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All the types of love
This is my least favorite time of the day. Mornings, ugh. I lay still in my bed, despite the annoying beep coming from my old, Elvis Presley alarm clock. It's 6:00 a.m. Most kids wake up at this time on the weekday, so why shouldn't I. I don't want to get up. I know what is waiting for me. I know exactly what will happen today. I am being a coward, and I know it, and I am willing to accept it if it means getting out of school today. But that's not going to happen. Only if I were lucky, which I'm not, I never have been. Luck avoids me, and it will now, as always.
I know that I have only a matter of seconds before my Mom gets mad and yells up to my room in the calmest voice that she can fake, 'Lilly, breakfast is ready!' I wait for this because it has come into habit. When I am loathing something, I often try to avoid it. As usual, though, luck is never on my side. So, I am already on the path towards the thing I am avoiding. Take now for example, I can not get out of going to this new school, in the new town, in this new state. It is inevitable, terrible, annoying, and unfair all at the same time.
I am still waiting. Why hasn't mom called up yet? Perhaps she is still sleeping; maybe she never even woke up at all. Impossible, my mom is always up at 5:30 a.m. every day of the week. Whenever I ask her why she always says, 'Because, how else would I keep the house and this family so perfect all on my own?' I can hear the sadness in her voice. This family was not perfect, far from it. My mom just made the illusion of the perfect family, I have no idea how she pulled it off.
My parents divorced when I was seven years of age. My father left at 4:00 in the morning- to make sure he wouldn't run into my mom. He woke me up though; I was never a heavy sleeper. I still see his car driving away down the dirt road in my dreams. I usually wake up screaming on these particular nights. I always have this dream when I am nervous or dreading something that I know will be coming soon. My father came back five days later. He and my mom talked; well it was more like arguing and a lot of yelling. When they finally stopped, my father told my mom he wanted a divorce. I could hear it all from the vent on my wall. I still hear my mom crying at night sometimes, or that might just be my dreams. My mom comes home very late, so it was most likely my dreams haunting me.
Where is my mom at? Why hasn't she yelled up here to me yet? I am suddenly overwhelmed by curiosity. Like a wave suddenly crashed upon me. I give up and open my eyes. They land on my alarm clock. It's 6:05 a.m. My mom must be yelling at me and I have just gone def. But, that is an illogical explanation. I can still hear my alarm clock going off, besides, by now my mom would have stomped up here to my room and begin to drag me down the old, but still new for me, stairs.
I sigh. The curiosity is too much for me. It's driving me mad! I sigh, this time out of frustration. I take one last deep smell of my quilt (it smells like my grandmamma) and climb out of my small bed. I stand up and stretch out my arms and legs. The popping sound of my joints is welcoming, it feels wonderful. I am cast out of my wonderful feeling by the annoying beeping of my alarm clock. I slam down on the off button hard, and trudge out of my room, after taking one glance at the time. It's 6:10 a.m. I have to get moving.
I walk into my younger brothers' room before going down stairs to see what's up with mom. He is a deep sleeper. I am not surprised one bit that my blaring alarm clock didn't wake him up, even though you can hear it from downstairs. I look at my little brother with love filled in my eyes. I would do anything for him. He is twelve. Four years younger than me. He has the whole world waiting for him, not me, never me. I say this not out of jealousy, but out of thankfulness. When I look into his light brown, almond shaped eyes, I know that he will be great for this world. When I look into my eyes, I see nothing. I don't know exactly if it's nothing but, it's nothing special. I can see that much.
I quietly walk over to his bed on the other side of his messy room, and kneel down next to him. He has a nice face. I would walk through fire for this face. He gets all of his traits from father. His dark curly hair that grows so fast, his big light brown eyes, his round face (which loses more roundness every year), his light tan skin, and most of all, his wide smile. He has the friendliest smile ever. His name is Benjamin. Although, he hates being called that mom insists that Benjamin is what he is to be called. Benjamin was my granddads name. I call Benjamin, Benny when moms not around.
