Addison Gonzales [BAI]—Easter. [Rather long, sorry]
I sat in the comfort of my old home, happily enjoying some alone time with my younger brother Pierce. We have always been very close, but since I moved away we have not been able to see each other very much.
“Have any threes?” I inquired as I looked at him over the cards I held in my hand.
He shook his head, “Nope.”
We were playing some jumbled card game that he made up. It was a mix of go fish, Texas hold ‘em and War. Neither of which did he know how to play. Thus, he created his own game.
My father poked his head into the den, where we were playing, “Pierce have you seen mommy?” Slightly startled by the fact that I was also in the room he stammered, “O-Oh. When did you get here?”
“A little while ago. Sorry for being late, the brunch ran longer than I thought it would.”
“Oh no worries, I just did not know you were here.”
I laughed, “I don’t think anyone does, actually. Pierce was standing in the driveway waiting for me, and then he pulled me in here to play cards with him.”
My father glared at Pierce, but only for a moment, before he burst into laughter.
That is what I loved about my father. He has never been the severe, disciplinary type. He is more chill and level-headed than my mother will ever be. My mother was always the screaming, yelling disciplinarian. Well, that is how she was with me, anyway. Sloane, my younger sister, was the youngest for so long which got her the royal treatment. Back in the day, while I spent my weekends doing chores and homework, Sloane spent her weekends partying and hanging with friends. That seems fair, right?
“Addie, do you have any fives?” Pierce asked.
“Nope, go fish.”
“Oh is that what you’re playing?”
I shrugged, while Pierce dug his hand into the messy stack of cards that lay before him. He quickly yanked one out and announced, “I win!”
Laying out his cards, they showed an array of mismatched colors, suits and numbers.
“I don’t get it. How did you win?”
“Because I won!” He threw all of the cards into the air.
“Flawless logic, little man.” I said pulling him onto my lap and bombarding him with kisses.
“There you are,” my mother said charging into the room, staring at my father. She then glanced harshly at me, giving me a once-over, “So nice of you to join us.”
“Don’t start this, Rachel. It’s Easter.”
I played with my food as my sister droned on and on about her musical “career.”
“So this Andre guy was like ‘you guys totally rock’ blah, blah, blah. He was going on and on. It was getting kind of embarrassing really. I mean, we’re used to people liking our band but he was really into us.” And to no surprise my mother sat there like a lap-dog soaking in every word as if it were scripture.
“Then he was all like ‘oh I know a guy who knows a guy’ and stuff.”
“Really?” She gasped.
“Yeah!” My sister vigorously replied, as food ejected out her mouth. How lady-like.
“Just the other day I was telling Jillian about how well the band was doing.”
“Moooom,” Sloane whined.
“What? Can I help it if my friends are as interested in your future as I am?”
Rolling her eyes, “Jillian is the LAST person we want listening to us. Our music is about rebelling against Stepford wives like her.”
This oh-so-interesting conversation, in which my sister bragged and boasted as my mother relentlessly fed her ego, went on for another twenty minutes. I, being completely disinterested, zoned out as my mind shot back to hipster-hatred rant Billie and I had discussed the other day. I smiled to myself thinking of how my sister personified every point that we had touched upon.
Coming out of my daze, I turned my direction towards my father who was mockingly making faces and mimicking my mother and Sloane behind their backs. Pierce was enjoying it greatly, giggling whenever my father did an over-the-top gasp or pretended his hands were people—people that won’t shut up, that is. I, too, enjoyed the sight. So much so, in fact, that I did not want them to stop talking. My dad’s imitations of them were too good. Instead, I just smiled along with Pierce.
“Ahh! No way!” My mother excitedly squealed. Behind her my father then clutched his heart as his face lit up with a huge smile and Anime eyes. I could not resist, and let loose a small laugh.
Quickly, my mother’s excitement faded, “What’s so funny, Addison?”
My father stared at me wide-eyed, afraid that I would give him up.
“Nothing,” I quickly replied, returning to my nearly frozen food.
“No. Tell me. What is so damn funny?”
“Something just popped in my head, that’s all.”
As the anger welled up in my mother’s eyes, my father interjected, “Rachel, calm down. It’s not a big deal.”
“Don’t tell me to calm down, and don’t tell me that it is not a big deal! I don’t understand what that ungrateful little brat could be so funny about her sister’s career? At least she is doing something with her life!” My mother barked.
Taken aback, I responded, “And I’m not? I have an internship at an amazing magazine!”
“Pfft, an internship at a magazine for fairies. Yeah, that’s important.” She rolled her eyes and continued, “Stop being so jealous of your sister!”
Jealous? Was she serious? There are thousands of people that I am jealous of in this world. I’m jealous of Megan Fox for being stunning. I’m jealous of how Kim Kardashian is famous for no apparent reason. I am IMMENSELY jealous of Angelina Jolie for being able to cuddle with Brad Pitt every night. The one thing that I AM NOT jealous of, however, is my sister’s “career.”
I scoffed, “You’re full of shit.”
My mother jumped out of her seat, screaming at the top of her lungs, "Do you know why my friend's never say anything about you and your career? Do you know why they don't even ASK about you? Because I NEVER TALK about YOU! I'm embarrassed of you! There are days when I wish--"
"Stop it! Stop it now!" My father yelled in a stern voice, that we seldom heard.
