A Turn Of The Tables

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Is it humanly possible to want to regurgitate both your meals and scream your head off at the exact same time? Either way, that’s how I felt that rainy Tuesday afternoon, anatomist opinions aside.

I’d just gotten off the same dirty yellow school bus that took me to and from K-12 Preparatory for the past eleven years. The second I crossed the street and saw Aunt Patricia’s oddly shaped fuchsia Volkswagen, I knew something was utterly incorrect. Aunt Pat never visited on weekdays, in reality, she hardly ever visited. The universe must have somehow reversed itself during the past eight hour school day.

Mom and Aunt Pat weren’t all that close ever since the accident. I’d always figured Mom couldn’t handle all the memories Aunt Pat brought whenever Mom looked into her eyes. The same eyes my father once had, the same eyes girls seem to adore, and the same eyes genetics seemed to oppose giving me.

I stepped inside and found Mom and Aunt Pat sitting at the kitchen counter with coffee mugs in hand and way too many boxes at their feet. This wasn’t some random shopping spree they’d just experienced. I’d figured they’d had some overly loquacious one on one session.

“Uh, hello…”
“Hey…how was your day?”
“It was great. Didn’t trip in front of anyone.” Of course, that’s not including the clumsiness the lunch lady witnessed.

“Ha-ha, same sense of humor as Dave’s I see.” Aunt Pat and her sporadic remarks. A cast of sadness overcomes my mother’s face, and distorts the smile she wore into a less than pleasant semi-frown.

I guess a year doesn’t really mollify the pain of losing the absolute love of your life. Not that I’d know, I’m sixteen and never had a girlfriend.

“Well that’s great. Take a seat, we have some news for you…”

Uh-oh.

I chose the kitchen stool closest to the door, ready to make my big, overly-dramatic, typical teenage exit if needed. Minus the yelling, of course; my head was already throbbing from fidgeting with those two kindergartners throughout the entire thirty minute bus ride.

“What’s up,” I stated with much too joviality on account of the information I was about to receive.

“Well, your Aunt Pat and I have been speaking for weeks about this, and I finally got a big break this morning.”

“Mom, if you want me to keep up, perhaps you should begin with the exposition to this tale. I may be an AP student, but I have no idea what you’re speaking of.”

“Right. Well, I’ve been looking for a new job, Anthony, and this morning I got an awesome offer from a big firm up in Madison, Wisconsin. The dude was looking for a crazy last-minute position to fill and…” That was the thing about my mom. She was a lawyer, yet she never ceased to allow the Californian surfer girl emerge when she spoke. Wait a minute, did she just say Wisconsin? “…and I really think this is a great opportunity to have a fresh start for you and me both, and your Aunt Pat has agreed to go with us and sort of help us out in the beginning, and…”

“Wait. Wait. Wait. Mom, Wisconsin? We’re from, freakin’ Chicago, not Wisconsin. That’s like a whole other state…it is a whole different state! Mom, what the he--” Aunt Pat gives me a look. “--rmit crab?!?”

Aunt Pat decides to chime in. “Calm down, Tony. It really isn’t that bad. We’re all in need of a fresh start, ever since your father died. This is what’s best for you, and it’s what’s best for your mother.”

This lady is honestly about to blow my top. No, wait, it’s officially been blown off. Every single Newton of anger inside of me suddenly pushes up against my throat and I can’t bare to hold the pain of the last twelve months in any longer. No amount of therapy can tone down the words about to bungee jump off my vocal chords.

“Why do YOU care? You’ve barely even been around since my father died. You don’t even know half of what it’s like! You’re not the one who has friends here, who has an actual life outside of knitting club here. Who has memories in this house! He may have been your brother, but he was MY dad.”

Aunt Pat’s face just dropped a couple kilometers.

Mom steps in. “Anthony Gideon Jones you have no right to speak to your aunt that way! I wanted to speak a little more about this but perhaps you need a little time out first.” Time out? Seriously? My gluteus and feet somehow seem to coincide and thrust themselves off the cold stool and the ceramic floor. The odd pair decides it’s time to take advantage of the teenage exit I’d prepared for.

“Whatever. I’m going to Jason’s. Don’t bother to call my cell phone; it’s planning to turn itself off in the next minute.”
“Tony, get back here!”
“See-ya.”

And just like that my world managed to turn itself upside down in a certain cataclysmic manner that no amount of high-pitched pubescent screaming or slamming doors could surmount to.



***


“Can you believe it?”

My best friend Jason was toying with the Rubik’s Cube I’d gotten for his birthday a month ago. We were in his forest green room, watching Forrest Gump on his tiny television, just three houses down from mine.

“Dude, let’s examine this from every aspect. You live here, in Chicago. In Chicago, you are a dork. A scum, so to speak. A member of the lowest rank on the high school food chain…”

“Gee, you really know how to make a guy feel better. Thanks. I truly love you.”

“Wait, I’m not done fool. What I’m saying is, maybe this is a good thing. A fresh start. That’s what you’re getting. Not everyone gets that, I sure ain’t gettin’ it. And I most definitely hate you for being the one to receive this opportunity.”

Such a turd.

“Are you kidding me? I can’t believe you’re siding with my mother. I knew you were weird, but this is oddly disturbing.”

“Tony, I’m going to miss you, and I’m going to hate losing my best friend, however, I am your best friend and ergo must make your difficult times better.”

Every color on the cube is in its designated place now.

“Okay maybe I’m sort of over-reacting, but this really does suck. I don’t even know what I’m getting myself into. I’ve been here my entire life, and you’ve been there my entire life, and this was where my my life with Dad was…this is weird.”

It’s beginning to dawn on me that I truly am leaving, and I don’t even know when since I didn’t stick around for that part of the discussion. My heartbeat suddenly begins to fluctuate from a steady rhythm to the beat of an overpowering techno song.

“I don’t know. I gotta go.” I begin to reach for my things when Jason grabs my arm and proudly states that he’s read The Alchemist and would know a thing or two more than me about life.

“Ha, right. I’ll text you later or something.”

“K, love you sweetie.”

“Shut up.”

I put on my jacket and head out of the house, not bothering to bid farewell to Jason’s mother in the living room. I crank up Muse on my ipod and start walking to where life has decided is much more suitable for me.





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ilovensaraic said...
Jun. 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Nancy!

Your literary dexterity is quite extraordinary. However, avoid using so many big confusing sentences. They make my head spin. They make my small brain bounce inside my head. But besides that, it's great. Keep it up!

Dan <3

 
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