Time is running out, we both need to get ready for our new school. Ugh. I hate having to wake Benny up in the mornings. He always looks so peaceful when he's asleep. I sigh again out of frustration, and shake Bennies shoulder gently. 'Benny wake up, we have school today. Come on Benny. Time to wake up.' Benny moans. He is tired. 'Please Benny, please wake up. We have to go to school.' I try to get him up by begging. How pathetic am I?
Finally Benny opens his big eyes. I say, 'Good morning sleepy', teasingly. I shake his shoulder again in an attempt to help wake him up. He isn't a morning person, like me. We both get this from our father. 'Good morning Lilly', he spoke quietly. He sounded distorted. 'Come on now. Time to get up and ready for school' I said trying to sound as egger as I could. I don't think it was convincing. 'Okay, see you downstairs. What's for breakfast?' he still sounded distorted. 'I don't know I haven't gone downstairs yet to see' talking about downstairs made me curios again.
I slowly left his room so that I could see him actually get out of his bed. I closed the door gently, and crept my way over to peek into Samantha and Sara's room. I stopped in front of the nice white, wooden door and put my ear to the front. I could hear a quite snore, and light breathing. The snore was coming from Sara. She always snored, even as a baby.
Sara and Samantha are twins. They both look exactly the same and they both act the same, despite the fact that Sara is a snorer. I opened the door just and inch and could see two little angels sleeping in small beds. They were both six years old. Neither of them
are actually related to me biologically, but I love them both so much. They are my moms and step-fathers children.
The step-fathers name was Greg. He and my mom lasted two painful years. He was a drinker like my real father only much, much worse. He would get wasted and hit my mom. This only lasted one week before my mom decided to get rid of him. He was bad before he started hitting her. But then he only yelled. I tried to tell her, the first time I heard him yell and cursed at my mom, that he was no good and scary and a drunk. She didn't listen. She never listens, ever.
Greg was put in prison for a couple of years, turns out hitting my mom wasn't the only crime he had been committing, and my mom got custody of Sara and Samantha. The only thing that could have made me happier was if my mom had apologized for not listening in the first place. I've though about confronting her about it but, why add to the list of arguments we've had.
I gazed at the angels sleeping so peacefully. They are so very much beautiful. They both had crazy, curly, honey blond hair that went to their slim wastes, and they both had fair skin and round green eyes. Their eyes were my favorite feature about them, because they were the color of wet grass, which reminded me of the field we used to have back at our old house after a rain. They are so sweet and considerate, not crazy and wild like most six year olds. Their favorite color is blue because it's my favorite color. They look up to me. It's my job to keep them safe and healthy.
Well, it's been my job since mom started smoking God know what and she spends most of her time doing God knows what. Yet, somehow she still pulls of this perfect family allusion. I don't know how she does it. I don't even know what her job is. But she did get offered a job here in Main. Isn't that just peachy! I don't even know what the job is!
I close the door silently, after blowing each of them a kiss. I walk back over to Bennies door. I say to him through the door, 'Are you up? Benny?' The door opens automatically and I see Benny already dressed and smiling. 'I'm up, what's for breakfast?' Benny says. The frustrating wave of curiosity crashes on me once again. Benny looks at me for five seconds and says, 'Why aren't you dressed yet?' Bennies stomach growls. He must be hungry, because that was loud! 'I'm about to get dressed. You go and eat before you starve.' I am able to suppress the curiosity and go to my room to get changed.
What do you wear for you first day at a new school? I had no clue. I never really had the expensive clothes. Never really cared much for them. I could never have an after school job. I never had the time. Mom expected me to pick up Benny, Sara, and Samantha all from school. Then I would have to go grocery shopping with the money mom gave me for dinner, or go home and make dinner, or start homework, or help Benny with homework, the list for things I had to do goes on and on.
I settled for my stretchy jeans with my sneakers and my favorite tee-shirt. I grabbed a sweatshirt and pulled it on also. The sweatshirt was a light blue; it reminded me on the old summer skies back in California. I miss it so much there.
With a sigh, I walked out of my room and practically ran down the stairs to see what mom had been up to all morning, drenched with curiosity again. I ran into the kitchen. To my surprise, all I saw was Benny. 'Where's mom. Lilly I'm worried. I don't think I heard mom come home last night.' Benny spoke. I could hear the pain and worry in his voice. I could see on his face the sobs he was trying to hide.
