It was the middle of the summer and the only thing Alex could think was the start of college. She knew it would be the start of something new for her and she was pretty excited. Yet, she was spending her last summer working on Milkshake City of London. It was never her dream job but one thing she knew during the summer was that she couldn’t stay home or else she would go crazy. The fact that she was still leaving with her parents would leave her crazy.
Alex was a pretty 20-year-old normal girl, natural from Portugal but who moved to Brighton since her father, Tom, was English. Her mom was the one from Portugal but when things got complicated in their lives, they end up moving back to London. However, Alex had some plans for that year since she was going to apply to Queen Mary University of London to study Film Studies, which was something she always wanted. Writing was one of her favorite things to do and get that along with the cinema would be the perfect life for Alex. Applying to that college could be like an open door for her to start a new life but that didn’t happen. Life wouldn’t be that easy and her parents end up moving with her from Brighton to London, which made Alex a little upset. She was 20 and she wanted to start living her own life and be alone but her mother couldn’t be without her due to loads of problems. For one side, Alex wouldn’t be able to leave her mother alone, so once they moved, Alex got that summer job what made her get some money for herself, knowing that her parents would never pay for college. Tom told her that she needed to work to get her things because he wouldn’t help her with anything and that was something he left pretty clear to her. Obviously that having her daughter working in a little coffee was not something Tom liked that much, making him be always saying things to her and putting her down. It became one time that she simply stopped listening to him and just ignore it. She liked what she was doing and it was good for her to get some money and just because he didn’t like it wouldn’t mean that she would get herself fired. That wouldn’t happen and it she was there for almost 3 months now and she knew that, if she could, she would keep on being there while working but for that she needed to talk with her boss.
Everything started in the beginning of May and it was now the August and besides some tourists in there, nothing more was happening. Milkshake was calm and since nothing much was happening she thought that, maybe, it would be a good time to talk with Eric, who was her boss. She was kinda nervous with his possible answer to what she would propose. For one side she really wanted to keep working in there while working but, sometimes, that is no good for the business and she was pretty scared of being fired. Those thoughts were eating her alive and she was completely on the moon while being there, behind the counter, looking outside but not seeing nothing, just thinking.
- I can see that your had is everywhere but here. – Said Eric as he saw Alex looking distracted with her own thoughts.
- Hum?? – Mumbled Alex, hearing Eric’s voice interrupting her thoughts.
- You are completely out! – Giggled Eric. – Is everything okay with you today?
- Yeah. I just have something to talk with you. – Said Alex, feeling herself a little nervous.
- Of course!! In anything I can help, I wanna help! – He said smiling.
- Well, as you know I came to London because I wanted to apply to college and I got in and I already got my schedule… - She said taking it out from her bag in case he wanted to see it. – But I would like to keep on working in here. I really didn’t want to leave Eric and this is really important to me you know?? I really love working in here and everything more and this has been a massive help for me. – She said being honest as she looked at him, waiting to hear something from him.
- Alex, calm down. – He said giggling as he got closer to her. – Of course you will keep working here. If you don’t want to leave then why would I fire you?? I have no reason to do that and I just need to see your schedule and make everything work out, okay??
- You serious?? – She asked him with a massive smile on her face, being really happy with his words. – That would be amazing!! I really need this job in order to keep myself in college!
- Of course I am!! – He said meaning his words. – Your parents won’t help you?
- They won’t but that’s okay. – She said nodding. – I wanna start having my own life and my own independence, even though that will never happen.
- Why do you say that?? – Asked Eric a little confused.
- Because I came from Brighton because of college and they came with me. They didn’t let me come alone. Also, my mom made herself sicker than what she really is.
- Is your mom sick?? – Asked Eric worried. – I didn’t know that!
- She is but she isn’t…. – She said sounding extremely confusing.
- What?? – Giggled Eric, being really confused with what she just said.
- It’s a really long story that I really don’t want to talk about, but she can’t live without me, in a really literal way.
- I am really sorry to hear that. I really didn’t know. – He said nodding, meaning his words.
- It’s okay. I don’t exactly talk about my problems but as you can see only for these minutes, I don’t have the most normal family and let’s not even start on my father's side. – Said Alex, giving a fake laugh with those thoughts. – You would get lost in the first second.
- I can see that you have a lot to talk about! - He said giggling as he heard her.
- My family would give me a book and a huge movie. – Laughed Alex. – But all I really want right now is to keep my work and go to college. Those are my goals right now.
- I will see what I can do for you but now you can relax. No one here will be fired and you can keep on being here as long as you want. – He said being really nice for her and trying to calm her down. – You belong to the house now!
- Thank you Eric. This really means the world to me and I really appreciate what you are doing for me. – Said Alex smiling a lot as she looked at him, being really thankful for what he was doing and saying.
- Just keep on doing your job and any problem you can always come to me and talk. You can trust me and as long as I can, I will help you with everything. – He said smiling as he looked at her. – I am no monster that will kill you! I am a person and besides being your boss I am your friend too!
- I know. – She said giggling with his words. – But still, thank you. – She said meaning her words.
- Any time!! Now go meet those clients! – He said after seeing some people getting inside.
Alex nodded, smiling, doing what he asked her to do and ending up keep on doing her job now with no worries in her head. Everything was okay and she really wanted to keep that job. She really liked working there and that made everything a lot easier. People were nice to her and the clients were also nice so she had everything to like that place. The place where she could be away from her house and away from her family. That was her escape place and made her mind keep busy knowing that once she got home, everything would change.
