I just put my head down and made my way towards my classes, ignoring everyone else. I just wanted to go home.
The classes passed by in a blur like usual but I wasn't too worried since I always caught up with school work at home and my grades never seemed to waiver even if I didn't pay attention in class.
I exit the school building and start making my way towards my house. I think I should get a part time job, money was the only thing my dad had against us and I should start planning for the future now. I need a preety college application which I already had. I had good ass grades and I have done soo much volunteer work that I could be the next mother Teresa.
I know one part time job wouldn't get me much, so looking a for a few would make sense. I'd go home and make a couple of resumes and look for as many jobs as I can fit into my daily schedule without disrupting anything else. I know the local library was looking for a set of helping hands so I can start from there.
I need to stop weeping and acting like a helpless kid. It's time to take matter into my own hands now.
So, with this in mind I change my route and head towards the local library where I spend most of my time studying. The librarian there is a sweet old Indian man in his late 60s. He always save the good books for me and makes excellent recommendations.
I make my way inside the Library and see Pramod, the librarian.
"Good day sir, I am here to make an enquiry about the job poster I saw outside" I said while doing a bit of a courtesy. It was a little inside joke, Pramod had been making a shit tons of recommendation of old historical books these days.
"Oh stop teasing me child although I do like the sound of "sir". These days all people do is nod at me or ignore me, you're the only one who even talks to me" he says with a sweet old smile on his face.
"Well what can I say sir, people these days are very stupid and bad judge of characters, they can't see a jewel even if it was right in front of them" I say making the old man laugh.
"Wait did you say you wanted to ask about the assistant librarian job just now? Why?" He asked me reminding me why I was there in the first place.
"Yea, I thought a couple of part-time jobs would look good on my college application" I lied. Even though Pramod knew what my father was like, I didn't want to trouble the old man with my worries.
"Is it your father again Ave?" He asked me with a knowing look. Well of course I can't hide anything from him.
He is the only and the first outsider to ever know what was going on in my house and he had seen enough of the world to know in an instant what was on someone's mind.
I didn't tell him about my father though, he found out when I ran from my house after my father threw the TV remote at me, making my head bleed. I didn't know where to go, so I ran to the Library with my hoodie up, thinking I could hide in the isles but he saw me and it didn't take him much time to figure out it was a domestic case.
He offered, actually almost called the police but I stopped him, even I knew we couldn't survive without my father and I couldn't risk Ray's future with my selfishness. He needed to go to school and for that we needed money.
"Well he is part of the reason but also I just thought if I had a couple of extra bucks, I wouldn't have to ask him for money for little things" I said to him nonchalantly, trying to make it seem like it wasn't a big deal.
"Well I don't see why you wouldn't be perfect for the job, you know this library better than I do" he says to me with a kind smile on his face, he knew I wouldn't tell him what was going on at my house but he was still trying to comfort me.
"Well then when do I start?" I asked him, excited about getting to spend more time in the library.
"You can start tomorrow. You would have to re-arrange the books, stack the new books that's all. I'm a bit old so climbing ladders is scary for me, everything else I can handle"
"So what would be my working hours? And my pay?" I asked him, I had to get atleast one more job if I wanted to make some money.
"Well you work from 3:30 till 6:30 and I would pay you 10 bucks an hour, sounds good?" He asked me
"Yea sounds awesome..I can make around 900 bucks a month" I told him but tbh honest I didn't even know if this was good.. I've never worked before but I knew he wouldn't try to cheat me and 900 bucks a month after only working like 3 hours a day sounds good.
"Then I'll see you tomorrow, kid. Do not be late and wear something comfortable since you'll be on your feet the entire time" he says, showing a bit of fatherly concern. He probably was a great dad to his kids.
"Okay sire, I will see you tommorow" I tipped my imaginary cap to him and proceeded to exit the library.
I looked at my watch and it was 3:56 now. I can still look around for more jobs. A waitressing job would be the perfect one for me but the key is to get one after 7 or even 6:30 would work , though I would have to run my ass over but I can't be too picky.
I made my way towards the main shopping spots. Shops like those are always looking for sales girls and I was sure I could get something there. I looked around for a while, collecting information of shops which were looking to hire, even went inside a couple of stores and talked to them about the jobs, gave them my number and everything.
I think this would be enough for today, I should head back home. It was getting quite late. I looked at all the job info I had jotted down in my diary. I found quite a few, tommorow I'll give them my resumes but I doubt those high end shops would hire me. Don't they need like recommendations from previous employers? I think waitressing is my best shot. If I can't get a job in clothing stores, I'll hit the restaurants and diners tommorow.
I took my keys out of my bag and opened the door to my sweet lovely home and saw chaos. Everything was in tatters. Wtf happened?!?
"Mom! Mom!" I screamed, looking around for her, what happened?!? who did this?!?
"Ava!? Is that you? I'm in the living room!" I heard my mom say and rushed towards the living room trying my best to not trip on things.
I saw her, she was trying to clean up the mess in the living room.
"Mom what happened?" I asked her even though I knew what happened, my father.
"Why are you so late Ava? School ended hours ago. I was worried"
She asked me clearly trying to avoid answering my question.
"I was at the library, talking to pramod about a job" I told her. "Mom did dad do this?"