Bennies words shocked me. I didn't remember hearing mom come home last night either. But the again mom sometimes wouldn't come home until past midnight. I used to wait up for her but I stopped after a while. I didn't like seeing her when she came
home from work (whatever her work actually is), she would always reek of beer and look like a mess or something. After a while I couldn't stand it, seeing my own mom acting and looking that way. It used to give me nightmares, still does sometimes.
A sob broke through Bennies voice. I also couldn't stand to see him sad. I ran over to him and hugged him. 'It's okay, mom just left early that's all' I hoped he couldn't hear the fear in my voice. 'Did she tell you that?' I didn't know what to say. I was a terrible liar, but I hated him to be sad. 'Yes, she told me this morning, before I woke you up. She said that she will be leaving early today that she had to go to work early, for a special project. She said she loves you and that she will be home as soon as she can get here' I hope he didn't hear the false note in my voice. While I was saying that I was half trying not only to convince him but also to convince me. I honestly had no idea were our mom was. Honestly, I was just as scared as him. 'Are you sure, Lilly? Please, are you telling me the truth?' He never looked up to meet my gaze. I hoped that this would help me lie. 'Yes. Yes, Benny. Honestly, I'm telling you the truth.' I spoke quietly and quickly. 'Okay, I guess I'm just freaking out over nothing then huh?' He was trying to lighten the mood of the room. It didn't work. I laughed anyway. 'Yeah, I guess you are. So, how about I make you some cereal and you go wake up Sara and Samantha?' He lifted his head up, still hugging me tight, to meet my gaze. 'Deal' was all he said, and I could see by the smile that flashed across his face then, that he was over the whole thing.
He ran out of the kitchen and I heard him running up the stairs heading towards the twins' room. I hade him a bowl of Lucky Charms (his favorite), me a bowl of Coco pebbles, and the twins' both had their favorite ' Frosted Flakes. Everything was back to normal. Thank God.
I got the twins dressed in record time and just as we were about to go out to my old Toyota, so I could take them to school, the door bell rang. As a rule only mom and I can open the door. I looked through the peep hole first, just out of habit. I gasped out of shock and disappointment.
'Benny, take Sara and Samantha upstairs to my room and stay there until I say come out, okay?' I whispered. 'Why? Who is it?' he whispered back. 'Just go. Now.' I whispered franticly. I waited until all three of them were up stairs and I heard my door shut. Then, I opened the door.
The smell of beer, cigarettes, and God knows what else came on to me stronger then the wave of curiosity. This was both a wave of familiarity and anger. Her curly blond hair was all frizzy, dirty, and messy. She looked tired and hungry, but I didn't care. Not today at least. Her clothes were unclean and wrinkled. She breathed in and out heavily through her mouth. When she exhaled it was all I could do not to gag. Her teeth were yellow and disgusting. She was simply vile, dirty, rude, and my mom.
But she is not my mom anymore. I suddenly recognized the 'God knows what' smell coming off her. It was pot. I recognized it from those burn out boys I used to know, but never talked to. How long had she been on pot? My own mom! Not my mom! Not anymore! These thought razed through my head, all at once. I was so angry. I didn't care who that woman was that stood in front of me now. She was no longer my mom. I can't let Benny or Sara or Samantha see her like this. It would crush them.
'Well? Ain't you gonna let your own mom in my own house?' She spoke these words as if her mouth was full. It all came out in a slur. Like she didn't even know what she was saying. She probably didn't. Look at the facts: she's drunk, high, and probably hasn't slept all night. Great just great! As if my day couldn't get any worse! Ugh! I tried to sound calm. I tried to sound like I didn't want to slam the door in her face and call the police. Which is definitely what I wanted to do! 'Carol I need you to leave. Now. I don't want you hear. Benny and the twins have to get to school. I want and need you to go. Please leave. Now!' I spoke through gritted teeth. I used her first name. She shouldn't be here! I desperately wanted her to leave, forever. 'What', Carol spoke in an angry slur now, 'You want me to leave? I'm your mom. I don't have to do anything you say! Go to your room!' She raise one finger pointing up the stairs. I didn't move. I was too angry. I couldn't move an inch If I wanted to keep from yelling at Carol.
