It’s not all that sad

Submitted into Contest #89 in response to: Write about someone who is always looking toward the future.... view prompt


Urban Fantasy Teens & Young Adult Sad

Annie stood up from her desk as her mother once again called her to help with her little brothers. She slowly walked from the corner of her room to the wide-open door.

‘Anna Fisher, for God’s sake, do I have to wait forever for you to get out of your room?’ Maria yelled from the kitchen.

‘I am coming,’ almost whispering answered Ann, ‘What do you need help with, mum?’

‘Cook the dinner for the boys, Chris will be home soon. I have to go out for a little.’

Chris is Maria’s second husband, Annie’s stepfather. The girl is not the biggest fan of his, he does not treat her mother well enough. They argue a lot, mostly about the lack of money. These two got married and had the twins, Danny and Patrick, after a few months of knowing each other, practically a mistake of the early period of dating, when you see no flaws of your partner. The lack of time of learning more about each other started leading to constant fights. Maria developed a tendency to spend all of her time at work, so she would not have to argue with her husband for as much as possible. This made Ann sit with her half-brothers from the ripe age of nine. Now she was thirteen, her mother and her husband should have broken up a long time ago, but the kids made them stay together. ‘The boys need a father figure in their lives’ – that’s something Annie usually heard when asking her mother about getting a divorce.

Ann opened the fridge to get grated cheese for the pasta. When closing the silver door, she glanced at the pictures on it. There were old birthday cards and photos from the holidays. Not that long ago, it was only covered with photos of Annie, now there is one lonely picture from the beach of her and her mother. She could not remember what was the last time when smiled at the camera. The appearance of her bothers caused her to grow up with barely experiencing childhood herself. The last time she genuinely smiled on the photos when Maria was pregnant with the twins, back then no one realised how it all would turn out, and who would take on the role of the mother for these children. She opened the bag and poured the little that was left in the plastic bag into the pan. While mixing cheese into overcooked pasta and trying to watch Patrick, so he wouldn’t fall off the chair, Annie got lost in her thoughts.

‘To be fair, it could have been worse, I could have no father, who I can always come to. I will go to his on Friday night, it’s just in two days. Not that long left’ she attempted to find positives in her current living situation.

Annie’s dad lived with another woman and her four daughters. He and Ann’s mother broke up when the little girl was only five. It is hard to blame any of her parents: both of them were too young to handle the responsibility of having a family. They were both nineteen years old. A major role in their break-up was played by Matthew’s, Ann’s father, mother. She did not like Maria because she always had something to say and chose work over spending all her time at home with her daughter. This caused doubt, so she was accused of cheating. This was an end to their relationship. Now Ann saw her dad twice a month, at most. And even then, she wasn’t able to spend it with him alone, these four kids were almost in the way.

‘Maybe, I could leave mum earlier than becoming eighteen. That would be hard, for sure, but still an option. But who would look after the kids when I am gone?’ constant parental duties made her attached to Patrick and Danny. However, this attachment wasn’t a loving attitude towards them, the only thing that connected her to them is a feeling of responsibility for them, which she couldn’t escape. Even if she wanted to leave it all behind, the feeling of crippling anxiety would not leave her alone for a long time. This was the feelings that was implanted into her mind by her mother and her stepdad. She became another parent for the kids and all mistakes she made while trying to look after them would be punished. Not physically, they never beat her, but words could hurt much more than hits sometimes. This is why she always gazed into the future for a better outcome.

She was laying food onto the plates with a big spoon that quickly got too hot to touch, when she heard the key turn in the lock. A cold feeling on her back hit her. The shoes were put onto the rack, she recognised that they were rather heavy.

‘Who is that?’ she worryingly wondered, she hated to be alone with her stepfather at home. It was always so awkward, there was nothing they could talk about, so she would usually go back to her room. She couldn’t do it this time; she was supposed to watch the boys eat and eat herself.

‘Danny!’ she shouted, ‘Dinner’s ready, come here now!’

Little steps ran from the TV in the living room into the kitchen. As he struggled to climb onto the chair, Ann’s heart started to beat faster because she heard the steps of that mysterious hall person leave the bathroom and walk towards the kitchen.

‘Hey Ann,’ a deep voice came from her back, ‘Hey boys.’

‘Hey, Chris,’ Ann unwillingly said, ‘How was work?’ she asked to seem polite.

‘It was okay, thank you. Is this for me?’ he asked when taking her plate with pasta.

‘Yeah, sure, I already ate before boys,’ she lied to avoid sitting in the same space as him, ‘I will go back to my room, watch them, please.’

‘Of course, thanks for the dinner’ he sat in her place.

‘No problem, see you’ she sighed and walked out of the kitchen door. She went back to her room and straight to bed. She started crying as quiet as she could so no one would hear her. After ten minutes of sobbing, she calmed down, ‘It’s not all that sad. I am another day closer to leaving this house.’ She drowned in her thoughts about the possible future, and didn’t even notice how she fell asleep fully dressed.

April 13, 2021 17:20

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