My parents and I lived in a small complex down Anzac Avenue. Truth is, we weren't all that wealthy. We needed NRAS properties to have our backs; a scheme to provide more affordable rent for struggling tenants. Places such as complexes sucked to live in because of the infuriating neighbour's that constantly bug you about the music being too obnoxious and loud. That meant restrictions and curfews for when to play music. Not cool.
My father earned just over the minimum wage, which frankly was a complete rip off since the job requirements involved travelling regularly. I continuously tried convincing him he could find a better job; one that he could be home for me more often, but he was so convinced he would start receiving higher payouts and that it was the job he was meant to be doing. I knew different. But if it made him happy, I couldn't have cared less.
"Seriously? Why does patch strike me as some weirdo?"
For the past hour I was stuck with a complaining nuisance, Tiffany. We were reading the same book and she was having a hard time keeping her mouth closed. Soon I was afraid the neighbours would start complaining from her innate talent to be annoying.
I moved the torch over the book, eager for her not to open her gob. To my surprise, it wasn't her ruining the moment; there was a flicker of light reflecting from outside. The motions sensors were on. Nothing new, and to my assumption, it was probably someone passing by.
I needed coffee. More like a few months of sleep.
Tiff shifted her gaze towards the window behind her. "Did you hear that?"
"It's probably the neighbours passing by."
She leaned over the couch and peeked out the blinds. The lights vanished leaving an eerie darkness.
Nothing is there, I told myself, but the unsettling feeling lurking in my stomach was telling me otherwise.
Tiff hopped off the couch and shifted closer to the front door.
There was a high pitch squeak that echoed outside making the hairs on my neck rise. It had to be the gate.
The leaves rustled against the concrete.
Something was coming right through my front gate.
My heart fumbled multiple beats.
Tiff backed away from the door and the shadow of her figure edged back to me. I had an urge to pull her closer to me, but an uneasy silence filled the air.
Was it gone?
The doorknob began rattling and my scream filled the air. Tiff wrapped the TV remote in her grasp and raced towards the door.
It was me and her against whatever was out there.
Fear pounded through me.
She swung the door open and yelled. There was a loud thump that hit the ground.
It was my mother.
I sprinted to the door and crouched beside her, her complexion pale and her eyelids closed.
No, no, no. Not again. She was meant to be working late, not going out getting inebriated.
There was a bottle of whiskey stuffed in her hand, the strong-smelling substance leaking.
My shuddering fingers found her rough neck, a slow pulse drumming against the tips. This wasn't good.
"Mum? Can you hear me? It's going to be okay," the words shook out of my mouth.
There was a sense of foreboding echoing in my head that it wasn't all going to be okay.
There was no response; only a stale stench leaking from her mouth. Something wasn't right. It was never this bad. How much did she take?
Her slim body began to jerk, and a white substance foamed in her mouth.
"Tiff call 911!" I hollered, tilting her head over to her side so she wouldn't choke on it.
I had no clue what to do. Out of all the things that could've been rummaging through my mind, it had to be that I was going to lose my mother.