'No. You are not my mom. I don't know who you are, just that you're not welcome here ever again. Please. Leave. Now. You are a selfish, pot-head, bear-brain, crazy, smoking, rude, inconsiderate, imbecile', I was yelling at her now, 'I can't even believe that such beautiful children came from you! They are nice and wonderful and considerate and sweet and you are just the exact opposite! You are missing their whole lives and I feel sorry for you because of that! And they deserve better! They deserve a nice mother who would make them dinner and tuck them in at night and help them learn about life and take them to the doctor when their sick, and most of all they deserve an 'I love you' every day from a good mother. No, you are not my mother or their mother anymore. You're nothing but a familiar stranger to us. Leave me alone! I don't want you around them any more! Keep away from my family! I will no longer sit by and watch you tear us apart every day just by not coming home on time! Please. Do us all a favor and go get some help. You need it!' I couldn't stop the words as they came out. But once they were out I felt ' better. Like I was carrying a heavy backpack and my back hurt but someone just took out all of the books out from the backpack. I felt very good.
I stared at Carol for a long time then, and she stared back. Only she wasn't angry, she was shocked, scared, surprised, and guilty. And I was happy; she had every reason to feel guilty. She didn't say anything and I didn't think that I should keep yelling, out of fear that Benny or one of the twins might hear me. I was already afraid that they had heard me before.
Carol opened her mouth to say something, and I braced myself, but nothing came out. She was utterly and surprisingly silent. All she did was nod once and turned around and walked away. I watched her until I couldn't see her at all. Then I still stool there taking in everything that had just happened. I took a deep breath and then another one and I felt silent tears begin to roll down my cheeks and drip of my jaw. I wiped them away, took another deep breath and slowly walked upstairs, walked towards my room, and stopped in front of the white, wooden door that stood between me and my family.
I put my left ear up to the door, and what I heard made me want to jump off a cliff. I heard tears and sobs and heavy breathing. My family was crying. They had heard me. They were in pain. Their pain, my pain. Of course.
My hand was shaking as I raised it up to the doorknob. I gripped it firmly and slowly turned it. I cringed away, when it squeaked, but kept my hand on the knob. I kept turning it. Finally the door opened, when I turned the doorknob all the way around. What I saw will haunt my dreams forever.
Benny was holding Sara and Samantha tight to his chest. They were sitting next to the vent! Oh no! This is my entire fault! I am an idiot! How could I be so stupid! My poor brother and sisters! Shoot! I need to comfort them some how, I thought. 'I am so sorry you had to hear that. Are you three okay? I am so sorry', my voice broke on the last sentence, I was also fighting the tears with them now, and I said, 'Do you guys need something?' In that instant a sob broke through Samantha's throat and I sprinted across my room to them. I hugged the three of them for the longest time and we all just cried. Our shirts were all wet with tears, our faces were all red and wet, and all of our eyes were bloodshot from the heavy crying that was going on. I felt terrible, of course.
When the tears finally ended I glanced at my Elvis Precily alarm clock. It was 8:00 a.m.! Wow, that was some heavy tears there. I looked at all of my family. Benny, Sara, and Samantha and I felt a strange type of warmth deep inside me. This wasn't the usual warmth I felt when I looked at them. This was love, I knew that. But it was a different type of love. This was motherly love. I knew I wasn't their biological mother, heck I was their sister! But I loved them like they were my very own children. Who wouldn't be able to love them if they knew them? No one.
I leaned down and kissed each one of their heads. We all jumped at the unexpected ringing noise coming from downstairs. I sighed when I realized that it was just the phone. I didn't want to let them go, I didn't want to not have them in my arms. But, we all missed the two hours of school. The secretary and principal probably think that we are sick. In a way, we are sick. But no matter what, we will get through this. I promised myself that internally. And then I silently (in my head) prayed to God for help and safety.