Chapter Five

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Chapter Five

Post by Chasezzz on Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:29 pm

kate

“I’m telling you, Kate.” Emily said, climbing out her vehicle. “This is the best café in town.”
“I’ll take your word for it.” I’m positive this is the only café in town.
We walked inside and I was immediately hit by the smell sugar and coffee beans. It was so welcoming, it reminded me of the coffee shop Drew and I used to go to with our dad when we were kids. That was a happier, simpler, better time. We were both closer to Dad, but that’s not hard to imagine when you have a mother like mine.
“So, what are you getting?” Emily asked, analyzing the menu.
I looked up at the menu. “One of everything, probably. A few coffees, a dozen donuts; maybe a cupcake or six.”
We sat down at a table near a window. I watched cars go by, maybe they’re going to work, or they could be going on a vacation. That sounds nice, to go on a vacation, a family vacation. A family.
“I used to come here all the time with my mom,” Emily said, drinking from her coffee and squinting because it was still too hot.
“Why’d you stop?” I asked, taking a bite of the jelly filled donut I bought. I felt it ooze down my chin, and before I could stop it, it fell on my shirt. God dammit.
Emily turned and looked out the window, the grey sky feeling heavy and her blonde hair falling on her cheek. “Well, she’s gone now.”
My jaw disconnected from my face and fell on the table, a wave of guilt crashed down on me. “Shit, Em. I’m sorry.” Kate, the most tactful girl on the planet, makes an appearance again.
Emily laughed slightly, turning to look at me. “It’s not your fault, It’s not like I’ve told you this before.”
“So,” I began, wrapping my hands around my coffee. “How did she, you know-“
“Oh, no” Emily began, mercifully cutting me off. “She isn’t dead. She’s just gone.”
“Gone to where?” I could feel my shoulders easing back down from the stratosphere.
“I don’t know. She’s just gone. One day we’re having a nice family outing. You know, having a picnic in the park. My brother and I playing tag while they watch us, laugh about how silly we are, talk about how much we’ve grown. The next, she’s gone. Her clothes disappeared, the ring Dad gave her is on the counter. It’s crazy, how perfect everything seems as a child; nothing is wrong in your world, because it’s all about you, there’s no room for anyone else’s problems.”
I could feel my eyes welling up. I didn’t plan on having a breakdown today. There’s not much I hate more than crying. It makes me feel weak. I remember being scolded by Mom for it. She’d say, ‘Why are you crying? You know you look like an idiot, trying to be the center of attention. Only fools cry, Kate. Get it together.’
I bit back my tears. “I’m sorry, that must have been horrible for you.”
Emily smiled softly, not at me but for herself. “Looking back, I try to find the signs. You know, anything out the ordinary. But I can’t, I guess some people just need to get away.”
“Has she tried to contact you?” I asked, almost praying for a happy ending.
“Yeah, she sent me a card for my birthday last year; asked me to call her and meet up somewhere.”
“How’d that go?” A smile slowly formed on my face.
“It didn’t, I burned the card.” My face fell back down.
“You burned it?”
“Sure. I didn’t need her back in my life. I’ve got my Dad, and my step-mom.” I searched her face, looking for anything she was holding back, but I didn’t find anything. She looked content. “My dad is great. He really stepped up for us when she left. He played both roles, coming to all of my ballet recitals when I thought that was cool. And he talked with me about my boy problems, bless him. He meet Maria when I was fifteen, I’d never seen him look happier. And she was so nice, Kate. She helped my brother with his homework, hell; she passed seventh grade English for him. She did my hair for prom last year, and now she talks to me about my never ending boy problems. Their wedding was beautiful. They got married at the church in the center of town last summer. Outdoors, daffodils, poinsettias, and peonies everywhere. She looked magical, and Dad was crying when she walked down the aisle.”
“That’s so beautiful, Emily.” My face hurt from smiling.
“Yeah,” she agreed, looking out the window again, a soft smile on her face. “I love her a lot.”
We sat in silence for a moment. I took a drink of my coffee, and Emily continued looking out the window, lost in thought. The music playing softly from the speakers filling in the gaps of silence. It sounded old, maybe from the 60s, Drew would appreciate that.
“Alright,” Emily said, turning back to me. “I told you about my family, now it’s your turn.”
“I think that’s fair.” I sat my coffee down. “Well, me, my mom and brother moved here from Fairview. It’s a small town in Arizona.”
“Jesus Christ that’s far.”
I laughed, “Yeah, but if you knew my mother you wouldn’t be surprised. We’ve moved around a lot. I’ve lived in Florida, Colorado, Vermont, Arkansas, Arizona, and now Iowa. We stayed in Arizona the longest though, a little over three years.”
“I remember when we were living in Vermont me, Drew, and Dad would go to a coffee shop like this one a lot. He’d buy us jelly filled donuts and we’d drink our coffee and watch the snow fall.”
“That sounds nice,” Emily said, smiling at me.
“It was. I was terrible at making friends. We moved around so much I never figured out how it worked, I was just the awkward girl sitting in the back of the classroom, there one day gone the next. So my dad was my best friend. And Drew, we used to be joined at the hip.”
