Gone In An Instant

The time was growing short on how much longer I could control my temper. The kids at West Brook High are atrocious. Not only are they rude and outspoken, but they’re immature and don’t know how to dress. It doesn’t matter who you are or whether the thought is ignorant or nice, whatever the West Brook High kids think they will tell you; and they don’t tell you in a caring manner. If I didn’t know better I’d think that their mothers taught different. Most WB kids smell like a perfumed cigarette, this aroma only concocted by them trying to cover up the stench with musky cologne that was most likely stolen from the local store.
Though it’s not just the kids here it’s everyone! Everyone knows your business and they aren’t afraid to let you know. The “fathers” of the community spend their day working in the coal mines and their nights sitting on the front porch drinking the night away. The “mothers” gossip all day and tend to the multiple toddlers running underfoot. At night they conceal themselves inside the house where her husband sits upon the porch, afraid to say anything for fear of being hit by his drunken fist. As for the children, before they grow-up to be mouthy teenagers and unruly adults, they play in the creek behind the strip club.
Unfortunately, I moved to this tight-knit town in Oregon two weeks ago. It was not my choice of course, I was forced to. You see I am only seventeen years old and legally I’m not allowed to live on my own. Which in turn I had tried to do; only succeeding for what felt like a very short time. Oh, and living on my own, that was also not my choice.
It was July of last summer. I was a junior at Sacramento High School in California. I had a summer job working as a waitress at a barbeque joint. My mother, Sarah, worked as dental assistant. She was a beautiful woman, honey-colored hair and green eyes. She was slim and tall, which fit her athletic build but not my stringy body. One afternoon after I’d finished working, I came home to fix dinner for my mother and I. We had had an unofficial agreement that whoever got home first fixed dinner and the other cleaned up afterwards. Mom had called my cell phone earlier to let me know she would be later than usual this evening. All in all I’d had about an hour to make dinner before she arrived. After an hour and a half and she still wasn’t home I began to worry. My mother was never this late; she was a very punctual person. After another half hour, totaling two hours tardy, I decided I should take action.
I turned off the stove and grabbed my car keys before racing out the front door. I hopped in my 1998 Volkswagen Beetle and steadily traced my way to the dentist’s office from my house. About to round the last turn I notice flashing lights. A million thoughts immediately raced through my head, and all at once I knew it was my mother.
I quickly parked my car and was at the scene in an instant. There were three police cars and an ambulance. Besides that the first thing I saw was my mother’s car compacted against a telephone pole by a big white Ford. I immediately demanded to see my mother, when they said they couldn’t fulfill my order I knew; she was gone. My mother was lying on a stretcher covered with a white sheet decorated in blood. My mother’s blood.
Daniel Wright, a local teenager, had gotten mad at his parents. He left infuriated and took some pills while he was behind the wheel, and ultimately overdosed. During the seconds it takes a car to pass another he nodded out, at that exact time my mother was headed down the road. His vehicle, already going eighty miles an hour, crossed into the opposite late and pinned my mother against a telephone pole. She died instantly.
After her funeral I barricaded myself in our house. No one noticed I was living there alone. I still went to school and made my way to work. Things only got suspicious when I ran out of money and couldn’t pay the bills. Then, not only did they kick me out, but child services stepped in. The only living family I had left what my Aunt Cindy.
Things weren’t so bad when I first moved to West Brook. I loved my Aunt Cindy, she reminded me so much of my mother. That was also a problem. Apparently I reminded her of my mother too. She cried so much. If it wasn’t over mother then it was that she and Uncle Steve were fighting again. I always figured divorce was coming. Then one evening, she just didn’t come home. I haven’t heard from her since two days after she was gone, only calling to tell me she was sorry and that she wasn’t coming back. She also asked me to take care of Steve.
After Aunt Cindy left things began to unravel horribly. I was all alone, Steve never talked and I was just moved here, I had no one. They I found out school started in two days. Part of me was excited, wanting some human interaction. Another part of me was terrified, was I ready for this?
My first day at West Brook High was unbearable. Guys grabbed me and girls glared. Teachers were heartless and didn’t care whether you liked school or not. I didn’t go back for three days. I never planned on going back. Then Steve noticed I had stopped going and demanded my return. So every day I had to suck it up and enter hell on earth; and every day I would return home , miserable and emotionally beaten.
My routine was simple, wake up, eat, school, home, eat, shower, sleep; day in and day out, I was almost robotic.
Dinner with my Uncle was uncomfortable. He always asked me about my day at my new high school. Which usually followed with a roll of his eyes after, I made some crude remark, hinting at how much I hated it and wished I was back in California. Happiness never stuck with me. Uncle Steve always left the table first, off to the living room to watch the news that was the highlight of his day. After he got up from the table I usually cleaned the kitchen. Though big in size, it was nothing special. It had pale white walls with dark oak cabinet, and ceramic tile flooring. I remember the same kitchen from when I was small and my mother would bring me to visit with her. That was when her and my Aunt were still here. In the living room, where Steve sat all evening, was a wall of pictures behind the television. They consisted of old family pictures of him and Aunt Cindy, and one of her and my mother, taken at Niagara Falls from last summer, right before the wreck. It hurt to see them; I very rarely sat in the living room. One day, when I get the nerves, I will ask him to take them down, not just for me, but for healing and closure.





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