I come home late at night. The door opens with a groan. Mom is sitting on the table, her brown hair tightly held in a utilarian bun, her eyes watching the clock tick. I close the door and her blue eyes pin mine. The intense blue colour is a scolding itself. I crush the cigarette in my fist and drop my sack at the door. The lightbulb swings. I stand. She watches.
"1?" Her stare is vacant and her eyes are glazed like marbles.
I stay silent and squeeze the cigarette harder, the ashen warmth burning on my skin.
"I thought 12 was late. What do you?! Why do you do this to me!" I watch her fingers shake as she wipes a tear from her face, "We live in New York Jess! It's not safe! You can't come home at 1? Your curfew is 9! You know why Jess? Because there are messed up people out there, okay? Messed up people who kill. Like the man who killed your dad! So don't you dare to that to me Jess, you understand me? Never ever do that again! Because you do not know what I can do? Oh I can do plenty!"
I step out to the trashcan and dangle the cigarette over it provoking. I know she's watching.
Let her watch. Then I pull out a bottle of empty beer and chuck it in there too.
I lie in bed for an hour. Tossing and turning. I hear an other fragmented sob and cradle my head in my hands. The tears come out hard like November rain. I push them into my skin. I can't cry. I cannot cry for someone who's so angry at me. She's manipulative. Overprotective. Strict. Caring. I cough, pheulgm closing up my throat.
I want to say I'm sorry. My eyes close before I get the chance.
Harsh morning light pushes through the blinds. I yawn and stumble off the bead with a crash. I slide a pair of black jeans and pull on a Bon Jovi T-shirt. The alarm beeps.
9:00 o' clock. The red lines buzz.
I pull my sack over my shoulder and start to run downstairs. A stiff yellow banana and a boiled egg are left on the counter. I pick the banana up and run.
The road's full with traffic. So, I skate on the sidewalk, while stuffing the ripe banana in my mouth. A redbrick roof comes into view, and I turn left onto the road. I don't look right and left. A honk sounds my ears and I push my sneakers on the road as fast I can, I grapple onto the grass with a sigh. The car zooms into a tree canopy behind me.
I pick up a damp carton of milk and go to the farthest cafeteria table. I push my thumb into the top and the carton opens, ice cold milk wetting my fingers. I rest my elbows on the speckled grey and drink. She's two tables down next to him. He wears a big leather jacket over his structured shoulders. She rests her head in the nook of his side. Her hair is in a pony tail today, a few strands peak out from her ears. Her brown eyes look bolder and brighter against her warm skin. She looks at me. I look back. Then she looks at him and they giggle into each others' ears.
I bail for the rest of school.
The crescent moon glows brightly underneath the sheer purple clouds. The undulating stars gleam over the tall buildings that protrude over each other. Graffitied garage doors line the side of the road. I stop at one of a man and a women. Holding hands in front of the sunset. Their figures are silhouettes. I sigh and continue walking.
I arrive home at 6 o clock.
The smell of hot chocolate is strong and poignant. Two star-shaped sugar cookies sit on a plate. I fall onto the chair and stuff one of the cookies in my mouth. I sit and watch her stir soup in a metal pot.
While I chew, I mutter"Thank you. I'm sorry." Then I grab the plate and mug and sprint upstairs, skipping two steps per stride.
I wanted to say more. That I love her. That I couldn't live without her. That I need her. That she is the best parent in the world. I don't.
The sun pounds down on my back, tendrils of sweat snaking down my abdomen. The bench is hot and unpleasant. I push my hair back and wipe my brow with my wrist. My hands feel hot and clammy and my face burns. I stare at the sidewalk, watching shoes pound on the ground.
Blue and White striped Adidas go by.
Then Khaki's with a bulging toe.
I see brown Converse and look up rapidly. It's her. I hesitate. Then get up. I'm going to tell her that I like her.
"Hey-uh-hey!" I call out.
She stops in her footsteps. He's right next to her. I inhale. Then look at her. She smiles awkwardly and holds her textbook to her chest.
"So-Mr.-Uhhh-He-I mean- Mr. D said that we had an assigment due sometime this week? When is it due?"
I glance at him. His eyes are irritated, like he's a bull and I'm a fly. I smirk and look at her. She fiddles with her earrings.
"It's due-" she flips through her textbook, "Thursday. It's due Thurday."
"K." I grin.
"Yeah," she nods. Her cheeks heat up a little. I pick up my skateboard and leave.
I feel good about myself as I stare at the ceiling. I hear a creak and look at the door, the room becomes brighter as Mom peaks in. The front of her face is shadowed, making her facial features grey and dull.
"Hi." she pushes her bangs from her face, "Go to sleep soon okay? By 11 o clock by the latest."
"Yeah-yeah. I love you." the sound escapes my mouth and I turn around before she can see my face.
I know she's smiling. I hear the door close.