Broken Glass

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My life as of now sucks; well that’s probably an understatement. I am shattered beyond repair, like those Snapple bottles you see scattered on the side of the highway. But, I can never help what others may do (to me). It’s hard picking up the pieces when they are so small, and there are so many of them. There will probably be a few that I’ll never find.
My life is typical: workaholic father who I only see after school, on sick days, and government holidays, a “psycho” mother who was institutionalized when I was four, and Jenna. I call her my “stepmommy dearest,” if you get what I mean. In the end, all I have is Nan, my mom’s mom; she has no idea of what’s really going on at home.
I, (well my head) am messed up; Dr. Aspen says I have mild bipolar disorder.
“Just like your wack-job of a mother,” Jenna would tease.
I take my meds every day, and Doc is nice enough to let me call him on his cell whenever I need to. Even in the heat of summer, I’d wear my favorite black hoodie to cover the bruises from you-know-who. Even Doc doesn’t know yet.
It’s been an act since she married Dad.
Every day, she drinks her bottle of wine, or whatever booze we have in the house, eats everything in sight, and leaves me to clean up her mess. Sometimes, she steals some of my pills—I count them. What kind of anxiety does she have that she wants to prevent? But, mix my meds with the booze and what do you get? Bloody noses, a black and blue the size of a hockey puck on your right forearms, and “catscratches” under your left eye. We don’t even have a cat. But, Dad’s too busy to notice.
I spend any and all free time I have with Nan. Unfortunately, whenever she drops me off at ‘home,’ I meet the wrath of Jenna. She always yells at me for the smallest things, but gets beyond pissed for making her look like “an unlikeable stepmom.”
I have no comment there.
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Today, Nan dropped me off at ‘home’ after soccer practice. Tonight’s the first game of the season and I already have too many ‘battle scars’ to count. The scars aren’t even from soccer.
Dad’s surprisingly home early, but he’s in a rush. I thought he was gonna run right past me and speed off instead of talking to me. But, he turned to me and looked me straight in the eye before he got into his Mercedes.
“Sorry sweetie gotta work things out at the office. Good luck at your game tonight,” he smiled and kissed my forehead.
He was sincere; that is a shocker.
Jenna is nowhere to be seen; I glance at my watch. 4:06 pm.
(Un)happy hour.
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Nan sees all of my scratches and bruises, even if I don’t want her to. She wants me to come live with her; school is just a few blocks from her front door. But, for some asinine reason, I don’t want to leave.
You have a death wish, you’re probably thinking. I kinda already knew that. But, I’m not done here yet.
And Nan is trying to save me, but I lie straight to her face.
“I can’t leave my friends behind,” I’d ‘weep’. But, what friends do I still have? Well, the ones that don’t coexist with each other in the back portion of my brain.
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4:32 pm: I’m scrubbing my own blood off the carpet in the foyer. Again.
Even when partially buzzed, Jenna has good aim. Hopefully, there isn’t any glass in my eyebrow. A hospital visit can cost a lot, for Jenna that is.
“McKynzi, get your lazy butt in here!” the Queen of Sheba calls.
At 4:34, I find her sprawled out on the couch with her empty glass about to fall from her finger tips. She must’ve had a rough day; she never opens more than a bottle of good booze.
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What confuses me most is even though she has it all, she is never happy. Jenna has her breadwinner husband (who’s practically never around/mad at her) and maxing his credit card to buy booze (“for when we have guests”), and yet again, she isn’t happy. Well, maybe her anxiety comes from dealing with me, “the out of control and psychotic” fourteen year old stepdaughter.
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“You rang?” I say a bit too sarcastically, maybe a bit too intentionally(?). She can sense my attitude even with her head spinning like a go-kart on full speed.
“Don’t be nasty with me,” she slurs, stumbling to get up. Her glass falls to the carpet; more to clean up later. I can’t help but stare at the large shards sitting beside her bare feet.
Please step on them, I think.
“Look at me!” she spits and turns my chin to look at her. Her nails are really sharp.
“You know you have it easy here. My daddy used to hit me so hard it’ud make your head spin,” she growls.
She let go of my chin and turned to sit down.
“But you had it coming for you,” I whisper beneath my breath, not meaning for her to hear. But, as always, she did.
Before I can step back over the glass and shut my eyes, I felt the blood start to drip down on my left eyebrow. I’d have to clean that up too.
Her nails are really sharp.
“But you had it coming for you,” she mocks. “Clean that up, now,” she commands, pointing to the now red-speckled carpet. She returned to her throne while I scrubbed the carpet with Oxyclean and vacuumed up the glass. I accidentally cut my finger on a shard of glass.
There are some things I want to say to Jenna that would involve a trip to the ICU and my jaw wired shut.
Yep. That bad.
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We won the game: 3-1. I didn’t go to the celebration dinner; Jenna wanted me home directly after the game for ‘family matters,’ even though it was a Friday night. But, she was already asleep in her bed when I got back at about ten thirty.
I went into my bathroom and took a shower to get rid of the smell of sweaty feet. And, I was bleeding through the two Band-Aids I put over the cut. I cringed as I pulled both off; it scabbed over already.
I rummaged through the medicine cabinet for some painkillers and found two Lunestas and some Tylenol. I took the Lunestas and took about three Tylenol to ease the sting.
I fell asleep fairly quickly thanks to the Lunestas. Too deep, I should say.
------
I didn’t wake up in some white room because of all of the pills in my system. At 7:49 am, I woke up to the shining sun and Jenna’s blood on my hands, for once. Her nails weren’t as sharp anymore.
What the hell did I do?





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