Emily didn’t ask about my dad, but I felt like I needed to share my story since she shared hers. “When we were in Arkansas Mom and Dad would fight all the time. She would go out and do what she wanted, whenever she wanted, and he would be forced to leave work and stay with us or pick us up from school. It was hard on Drew and me. We were thirteen at the time, I think. It was rough not having an inconsistent mother and a father who was always at a breaking point.”
I could feel myself getting angry, like I always did when I thought about this, about how big of a bitch my mother is. I took a drink of coffee, trying to calm down before I continued.
“One day, Mom came home with divorce papers; said she wasn’t in love with him anymore, and that she hadn’t been for a while. They got divorced and Dad lost the custody fight, so now we travel around America at the mercy of a mom who bounces back and forth with no warning.”
Emily stared at me, mouth parted in shock. “Well, did you ever try and find him?” she eventually asked.
“Yeah, we’ve tried a few times, but it’s been too long. We move around too much and phone numbers change. I’ll probably try again when I graduate.”
“How can you handle all that?”
“It was rough at first, and I hated her for a long time. Drew doesn’t handle it as well as I do; I don’t think he’ll ever stop hating her.”
“Seriously Kate, thanks for trusting me with that. It means a lot to me.” Emily said, coming around the table to give me a hug.
I laughed in surprise, I’d gotten plenty of hugs from Dad and Drew, and even Mom a couple of times, but never from a friend. “Yeah, sure. Friends share things, right?”
“Right.” She replied, disconnected herself from me. “Let’s get out of here.”
I nodded, throwing my trash away before heading back outside.
“Hey, look” Emily said, directing my attention to the window on the left side of the café. “They’re hiring.”
“That would be nice.” I said, making my way to her vehicle.
“You should apply.”
“I’ll think about it.” I said as we drove away.
***
“Thanks for the ride, Em. See you tomorrow.” I waved goodbye as she drove away. I’m glad I met her, it’s nice to have friend.
“Drew, what are you talking about?” I could hear my mom yell from inside, her shrill voice amplifying as I walked through the door.
“What do you think I’m talking about, mom? I’m talking about how all of this is your fault!” Drew was irate, screaming and throwing his hands frantically. His face was the epitome of rage.
“If we hadn’t been forced onto this joy ride with you, we’d still be in Arizona. And if we were still in Arizona, I’d still have Anna.”
“Well I’m sorry, but I don’t see how that’s my fault.” She replied, crossing her arms and leaning against the kitchen island.
Drew laughed in disbelief, “Of course it isn’t, Mom. Nothing is ever your fault. You’re not the reason that Kate can’t make friends, and it’s not your fault that we don’t know what a stable family life is; and it definitely isn’t your fault that Dad is gone!”
“Do not talk about that man in this house.” She spat back.
“You’re right, I’m sorry. It might upset one of your new boyfriends, right? How many does that make since we’ve been here? Six? Seven?”
“Well, it’s nice to see you think so highly of me. And I’ll have you know that I’ve had, and still have, only one boyfriend.”
“You’re a piece of work, you know that. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such a pathetic excuse for a human being.”
Mom slammed her hands down on the kitchen island, “Drew, why don’t you grow the hell up.”
I don’t want to hear this.
“You think you’re tough because you can throw around some insults at me? Does you think that makes you strong?”
Why does it have to be like this?
“Well, you want to know something? It doesn’t make you tough, or strong, it makes you an idiot. You know why?”
Why did Dad have to leave?
“Because idiots are the people that fly off the handle, they’re the ones that think a teenage girl from Arizona wants to be stay in a relationship with a boy living in Iowa. They’re the ones who smoke all the time because they can’t handle life when shit gets tough. That sound familiar?”
Please, stop.
“So, please just stop embarrassing yourself. I don’t give a damn about what you think about me-“
I slammed the front door behind me, jamming my headphones in and running down the street.
The wind whipped at my body, but I couldn’t feel it. My heart beating fast, my lungs straining, they didn’t register. My mind kept chanting: Run, run, run.
My mind didn’t tell me where to go, my feet just carried me. They knew I needed a change, that I couldn’t keep doing this, pretending everything was okay with my fractured family. I can’t keep doing things for Drew, and then do nothing for myself.
I can’t leave myself alone in the cold.
I need something new, something distracting.
Where are you running, Kate? Will it make a difference? Will you be happier?
I hate not having the answers, but I found myself standing in front of the help wanted sign, taking a breath before I walked inside.
Coffee beans and sugar hit me again.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post by Angie on Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:54 pm

Oh my god. I absolutely love the ending. I honestly felt as if I were the one running. I could feel losing my breath. I could feel the air. I could hear the music. That was such a tense moment, and then the relief: The help wanted sign. Man, seriously, I loved that. It's about time someone spoke up to their mother. I like how Kate has some sort inserts between the arguing. Sorry this is short, cause I already told you my feelings for the beginning. But really, fantastic job. That ending tho....
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