|Repose Remembers (reposeremembers) wrote in repose,|
@ 2020-04-17 17:55:00
|Entry tags:||plot: memories, rafe jiménez, tandy bowen|
Will characters be viewing the memory or experiencing it?: Experiencing
Warning, this memory contains: Bad parenting
Your belly grumbles in class, and the kid next to you laughs. You give him a look that's part glare, part unimpressed, and you go back to listening to the teacher. It's a small classroom, and you're sitting close to the front, and the teacher is talking about the first manned flight into space, and you're going to be an astronaut.
The bell rings, and you don't rush out of your chair like everyone else. You take your time with your books, tucking them into your bag. Your stomach is still groaning in protest, and you don't want to end up in the hallway with the jerk you glared at. It's called self-preservation, and you know all about it. You're just over 4-feet-tall, and your birthday is today.
You're 9 today, and school is out. Lunch was a long time ago, and you consider stopping by the diner on your way home. The waitresses there always save the stuff people send back for you, and someone always sends something back. The old people in town are really picky, and you're not picky at all. Your stomach is still talking loudly, but it's your birthday, and you want to get home. You're sure he didn't forget. Okay, you don't expect him to have made a cake or anything like that, but it's your first birthday since Mom. You even left him hints! There was a sticky note on his bathroom mirror, and there was an index card propped against his coffee.
You glance at the diner, but you run past. Your sock is visible through your sneaker where your big toe presses against the worn-thin leather. Your jeans bare way too much ankle, and your sleeves bare way too much wrist. When they made fun of you at school for it, you told them it was because you had a growth spurt. You told them that you'd be taller than them soon (maybe even tomorrow) and break their teeth in, and it only silenced them for one afternoon, but it was a good afternoon.
The jingle of the store bell jangles as you pull open the door and run inside. But it's empty. It's completely empty. No shoppers, no Dad. You drop your backpack onto the ground and you walk to the register with dread devouring the talking monster in your belly. Now that dread is sticking to your ribs and climbing to your throat. Each step is a bad one, and your chest hurts a little as you round the counter and pull open the cash register drawer.
The drawer is empty again.
You scratch your head, and your overgrown fingernails catch on a snarl. Your hair is long and shaggy, and the boys call you a girl sometimes, but you glare at them too. You have glaring down to a science. You wonder if astronauts glare, but the phone is ringing, and you want to just let it ring, because you already know who it is.
It's your birthday, and you're nine, and you slam the register drawer closed really hard, which doesn't even make you feel any better.
You leave your backpack where it is, and you drag your feet as you step back onto the sidewalk. You don't even have to think as you walk toward the bar. Your feet know the way, so you daydream instead. You imagine yourself in a white spacesuit, and you're climbing down a ladder after the most amazing space landing that has ever been witnessed in ever. There are flashing cameras, and a bunch of reporters are holding microphones in your face. There's a banner welcoming you home, and a bunch of cute girls (and boys) want your autograph.
Your belly complains, and it's louder than any of the reporters, and you look up to find yourself in front of the bar. You're not 21. You're 9, but they know you by name here, and you straighten your shoulders and pull them back. You glare as you push open the door. "Dad!" you call out, knowing that's going to get you in trouble, but you're not afraid. And, anyway, Dad's too drunk to do anything but lean on you heavily as you pull him away from the bar. You imagine that you're on a space mission to bring back an injured astronaut. You're carrying him on your shoulder, and you're going to be a hero.
You're just over 4-feet-tall, and he's a few feet taller, and you begin the long (space) walk home.