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VOODOO CHILD


1.

There is a single dark rain cloud in the sky. The sky is gray, but it could be black. Who knows. My own dark black rain cloud hovers over my head.

I watch the students cross the street, peeling off into different directions. Some chat with their circle of friends, aka their “plastics” or “wolfpack” (usually no more than a trio). Others down the last drops of coffee from their thermos’; the local cafes and shops must be too expensive or out of their league. There are a few eating, but most are guys; why is it that society puts this pressure on us girls to not eat in public or really at all?

Two girls squealing with delight grasp my attention. I shift in the driver’s seat of my Toyota Corolla and watch the blonde bimbo run all the way up into the redhead’s arms. Best friends, probably? Most definitely; but not the sort of friends from high school because, sometimes, those are the people who only drag you down. Hurt you.

I catch my fingers rubbing my wrist and, immediately, peer away from the passenger window, away from the girls. I lean back in the driver’s seat and catch my breath. Something thickens, starting at the back of my throat, stinging up my eyes. No tears, not a sign of them at all. Good.

I finally take a peek and through the windshield, I see two proud sorority sisters hanging up a banner across the nearby bench, adjacent from the outdoor parking structure, where I sit like the others who don’t want to go to what awaits them in the seven different class buildings. Unless, there is more; to be honest I wouldn’t know, because today is Friday which makes it my fifth day of college. Woot. Woot…

Freshman year: repeating and reliving high school all over again.

It’s stupid. That sign is dumb. That banner holds my attention—I eyeing it and it eyeing me. Who the hell comes up with this bullshit? “Welcome back! Freshmen, over here!”

Why?

Who cares?

School is stupid.

College can suck it.

Welcome to hell.

2.

More cars pull into spots. Students head off into different buildings, some with a school map and schedule in their hands. Yay! More anxious and scared “fresh meat.”

I hate that word, “fresh meat.” What if some of us are vegetarians or vegans?!

Okay, bad joke. Real stupid…Really stupid!

It’s just…oh, nevermind. I don’t want to bore anyone with my stupid story.

I mean, we all have a story to tell; some of us are just better at hiding it for different reasons…

I sit up and loosen my grip around the steering wheel. I reach for the key in the ignition, which pauses the latest popstar’s hit on the morning radio. But, instead, my hand stops an inch before the keys. It just…hits me…

My own tidal wave.

I sit up on the red sofa with my cell phone already glued to my ear. Her voice is filled with such sorrow and regrets, as I listen to...everything. I have no choice but to face my own—new—reality: “I’m...I’m so sorry, Nikki,” my aunt says from her crystal clear phone line (I do not miss a word of this). “I did everything I could. Taking him to the meetings...He’s a forty-nine year old man. I can’t be babysitting him. If your dad’s going to drink, it’s his choice. I’m so sorry, baby.”

All I ever remember was dropping my cell phone to the floor, going numb. My hands were so…weak. I just…stared at the light streaking through the window, across from me, and into the room. Most of it poured onto one of the empty Christmas checkered chairs, like some weird twisted sign. My sign was in a voicemail…a FUCKIN’ bullshit voicemail!

Hi, I’m Nicole and I’m not an alcoholic, but my asshole dad is.

3.

Yeah, yeah…

Go and ahead and say it: “daddy issues.”

It’s why people never want to address the truth or the big gray elephant in the room (or white or black—not trying to be racist here). Okay, now that one was bad, so shitty and low of me. I don’t know…lately things are just…It’s complicated.

Life is complicated; let alone the second to last year of being a teenager is complicated. This is my reality, no matter how many times I go to bed, thinking that things will get better or how this is all one big nightmare…

It’s not or never will be. Fred Kruger is out to play.

Hey! That one rhymed.

Reality…Real Egotistic Assholes Living In Their Yuck.