Read Miss Me Not Online

Authors: Tiffany King

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Social Issues, #Suicide

Miss Me Not (30 page)

BOOK: Miss Me Not
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“It’s-s-s
ju
-just f-funny.
I had more kids in my class last year,” he said between his belly giggles.

“Ha-ha, keep laughing it up, punk,” I said, affectionately ruffling his hair.
It was nice to see him happy again. The last month of close quarters had been intense, and the strain had definitely worn on both of us.

“KATELYN,” Lucinda yelled down the hall, making me cringe.

“Do you want me to go?” Kevin asked as I reluctantly got to my feet, looking down the hallway with trepidation.

“Nah, I got it. You watch your shows while you still have a chance.”

I slowly made my way down the hall, dreading the idea of entering “their” new space.

“Yeah?”
I asked through the thin door, hoping to delay entry into the room.

“We need our cigarettes,” she said through the door with enough aggravation in her voice that it was clear I had taken too long to respond.

“Okay,” I said, relieved it was an easy fix.

I quickly made my way down the hallway and down the steps to the car. I knew from past experience that not being prompt would only make matters worse for me in the long
run. I had spent my entire life catering to my mother’s whims and knew what was expected of me.

I grabbed both packs of cigarettes from the dashboard and the small empty tuna can they were using as an ashtray. I carried the cigarettes in one hand and the overflowing makeshift ashtray in the other up the three metal steps taking care not to let the used butts fall out of the can.

“Crap, I forgot their lighters,” I mumbled, annoyed at myself as I pulled the door open.

“Kevin can you dump this in the trash while I grab the lighter out of the car,” I asked, handing him the smelly ashtray.

“Sure,” he said, cupping it in his small hand as I headed back down the stairs.

Within seconds, I headed back up the stairs and on my way down to their room. I knocked on the door lightly and held my breath as I slowly opened it. I was relieved to see that they were at least decent as they waited impatiently for their drug of choice.

“What took so long?” Lucinda demanded as I reached over to hand them their two different kinds of cigarettes.

“I forgot the lighter in the car and needed to dump the ashtray,” I said passively, trying to get a gauge of her mood.

She shook her head.
“Blondes.
Always forgetful,” she joked with Jim.

“Yep, I’m surprised she remembered which trailer we're in,” he said, choking on his own laughter at his stupid joke.

I ignored both of their jokes, knowing the best move was to let their comments roll off my back. There was a time when I would have killed myself trying to win Lucinda’s approval, but years of physical and verbal abuse had hardened me and my only goal now was to protect Kevin from the same abuses I endured.

“I brought your bag in from the car. Do you want me to go over to the store after I finish unloading the rest of the stuff?” I asked
,
addressing Lucinda since most time Jim was incapable of making trivial decisions.

“Sure, that sounds good. Rosa, our welfare rep, said the trailer was stocked with basic stuff, so I’m sure we have pots and pans. Buy the stuff for sloppy
burritos,
and I'll make dinner tonight,” she said, proud of the commitment she had made.

“Sure Mom, that sounds good,” I said, my mouth already watering at the thought. For all her faults, she was definitely a great cook and when she got the inclination to make something homemade, it was always guaranteed to be tasty. “Is it okay if I get lunch stuff for school tomorrow, too?”

She grimaced at my words. “I guess, but you better get the forms you need for free lunches. I don’t want to be wasting our money when the state owes us.”

“Okay Mom,” I said, backing up out of the room before she changed her mind. I hated asking for the forms at school and going to a small school would make it even worse.

I had just barely closed their door behind me when I heard Lucinda’s voice calling me back through the thin wall. Sighing, I turned back around.

“Yeah?”
I asked, opening the door a crack.

“Bring me my makeup bag and clothes before you go off gallivanting around.”

“And I want a big glass of ice water,” Jim piped in, not wanting to miss out on handing out a task.

I looked at Lucinda inquiringly, but she let it slide. She was usually picky when Jim or any of the other step-whatevers tried to boss me around. She felt her demands were justified since she was my actual flesh and blood, but Jim was just a step-dad in a long string of losers Kevin and I had to endure over the last ten years. Lucinda liked to switch husbands like most women switched handbags or shoes. The cycle was always the same. They would meet, fall in love promptly, realize they knew nothing about each other, and fight until Lucinda gave them the boot. The fighting I could endure, but the love part was always nauseating since most of the time she didn’t care who was around when they groped each other. I was six when I learned what the "birds and the bees” were and decided at that moment I wanted no part of that if it made you act so crazy. It was several years later that I realized that not all adults flaunted their sex life so openly and the majority of them didn’t act like loons over it.

“Sure,” I said to Jim, not wanting to rock the boat.

I unloaded the rest of the car in my usual methodical way, placing our meager belongings in their appropriate places.

I delivered Lucinda’s makeup bag to her just as she requested. Her makeup bag was a long standing joke with Kevin and
me
, since she treated it like it was the Holy Grail. She once left one of my step-dweebs on the side of the road when he threw it out the window during an argument. It took Kevin and me almost an hour to pick up the makeup that had scattered across the landscape. Lucinda cursed out the dope the entire time as Kevin and I tried to salvage as much of the busted up cosmetics as we could. Once we had it all cleaned up, we pulled away, leaving step-dad
number
four looking forlorn on the side of the road. Looking out the back window, I had almost felt sorry for the poor guy. Lucinda suffered the seven stages of grief over the next three hundred miles we traveled and contemplated turning around multiple times, but by the time we reached the next big city and started to settle in, he was soon forgotten as Lucinda searched for her next Prince Charming. I often yearned for those brief three months when it had just been the three of us. Lucinda was a much better parental figure when she wasn’t fawning over her newest obsession.

 

 

 

 

BOOK: Miss Me Not
7.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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