Black Contemporary Drama

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

Erica sat on the couch and wondered how the hell this was her life. She was thirty-three, unemployed, and currently living on her parents couch. She thought that life couldn't get much worse--- but that was a lie. It actually could get worse....and it would get worse in the form of her type-A, overbearing, perfectionist mother. She was the type of woman who walked five miles to school in the snow in two freaking directions. She was indomitable....she was what "successful" looked like.

A home, five kids, and a faithful husband.

All of them perfect....well....except for Erica herself.

Erica was sitting on the couch watching netflix in her pajamas. She was currently taking advantage of her parents sympathy and guilt and taking her time finding a job. She was fucking TIRED...she'd been working since she was sixteen, hand to mouth, and the entire planet was currently on fucking shutdown. Who can you rely on if not for your parents?

(That was actually the source of all her problems.)

"Doin' nothin' again, I see." Erica's mother appeared in the doorway of the living room which she resided. (Jesus Christ.... would it kill the woman to change up her insult material? It was like she had a daily script and Erica could practically set her watch to this shit.)

Erica sighed.

Of course her mother thought she did nothing if she didn't personally see her slaving away and crying about being unemployed.

"Sure mom...." Erica said as she forced herself to stare at her laptop. She knew if she gave her mother attention.....it would just make the whole ordeal worse.

".....And you need to clean up this nasty room." Erica's mother continued, " Do you need me to clean this room up for you again?"

Erica sighed and glanced around.....the room was cluttered.....not nasty. It was mostly her purse and work things on a side table and a finished bowl of cereal by the television. Everything else was clean.

"Do what you want mom...." Erica sighed tiredly....this was a conversation they had daily. She was honestly fucking over it.

She heard her mother scoff at her unruffled attidtude.

" Well.....if you don't like what I have to say--- leave. This is exactly what this room looked like the last time I threw you out."

Erica froze.....and actually felt her blood beginning to boil. She turned slowly to look at her mother..... as she felt a surge of absolute hatred pass through her. That was a painful memory for her....

She'd been twenty-four, nearly died, had just left the hospital for a blood transfusion, and lost her job. Back then her mother had begged her to stay with her as she recovered....even though Erica was reluctant. She and her parents had never really gotten along in her entire life and she knew it would end badly.

"Go ahead." Erica replied acidly after a moment of silence " Wouldn't be the first time....and it certainly wouldn't be surprising."

She'd trusted her parents in a vulnerable and confusing time, she'd been trying to find her way AGAIN....after nearly dying from a medical condition. She'd been sleeping on a mattress on the floor, paying her student loans, and generally being treated like shit while she figured it out.

Of course that wasn't good enough.

"This room looked exactly like this the first time I threw you out." Erica's mother said carelessly as she looked around the room.

Erica tried to keep her peace.....she really fucking did.

"This room was fucking spotless the first time you three me out!" She exploded at her, " You wanted to move all my things outside because YOU WANTED TO PULL UP THE RUG that you HAD NO IDEA how to do!" Erica yelled back, " When I wouldn't move all my things on one of your "whims".....you told my stepdad to throw all my stuff on the curb like it was trash-- which he did---and then locked me out of the house. The only reason I was okay was because my sisters and brothers ran in the house and grabbed my essentials before you tossed me out like trash."

Erica watched as her mother's eyes seem to slit like a snake.

"No...I threw you out because you're NASTY and don't take care of stuff. It was your own fault! You apologized!" Her mother yelled back.

Erica looked back at her like she was crazy.

Erica hadn't apologized to her parents....she said she'd forgiven them for what they had done. She hadn't talked to them for two years, missed two of her grandparents funerals because her mother didn't want her to ride down to Alabama with them, and she'd seen a sign at a church declaring, " Holding on to Hatred is Like Drinking Posien and Expecting the Other Person To Die."

It seemed like an omen.

So she'd written a letter....and it was mostly to make it easier on her siblings. They were the ones who'd suffered the most...pretending they didn't have a sister at family gatherings....while at the same time benefiting from their parents guilt. They finally loaned Erica's brother the money he needed to go to welding school which he had been selling weed to attend.

That's when Erica realized that her mother had a freaking "Selective Memory".....where she was always the victim and she did nothing wrong. Christ, the woman never even apologized when she did something wrong. She just pretended that the event just didn't happen.

So it didn't matter what Erica said right now....it didn't matter what was true....All that mattered was what her mother believed. Whether it actually happened that way or not.

So Erica stood up, grabbed her cigarettes, and went outside for a smoke.

There was nothing she could say to change the situation....and arguing never got her anywhere with her parents.

So tired....she walked the fuck outside and smoked and listened to music...and pretended that she was someone else, anywhere else....anything that wasn't the clusterfuck that was her life.

July 27, 2022 10:50

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