime” Micheal said then he turned to my mom beaming with pride at his own cleverness. I decided right then that I disliked him immensely, there was something sinister about him. I turned to look at my mom to see what kind of vibe she was giving off. I was really surprised to see her staring at me as though she had no idea who i was. I was a stranger to her.

“So mom…” I tried to break the tension with words “You remember Kat and i are going out tonight?” one of Her eyelids twitched slightly.
“o.k., well, umm, I’m going out too” she said then busied herself by picking invisible fluff from her white lace shirt. I found it strange to see her without her habitual dressing gown. Now that I was taking a closer look at her I noticed everything was different about her. Aside from the fact she was actually wearing clothes her hair was swept up in a loose bun with strands falling down around her face. People used to say she was an older Sandra Bullock and dressed up the way she was, I would have agreed. Lately though she’d been looking like a homeless person. It suddenly dawned on me that my mother was going on a date.

She saw the light going on in my head, I grinned at her. She glared back at me.
“Michael and I are going for dinner” she said and with that she clicked off in her heels muttering about her purse. Michael cleared his throat (again).
“I gotta get ready” I said pointing a thumb in the direction of the stairs. He nodded and smiled, as he searched for words I made a quick exit…………………………………