Angels of Anaheim
Author's note: This was written by a dream I had. THIS IS REVISED!! It's not the same as the original, so... Show full author's note »
Chapter TwoMom still lay curled up on the couch when I got up the next morning. I knew she would. I just got dressed and walked out of the house into Anaheim. I walked downtown, blending into the mob. Another faceless person, floating to another destination. I didn’t have a destination, though. I was just walking. When I got tired, I sat on a bench, and people-watched, as Mom used to call it.
There were full families, ones that weren’t dysfunctional. I saw mothers with daughters. Fathers with sons. I wanted one. I knew, however, it wasn’t in the cards. It just wasn’t meant to be. I just sat and stared. I began to daydream. I dreamt of angels. The angels that save people from peril. If these existed, none were headed my way. They’d be here by now.
I continued to walk, and began to think about something; my demise. I hadn’t thought about it since Andrew died. When I found out about it, I wanted to run out of the house and into the busy highway, and prayed that someone would decide to drive drunk or start texting.
My walk led me to the beach. It was so hot, and I’d suffered most of the summer in my jeans and sweatshirts, mostly because I don’t like shorts. I do wear t-shirts, though. My beloved sweatshirts and jeans would soon have to hibernate, and I would be forced to wear shorts. I don’t know why, but I feel naked when I wear them. I feel like I lost my privacy. I soon felt a hand on my shoulder as I stared out at the people laying down their blankets for a day at the beach. I turned.
It was my friend, Erica Summit. She’s about four inches taller than me, has very short, platinum-blonde hair with pink and purple sections, and a ring in her left nostril.
“Hey, darlin,’” she said.
“Hey,” I said. She had her pink aviators on. Her hair was spiked up today. She kind of reminded me of the singer P!nk. She was barefoot with black toenails, short grey-and-black checkered shorts, and a white Buckcherry shirt.
“How’ve you been? Mom still doing stupid stuff?” she asked.
“As always,” I said, “I guess I’m fine, though. My brain’s a different story.”
“Now, you can’t be thinking those things, Maddie. Gotta be strong. You were given this life for a reason. I think it was to prove that people can overcome,” she said. I nodded.
“I don’t know if I can overcome or not, though,” I added.
“Yes, you can. You’re still alive, aren’t you?” I didn’t say anything. She was right. I hate it when people prove me wrong.
“Aren’t you?” she repeated.
“I think I’m just a zombie anymore,” I said.
“Well, I have days like that, too. You get through them, though. In the sixties, black people would lock arms and sing ‘we shall overcome!’ Now we have a black President,” she said.
“I don’t feel like singing, and it‘s not the sixties,” I said, trying to get her to change the subject.
“Har, har,” she snapped. Her phone rang. She answered. This was the conversation; “Hello? Yeah. At the beach. Maddie’s here. Sure. Okay. Love you. Bye.”
She put the phone back in her pocket. “Who was that?” I asked.
“Mom. She said she’s at Mickey’s Pizza down by the pier for lunch,” she said.
“What time is it?” I asked, realizing I got up an hour ago.
“Eleven-thirty,” she said, glancing at her phone.
“I didn’t get up that long ago,” I said. She put her arm around me.
“You’ll sleep your life away. Come on, we’ll eat lunch. It’ll be good for you,” Erica said.
“No,” I said, trying to pull away.
“I’ll pay. You need it, Little Miss Anorexic,” she said.
“Since when are you looking at my belly?” I asked.
Since your mom started doin’ meth and not cooking for you. You can tell it,” she said and poked my belly.
“I cook for myself,” I said as we started walking.
“Must be a poor cook,” she said, giggling. I laughed. It felt good to laugh. I’d done too much crying.
We met Erica’s mom, Stacy, at Mickey’s. We sat at an outside table.
“Hello, Ms. Maddie Dunn,” she said. She looked like Erica, minus pink and purple hair and rock band shirts. Erica and I were such good friends because her dad left, too. Why, I don’t know, and I don’t want to know.
“Order what you want, dear. We’ll pay,” Stacy said. I felt bad by saying so, but I said thanks.
We started our conversation when the waiter arrived with our pizza.
“Is your mom still hanging on?” Stacy asked.
“Yeah. She doesn’t give up easy,” I said.
“That probably means that she isn’t slowing down with that stuff does it?” she asked. I shook my head.
“It’s probably gotten worse, if anything,” I said. Stacy sighed.
“I hope you know that my house is always open. If you want her to get help, just call the health department, and we’ll take you in,” she said.
“I’ll probably get sent to my dad,” I said.
“Oh,” she said.
“You probably won’t if you don’t want to,” Erica said. I nodded.
“Yeah. I just would feel like a burden,” I said. Stacy lowered her fork.
“Never! You’re one of the sweetest girls I know. How this could have happened to you, I’ll never understand,” she said.
“God has strange ways,” I said, “I wouldn’t want to question Him, either.”
“Probably not,” she said.
“If that could happen to your mom, who knows what could happen to you,” Erica said.
“Yeah. Thinking about it is probably scarier than living it.”