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When I Wake

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I woke up with my light on, which was normal, typically this is how my brother woke me up for school. Typically I would also hear him buzzing around the house, eager to get to school. But today was different, the only noise I could hear was from my dogs rustling around in their crate.

Maybe he’s upstairs. Maybe he’s just trying to scare me. Maybe he’s just being quiet for once. Maybe. Maybe.Maybe.

As I walked upstairs anxiety filled my mind I had NEVER, EVER been late from school. But I reassured myself, they were here. My horrible step dad was back from drinking with his friends, and my brother was just being extremely quiet. The 14 steps to the top level of our house seemed like a mile. And I wanted hear the calming sounds of the click and clack of his key board, but as my luck, I didn’t.

Panic rose in my body and yet again a string of maybes filled my mind.

“Just look around, they could still be here”
I told myself,
“Just calm down”

I checked every where, the bathrooms, the laundry room, the kitchen and dining room, not to mention every bedroom.

I double checked everything, but then I just finally let myself cry, tears poured out of my eyes. And I texted him. I texted the guy who left me and my brother for a whole night, and didn’t even bother writing a note. I texted the guy who loved the idea of family, but not his actual one. I texted him apologizing, tears running down my face. I texted him, saying how horrible i felt for ‘disappointing’ him, and only got “its fine” as a response. 

I remember not eating breakfast that day, I also remember making a cake the day before, thinking that that’s how the ruckus would stop, with a stupid cake. I remember thinking about eating it then, but I thought I would just disappoint him more. 

My mom called the home phone around 12:30, she was worried, and mad at my step father. She had gotten a phone call from my school, and grew even more worried when she tried to call my stepdad, and he didn’t pick up.

“Where are you? Are you OK? Where is he?”

She asked questions, rapid fire.

“Hey Mom, yeah I’m fine, at home. I have no idea.”

In the end we moved abruptly, never seeing my now ex-step dad again. I remember my mom worrying that he would try to contact me, or my brother. I also remembering hearing my mom crying at night, thinking that she wronged me and my brother by ridding us of a horrible father. I thank her for that, at the time I thought she was dramatic, and selfish, but at the time I was also hurt and confused. I thank her for doing everything she could for both me and my brother. I thank her for never confusing what should be, for what it truly was.

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