The clock was now marking 7.30 pm and it was time to leave Milkshake. She stood alone during the afternoon after Eric left to go take care of some things. The other girl working in there, Lexi, was on her day off, so she stood there all by herself. After closing and cleaning everything, Alex walked back home. One thing that didn’t change during the summer and on her entire life was the fact that she still didn’t have a car for her own. She had her license but she still didn’t have money to buy a car. Her license was a gift from her uncle that was in Portugal. Despite being there living she kept on having contact with her Portuguese roots and her uncle was always the best for her. They always had an amazing relationship and once she did 18 years old, he offered her that as a gift. If it wasn’t for him, Alex wouldn’t have her license since she couldn’t count on her father for anything.
Even though it wasn’t a priority she would like to have her own car to go to where she wanted without depending on people. She never liked that and even if the walk back home was like 15 minutes, it would always be different. Nevertheless, with all those thoughts, walking calmly and enjoying the breeze of the amazing end of the day in the summer, Alex arrived home quickly. She was tired and all she wanted was to go take a massive shower, have dinner and then go to bed but, obviously, that didn’t happen. It was always the same thing but a different day.
- Thank God you are here!! – Said her mom at the moment Alex opened the door, still not being inside. – You need to stop him or else he will break everything. – She said terrified, not knowing what to do with Tom.
- The usual right?? – Asked Alex as she heard her father inside the living room, knowing he was completely drunk. – What am I supposed to do?? – She asked her mom, not knowing what she could do.
- I don’t know but stop him. – Said Susan, freaking out a lot. – I don’t know what to do more and you can control him better than me.
- Of course. - Alex rolled her eyes and just made her way to the living room, where Tom was. – Okay, it’s over. You need to lay down. – Said Alex as she grabbed the bottle of Whisky he had in his hands.
- What do you think you are doing? – Screamed Tom as he held the bottle again, ripping it away from Alex’s hands.
- I am making you stop before you end up in the hospital for the billion time. – She said seriously, taking the bottle away from his hand away.
- Give me that shit and stop bossing me around. – Shouted Tom as he tried to reach for the bottle but losing his balance, which made him fall in the middle of the living room.
- See!! I am sure you are better now. – She said as she walked towards her mother to give her the bottle. – Don’t worry because he won’t move from there and he will end up falling asleep. – She said looking at her mom and then at her father.
- Are you going to leave him there?? – Susan asked confused.
- Yeah!! I am not strong enough to carry him to the bed, so yeah!! I am going to leave him there. – Said Alex as she saw Tom getting all snuggled on the floor. – And he looks pretty comfortable, so let him be. – Said Alex nodding. – I am going to take a shower and I will go to bed okay??
- Already?? – Asked Susan quickly, ending up pouting a little.
- Yeah, I am tired mom. – Nodded Alex.
- What about having something to eat? – Her mom asked, smiling a lot.
- I am really not that hungry but anything I will eat something once I get hungry okay? – She said smiling as she looked at her and kissed her cheek.
- And how was your day today?? – Her mom asked, trying to keep Alex closer to her, just wanting to have her company. – C’mon, come to have dinner with me. – She begged her as she looked at Alex.
- Okay. – Said Alex looking at her and listening to her words, not being able to say no to her again.
- Thanks. – Susan said smiling as she held her arm and walked with her to the kitchen where the dinner and the table were ready. – But tell me, how was your day??
- It was good!! We didn’t have that many people but I end up talking with Eric. – She said as they sat down on the table, having Susan serving them.
- You talked with him about what? – Asked Susan as she listened to her words. – Is everything okay??
- It is!! Everything is okay but I talked with him about college and my schedule and he told me he would fix everything so I could keep on working there. – She said smiling, starting to eat along with her mom.
- That is amazing!! That way you can go to college and work right?? – She asked, really happy with what Alex said.
- Yeah! And I am sure Eric will help me with everything and he is really understandable. Anything I can talk with him!
- That is really good!! You can keep on earning your money and everything more. – She said excitedly, already knowing that it would be more money coming inside that house.
- I do need money to pay for my things and college doesn’t pay itself alone so I do need to keep on working. – She said looking at Susan already knowing what she meant with her words.
- Of course honey!! And one day you will have your own car! – Said Susan excited.
- Above that is having my own house. – She said looking at her. – Since you came here with me…
- I understand what you are saying honey, but you know how life would be. – She said nodding. – But see for the bright side!! We are here with you!
- Mom… - She said looking at her and nodding. – Let’s not start that topic okay. Let’s just eat and then we should get some rest. – She said as she kept eating.
Susan nodded, agreeing with her and Alex just nodded as well, understanding all that talk. Since she started to work all her mom wanted was money to buy useless things. Susan was always too sick to work, even though working was never her thing, so the moment Alex started to work, she saw an easy way to get money.
Obviously the conversation didn’t last forever and with Alex’s thoughts she ends up shutting herself up, ending the dinner with her and keep her previous plans that were going to take a shower and then go to bed, needing to rest. All she wanted was her life to change for the best, since for the worse it would be impossible. That was her life at that moment and all she wanted was to make it better and she would fight for it. She would fight to get things back in track and have some good things happening, even if they were small, she knew it would give her some happiness again.