"It's okay sweetie, I can just clear all this up, don't worry" she told me, turning around momentarily to give me a smile. Her eyes were clean which means she didn't cry but I don't know that for sure, she was getting good at hiding her emotions.
"What job were talking about? Are you getting one?" My mom asked.
"Yea, I got a job as assistant librarian at the library. I thought part time jobs would look good on my college applications" I told her while I busied myself in picking all the stuff up from the floor.
"Oh that's good darling. You're such a good kid Ava, I'm sure you'll get into a good University too." She said to me.
Hmm I was a good kid...thinking about leaving her and Ray in this chaos..I was such a good kid but in my defense that was when I knew Maddie would take care of them. I guess her leaving changes my plans drastically.
"Yea and umm I could buy stuff for Ray and you as well. We can go out to eat more often" I told her "mum where is ray? Did he see all this? Did dad hurt him?" I asked all of a sudden remembering Ray, panick now setting in.
" No he is at a friend's house Ava.. I'll pick him up soon"
"Oh, which friend? Is it that Plovers kid?" Ray had a shit tonnes of friends, I guess he was the social butterfly out of the three of us.
"No, it's a new friend he met at the park a couple of weeks ago, the parents are nice and live right around the street"
"Oh, should I go and pick him up, it is getting late, I can take him for ice cream or something" I asked her.
"Sure baby, I'll clear up in here till then"
She said gratefully. She didn't have to be grateful, it was my job to take care of Ray. I took my purse and checked if It had enough for ice cream. My mum gave me the home address of his friend and I set out.
To be honest, Ray was an excuse I just wanted to get out of that house. He trashed it all, everything. How could he? Those were our memories and he had no right.
I walked down the road, feeling the slightly chilly air calm me down a bit.
I turned left from the corner of our street and according to mum it was the fourth house on my left.
I went up their driveway and ringed the bell. I was greeted by a very gorgeous woman in red.
"Umm hi I'm Ava Piers, Ray's sister. I'm here to pick him up" I told her politely.
"Oh you're Ava, your mother just called to tell me you were coming to pick him up, wait a minute I'll get Ray, okay?" She said with a kind smile. She was nice, their home was nice as well, not thrashed on the inside. I couldn't help but feel jealous of everybody today.
"Ava!" I felt Ray wrap himself around my leg while screaming my name and telling me all the fun he had with his new friend.
"Okay calm down dude, first say goodbye to your friend and then we'll talk okay?" I told him, reminding him to be polite. I had to make him into a good person, Ray cannot turn out like our father.
"Thank you Mrs. Peterson for having me over" Ray said to the lady who opened the door. Mrs. Peterson... mum tells me half the information only.
"Oh sweetie it was our pleasure. You can come and play with Christopher any time you like" the woman said politely.
"Thank you for taking care of Ray Mrs. Peterson" I said to her as well.
"Oh geez you Piers kids are so polite. It was no problem darling" she said. Ray said his goodbyes to Christopher as well and we were off to the ice cream parlour.
The entire time Ray went on about his day at school and about his time at the Peterson's house and I was grateful since I don't know how to converse with an 11 year old anyway. I patiently listened to him, speaking a bit here and there myself. We sat there even after finishing our ice cream, just to give more time to my mum to clean the house.
I texted her to ask if it was safe to come back home and when she gave me an all clear, we went back.
As soon as we reached home, I cooked the dinner, got Ray to do his homework, revise everything that was done at school and told him to clean his room as well. We had dinner and I put Ray to bed. I wanted to question mum about what happened. I needed to know if father hurt her in our absence.
As soon as I heard Ray snoring, I turned his night light on and made my way downstairs towards the kitchen where mum was cleaning everything up.
"You didn't have to cook dinner. You could've just went back to your work" my mum said as soon as she saw me enter the kitchen.
"You cleaned the mess that man made, so I had to make dinner" I told her, she knew why I volunteer to do house chores, it wasn't for me, it was for her.
"I know, I'm sorry I didn't mean it like that" she said realising she hurt me with her words.
"Why did he do that mum, all the picture frames, all the things in the house, why did he break them?" I asked her.
"Who knows why he does what he does. Something set him off again Ava" she said honestly looking at me with sadness in her eyes. I could see how tired she was.
"Did he hurt you mum cause if he did I will kill him. I will stab him in his sleep if he even put a finger on you" I said to her, my anger coming up to the surface.
"No, your dad doesn't hit me Ava you know that too" she said
"Yea but he tortures you psychologically. How much longer do we have to take on all of this mum? I could get a job, I'm going to graduate soon, I can get a job, we can use child support for Ray. Just divorce him mum" I begged her but I knew the answer.
"We can't Ava. You have to go to college my darling, I can't do that to you baby" she said as she went back to clearing up all the mess in the kitchen.
"If it means saving Ray and you from all this then I don't care about college mum" I told her honestly. I might've worked my butt of at school but I didn't care about college more than Ray.
"It's not your job to take care of Ray, Ava. You're his sister not his parent. I'll take care of him, all you have to do is focus on your studies sweetie" she said.
"Just a couple of more years mum and we'll get out of here. Just a couple of more years" I told her with certainty.
"I know" she said smiling at me. I smiled at her and helped her put all the things away and get ready for bed.
I can do this. I can't wallow in self pity anymore. Things have changed with Maddie leaving.
Time to grow up..