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Gasoline

He rubbed his fingers lightly over my skin where the ink had been stenciled into the first couple layers.

“I can’t believe you would do something like that to yourself.” He whispered in dismay.

“Guess you don’t really know me then.”

My dad backed away from me and turned to the sink, continuing to scrub away at dirt and grime that that wasn’t there. The plates had been soaking up suds for nearly an hour now, and I was certain the water must’ve lost its heat.

I refused to answer to him when he was like that, so cumbersome and dead to the world. I missed her too, didn’t he realize that? He wasn’t the only one in the world with love for her.

The phone began to ring, but I was too busy peeling the edge of my finger nails off piece by piece to get up and answer it. I didn’t care if the phone rang all freakin’ night because it was his job now. He had earned it.

“Claire! Please!” He screamed from downstairs.

I threw my magazine onto the floor and ran to the kitchen, where the phone was ringing yet again.

“Can’t you answer it for once? I always get it!” I yelled back.

“Always too damn busy working on your stupid stories to do anything else.”

I clicked the silver talk button and answered in the most polite manner I could summon up.

“Is Peter there?” A woman with a raspy sounding voice that sounded unrecognizable to me spoke clearly on the other end. She sounded like she might’ve been batting her eyelashes at the same time her words were reaching my ears.

Though I was still angry at my father for being so lazy, I gladly replied in truth. “Yes he is; may I ask whose calling?”

She sounded relieved to know she had called the right house. “It’s Heather Giles. Please tell him I’m going to be a little late that is all.”

The phone slid from my previously dry palms and fell into the garbage barrel beneath the phone jack.

I heard a loud click, as the phone hung up the other line while crashing into a pile of old coffee grinds.

“What was that noise, Honey?” My dad called out.

I grinned, picking up the phone and listening to the dial tone screaming in my ear, then carefully placed in back in its holder.

“Oh nothing Dad, just another telemarketer.”





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