PROMPT: Waking up in the morning – tell what happens. April 2015
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Oh, that Saturday would come quickly, but maybe it would be better if it didn’t come at all. At least I know what’s happening today. I mean, I’m getting up. Well, I will when the alarm goes off, I’m sure not going to jump out of bed early like he always does. But yeah, I’ll get up, and stumble to the bathroom in the dark. Because, of course, he wouldn’t think to leave the light on for me. Oh, that spring would arrive, with longer days, and morning sun, enough to illuminate our gloomy hall.
It is gloomy, but my feet know it well. I guess I don’t really need the light, and when I turn on the bathroom switch the glare pierces my poor, dilated pupils.
But that’s not what I was thinking about. I was thinking about today, and not… well, not… Saturday. Today. Today I’ll get cleaned up, grab some juice. I know. I know. Breakfast is the most important, yadda yadda yadda. Who cares? Juice is enough. And that’s the routine. Juice, a jacket, grab my school bag, throw in an apple and a package of chips left over from last weekend, and out the door. Before he sees me. Before he has a chance to say anything.
Today will unfold like one of those click-clack toys I had when I was little. Each panel flops down, releasing the one behind it, becoming the top, and then the middle, and all the unordered hours clack and clunk together, from class to class, from course to course, from teacher to teacher, until I’ve run out of clicks to clack. Then back home and make dinner, because, of course, he will expect it to be on the table when he gets home.
What kind of sense does that make? Really! He works his eight hour day sitting around in some office and I do my six hours at school. Then he’s off, with nothing to do but entertain himself. Me? I have at least an hour of homework, a couple more of studying. And I’m expected to do half the chores and make supper for us. He’s lucky he doesn’t complain about my cooking. If he did, I’d stop so fast. Sometimes he doesn’t look too thrilled with what I put on the table, but I think I come up with some pretty creative add-in’s to Kraft Dinner and Hamburger Helper. If you go to their websites you can find all sorts of ideas. I really do try to keep the menu varied.
Shoot. There goes the alarm. So today gets to be like yesterday. And yesterday was the template for tomorrow. And each of them a predictable, reliable click-clack of hours. No surprises. No joy either, but at least no surprises.
But it won’t be predictable soon. Nope. Soon it’s going to be the day I dread, and desire, and deny all at the same time. Why can’t every day be an uneventful school day? Why do other days need to be loaded with landmines?
He says he won’t be there. He says this was my call, my pursuit. He says he supports me in whatever I’m going to choose, but he’s not going to influence my decision. I know, I know. That’s what I asked for. Well, that’s what I told him I wanted when I began this search. But then it was just an idea. Then the journey, the outcome lived in my head and I had total control.
Oh, the things I imagined. Sometimes I’d see her as beautiful, or matronly, kind and gentle, or slender and energetic. The closer I get to THE DAY, though, the more my imagination dives into murky waters. What if she’s ugly? A drunk? Mean and selfish? What if she has tattoos? What if she’s a …. a …. a… slut?
She left us for a reason, but he’s never told me what it was. He just says that one day she wasn’t there, and he didn’t know if she was coming back, and he reported her missing but the police never found her, and we just had to keep going.
I was in kindergarten. I don’t remember her much. Just that I kept looking out the window waiting for her to come home. I’m not in kindergarten anymore. I’m in Grade 10. I haven’t looked out the window waiting for her for years. Instead I looked on line. I googled. I Facebooked. And I found her.
So now I have to see her. I mean, well, I want to see her. Because I’ve committed to that. But it’s not the same as when I imagined. Not now that it’s going to happen. Really happen. Oh, that these school days could go on forever. But after tomorrow, it’ll be….