On the outside everything looked great, but on the inside unspeakable things happened. This was the 4th house we had moved to in the past 3 months. It was a small little house layered in chipped white paint. The palm trees were swaying in the breeze as I walked up to the steps. I lifted my hand pushing the overgrown branches out of my way. A pungent smell rushed past me almost knocking me onto the ground when I opened the front door. I slowly walked in leaving the door open to let the house breath. The house looked abandoned but the inside, you could tell that someone had live there before, just never really taken great care of it. The walls that were once white were now stained yellow from cigarette smoke. “I’m going to take the room back here you can have the one upstairs”, my mother yelled from the back room. I sighed as I climbed the steps to my room. The door creaked as I pushed it open. There I stood looking at my room not knowing how long I would be here. Over the years I worked to decorate my room and make it my own, but that slowly faded overtime. “I guess I need to open a window and get to work.” I said to myself.
A cloud of thin dust exploded from the bed as the boxes hit the mattress causing me to cough. “Mom where are the cleaning supplies and a vacuum?” I shouted from the top of the stairs. “The vacuum is still in the car as for supplies, get some money out my purse and go get whatever you need.” I grabbed my bag, ran down the stairs and dug her wallet out as she walked in. She took her wallet from me before handing me a few hundreds. “Here,” She said giving me the cash, “Fill up the car, get what you need, and get us some food.” I nodded as I headed out the door. “Oh, go by the liqueur store and get me my usual”, my mother yelled as I waved bye before getting into the car. I counted the money. My mother had given me $600 instead of $300. She always let me have what was left. If she didn’t, I would never have lunch money or be able to get clothes for school.
I took the extra $300 stuffing it into a secret pocket in my bag and left. “Mom I’m back,’ I yelled as I closed the door, “your stuff and change are on the coffee table.” “Keep the change Hun”, I heard her coughing from her bedroom. I picked up the change of $189 and some coins, then carried all the bags to my room. I pulled out one of the 5th bottle of vodka taking a big swig. About 3 hours later I had washed down the walls, swept and mopped the floor, and took a shower. Then slipped on my shorts and a tank top before finishing off the bottle. The sun finally peeked through my window around 2 pm that afternoon. My phone was going off like crazy. I pulled the cover over my head as it rang again. “UGH”, I huffed as I reached for my cell phone.
“WHAT!”, I shouted answering the phone. “What the hell is wrong with you?” the voice yelled back. “Sorry Brit”, I answered rubbing my eyes. “Long night?” Brit asked. “Yeah I got to bed around 5 this morning.” “Or maybe it is the hangover from the Vodka” Brit snapped back at me. “Meh could be if I ever got them” I answered her laughing. “Well get your drunk ass up we’ll be there in about 20 minutes” “But Brit” I tried to say before I heard the buzzing of the dial tone.
I would start a new school this year yet again, but at least this time I would be with my friends. I found a note on the coffee table; my mother would be home sometime tomorrow. “More like 10 minutes,” I said getting into Brit’s car. “Yeah well”, Brit jerked the Range Rover in reverse peeling out the drive way. “Come on let’s go shopping before the party tonight.” I could tell my mom was back to her normal stunts. She was partying every night and sleeping all day. Brit and the girls took me shopping for school clothes. I had no idea that in the next 24 hours, my life would change so dramatically.
I pulled up to the house late that Tuesday night with 2 boxes in the back seat. Those boxes contained everything I had collected in my 16 years on this earth. I sat there in my Yukon trying to figure out where it all went wrong. I had woken up early last Thursday afternoon like normal. My mother still wasn’t home from the night before, so I grabbed my keys and headed to the beach. I must have dosed off because I was awakened by some of the hotel staff. On the way home I stopped grabbing some food and rolling papers. My mom still wasn’t home. To me this was normal or at least my normal. I was excited about school this time and mom had promised that no matter what I could stay there until I graduated. I was sleeping when my mother had come into my room and dropped a large envelope on my pillow, then walked out without a word. I sat up in bed opening it slowly. It was a letter...
I thought about this for a long time. Fuck it you’re not a child anymore. Here is your fathers address and phone number, and some money for food and gas. You cannot stay here anymore. Love Mom
I just sat there dumbfounded. “Love mom, really” I said reading the letter over again. I didn’t know what to think or do at that point. I opened the big envelope to find a smaller one. I opened it slowly to find my social security card, a picture of me and my dad, and about a grand in cash. My mother had done some shady shit over the years, but this took the fucking cake. I just stood there holding the note as I dialed the number.
“Hello how may I help you?”, the man asked, “Um I’m looking for,” I said trying to read the back of the picture. “Don Jackson?”. “Yes, this is he,” he answered. “May ask who this is?”. “Loyalty”, I started to say when he cut me off. “Taylor,” my father slowly responded. “How do you know my last name?” I asked slowly. “I prayed that you would call one day”, he said with tears in his eyes.
I sat down on the edge of my bed. “Um, can you hold on for a few moments please.” I asked sitting the phone on the bed. I didn’t wait for an answer. I tossed my box on the bed, reached in grabbing my lighter and lit a blunt. then inhaled deeply holding it before exhaling. “Sorry about that someone was at the door”, I told him as I sat on the bed. “It’s OK,” he said slowly. “I’m just so happy you called me.” I heard him tell someone to hold all his meetings and calls for a while. “I’m sorry I can call back, I didn’t know you was busy”, I said hoping to be able to hang up. “No, no, it’s fine”, he told me quickly. “Loyalty, I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I really am not. I’m just wondering how you got my number and why now? I haven’t talk to your mother in years.” he asked, hoping not to scare me away. “Yeah about that. Um she wrote me a letter today and said I had to leave, told me to call you.” I said
“Sure, we would be happy to have you come live with us.” he said filled with hope. “Us?”, I asked slowly. “I’m married now with 7 kids.” he told me. “Seven” I mouthed. “Okay I guess I will come there I mean I don’t have anywhere else to go” I said hesitantly. “Great when will you be here?” “Well I got to start packing,” I said lying as I looked at the boxes on my dresser still half packed. “Um I guess some time Tuesday.” I said lying again. “Great Loyalty I can’t wait for you to meet everyone and to see you again. If you need anything between now and then call me” I hung up without saying goodbye.