Amber- Both. It's tough on Mia. On all of us, really.
Melissa- Yep, extremely horrible stupid despicable fire ruins everything... And the ironic thing is, it's so beautiful.
Kevin pulls into my driveway. Ahhh, the benefits of a friend with a car. Friend.
"One of your parents is home?" Kevin asks. Wait, what? Why's Dad home?
"That would be my Dad. My mom's... she's deat. " Kevin bites his lip.
"I'm sorry. Do you miss her very much?"
"No, I never knew her, she diet in childbirth..." Kevin nods. He looks at me. There's something in his eyes, something so sweet and boyish and just wonderful, and I want to just sit there and drown in it forever.
"Mia, want to come over on Saturday? Or we can go somewhere together?"
Yes! my mind screams, say yes! My throat closes up. "I might be busy, I'll have to see..." Thanks, Dad. Thank you so very much.
The look in Kevin's eyes now isn't wonderful at all. He looks hurt, his smile drooping slightly. He turns his head away.
"Okay then. Some other time. Bye."
I get out of the car and pull air down my throat, but I still can't breathe. My eyes sting. I hear Kevin zoom off down the street, and I want to chase him. Don't leave me! I lied! I want you!
I want. I want. I always seem to want. But whatever I get just makes me want more.
My breathing is still shaky as I open the front door. Dad's watching TV.
"Hey Dad. Fire at school. We had to leave." I keep my eyes on the floor, hope I'm doing it right. Playing it safe.
"How'd you get home?"
"A fre- someone drove me."
"Look at me! Can't look your father in the eye? Think you're so special, huh? You little runt. Who is this someone?"
"Just some guy I know from school." I command my mouth to obey, say what he wants to hear. But all he wants to hear is an excuse to hurt me.
"Why are you home?" I whisper, my voice tiny. But even as I say it, I know I've went too far.
Dad grabs me, little half moons of sharp in my shoulder. "Listen up here, I'm the man in this house. I ask the questions. You think you're so much better than me? You go get a job. Don't look at me that way!" I quickly lower my eyes again.
So he lost his job. Well, I'll get one, and hold it down, too.
"Don't ignore me!" he yells, shaking me. Back and forth. Back and forth. The room turns into a colorful blur. Will my brain be okay?
"I'm sorry, Dad." Why does he hat me?
"Look at me. Stop being sorry. Start doing something with your life! I take care of you day and night and you disrespect me like this!"
I take care of you day and night. I wish. I take care of you day and night. Something flares in me, red hot and explosive. I look Dad straight in the eye. He hits me.
I hate being hit. The thing in me grows, like an ocean wave cresting. My skin stings. My cheekbone feels loose. But I don't let him see me cry. He has my hand in a deat grip, and I let my mind go somewhere else.
To a round table with a boy named Kevin and shelves of blessed books all around. And I am writing a poem.
When the hot sticky tears
Come rolling down your face
The world moves too fast
Can't keep up with the pace
Those salty tracks burn, it's true
But at least you can cry
Because I can't
When your head's under the blanket
And the air is so thick
Your eyes are dry
But your heart feels sick
The pain is horrible, I won't argue
But at least you can feel
When you're completely still
Still as stone
And you're completely cold
Cold to the bone
Angry shouts floating all around
People are yelling, and you're not found
(Nobody's looking for you, anyway)
Your heart is gone, there's nothing inside
Not a tear or a groan or a sigh or a wish
For the old days to come back, because there's no more you
Just a robot
But at least... at least...
At least you can't be hurt?
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