"No! I want to hear what she has to say." I ordered.
"I wish I never had you." She said poignantly as she sat back down, assuming that there was nothing else that could be said on the matter.
Her words were cut through me like knives, but I refused to cry. I refused to give her the satisfaction. I knew whatever she had to say was going to mean, it was going to be hurtful. After all, my mother has never approved of how I live my life. Nothing that I have ever done has been good enough, so why should that change now? But somehow I never imagined my mother would /ever/ say something like that to me. I had always made myself believe that underneath all of our fights and ugly words, there was a strong level of love and respect. In one swift sentence, my mother erased that thought from my mind completely.
My mind raced with possible quips to come back with, each one meaner than the next. I wanted to hurt her. I wanted to make her feel as unloved as she constantly made me feel. As small as she made me feel. As useless as she so often made me feel. I wanted to make her cry. I wanted to give her a REAL reason to wish I were never born. But as much as I wanted to, I couldn't. My anger and excitement weren't strong enough to treat her with the same level of disrespect that she felt no remorse in treating me with. At the end of the day, whether I liked it or not, she was my mother. So I decided to give her the respect that she has denied me since my childhood.
I calmly wiped my mouth, and stood up. Staring into my father's eyes, I said, "I'll be leaving now. Happy Easter, everyone." I collected my belongings, kissed Pierce on the forehead and walked towards the door.
My mother still fuming, spitefully remarked, "Go ahead! Just runaway like a child whenever things don't go your way."
Sloane, who was uncharacteristically quiet during our fight, muttered, "No one wanted you here anyway," under her breath.
I turned on my heel, as i felt the anger well up inside of me once again. I might have restrained myself when fighting my mother, but my sister has done nothing to deserve my kindness. Then Pierce, with his tiny little voice announced, "I did!" as tears slid down his rosy cheeks.
I then looked at my father, who was now shaking his head in disgust of the events that had transpired.
I walked back to Pierce, "Hey don't cry, baby! I don't want you to cry. I love you more than ice cream and people that I love that much should never cry." I wiped his tears, squeezed his cheeks and kissed him again.
"More than ice cream?" He said, rubbing his eye.
"Yup!" I nodded.
"That's A LOT!" His eyes still burned red, his cheeks remained stained with tears, but an infectious smile had found its way onto his face.
I smiled back, "I am really glad I got to see you, monkey. I'll come back soon, ok?"
"Y-you," he sniffled, "come back next week for Pancake Sunday?"
"It's a date!" I grabbed his hand and shook it, thus making it official.
I regained my composure, and once again bid farewell to my family.
I got in my car and began driving back to the city, trying as hard as possible to push my mother's words out of my mind. I did not want to dwell on her thoughts. I had finally started enjoying life again and I was not about to let her ruin it. She was not worth it. Unfortunately, the harder I tried to forget everything that had just happened, the more my mind focused on it.
It was not until I heard the blaring of another driver's horn that I realized that my car was drifting into another lane. My heart raced as I quickly yanked the steering wheel in the other direction to straighten out the car. But before I knew it, I heard another horn blaring at me. "Shit!" I screamed. I had pulled the wheel too far without noticing and ended up in another lane, mere inches from hitting a car. I again, attempted to straighten the car, turning the steering wheel softer this time. I breathed deeply as I finally returned the car to one lane.
My body shook as the adrenaline rushed through my body. I signaled [nifty, idea eh?] and merged onto the shoulder. I stopped the car as I tried to regain my composure. I sat there, eyes shut tight, in silence, running my fingers through my hair. I hoped this was all a bad dream. That none of this had really happened. Our family dinner did not really end up in a fight, for it had not yet happened. My mother did not tell me how much she regretted my existence, instead there was still potential for us to have a nice family dinner together. And clearly, I did not nearly kill myself in a car accident because I was so focused on my mother's horrible words. It could not have happened. The fight, the words, the car accident. None of it was real. I was sure that when I opened my eyes I would be safe in my bed, snug underneath the covers.
After a few minutes, I opened my eyes still hoping that this was all a dream. Hoping to see Muffin curled up by my feet as the sun shone through my curtains, and all of this had just been a bad dream.
Instead, I found myself alone on a dark, Long Island highway. Of course it was real. Of course everything was fucked up. My life was not a movie. My life did not have awesome happy-surprise-endings. That's not how it worked. Instead, I had a roller-coaster life full of few short-lived highs and tons of incredibly depressing lows.
It was then-- after nearly an hour had passed from the fight, after twenty minutes had passed from my near death experience-- that I finally allowed myself to cry. I threw my head back hard against the head rest as the tears streamed down my face.
I cried until I could cry no more. As I wiped my face with one hand, I reached into my purse and pulled out my stash of emergency cigarettes with the other. I had quit months ago, but kept a few for situations such as these. With the first inhale of that sweet, lethal smoke I thought, "This woman will be the death of me."
Write "the ties that bind," if you read it all.
Sorry that it’s so crappy. The first bit was written about a week after the second part. It’s actually quite obvious where I started/left off. What a shame…