Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Challenge 7: The New York Girls

I think Katherine knows why dad left, but she won’t say. She doesn’t say much of anything these days. She’s just this dark little waif who sits up in her room and reads, or does her homework, or helps mom with dinner. Isn’t it a bit weird, a ten-year-old being that good?

I asked mom once, what she thought was wrong with Katherine, but she didn’t really answer. She feels a bit guilty maybe. Last week, she came across a bunch of old VCR tapes from when us kids were little. She popped one in the machine while I was doing part of my folio on the lounge table. There was dad and Angelica, chasing each other around the garden with the hose and a couple of soggy dodgem balls. Kitten, as dad used to call her, was standing on the drive in her frilly little bikini, cheering him on. Her face was all glowing. I had forgotten how loud she used to be. Mom turned it off, not long after that. She tried to hide it, but her eyes were all glittery and she was holding her breath, like if she let it out she’d start crying. I turned around so she wouldn’t know I saw. I painted over everything in black.

Why is nothing where I left it? I swear, Danielle is out to make my life a living hell. She doesn’t even wear Crimson Sunset. Her lips are always black, just like her nails, her eyeliner and that bloody perfect hair that falls down over her eyes in class to make her look like that horror chick from The Ring.


I have a date tonight too! I swear I’ll kill her one day. She laughs at me for dating college guys, but then she goes all red as soon as I mention the jocks at our school. She’s kidding herself if she thinks she has a chance with James. He’s just too English and definitely too stuck up for anyone. He didn’t even pretend to care when I told him, in no uncertain terms, that just because I was the head of the cheerleading squad and he was the captain of the football team, it didn’t give him the right to think he owned me. I like my men a little more mature than that anyway.

Brenda (Mom)
So busy! Arthur is pulling all-nighters to get the bank’s security systems up and running here in our New York branches and father insists that I supervise. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he’s trying to set me up with the guy. Not that I would object, so to say, but I can’t imagine how the girls would take it. Arthur is such a gentleman though. He’s from England. One of the best guys in the business. Moved here after his wife died. He has three boys of his own, actually. They go to the same school as my girls. I wonder if the kids know each other?

Why are the lights still on in the kitchen? Oh shit, the front door is unlocked. It’s after midnight! Check the girls. Katherine is asleep, little angel. She looks so much more peaceful when she sleeps. And there’s Danielle, tossing about. Her hair will be a sight come morning. Her and Angelica will probably have a bloody screaming match over who gets to use the upstairs bathroom first. I honestly don’t believe those girls have a cooperative bone in their bodies. Good thing I won’t be here to worry about it. Gotta be back at the bank first thing to make sure Arthur gets his morning coffee. Oh dear, the president’s daughter is turning into a secretary for the security architect… somebody shoot me before I make a fool of myself and propose or something equally terrible.

Wait, what was I doing? Oh yes, front door… ANGELICA!!!

The night time is peaceful, usually. Mother is home late, again. She has a funny look on her face, like someone who is looking down over the edge of a cliff and realizing just how high up she really is. She is cross with Angelica, but maybe she is also cross with herself.

Now she’s gone from the doorway. Her footsteps are plodding down the hall to Angelica’s room. She won’t find anyone inside. Angie has gone to play with the big boys. She wants to feel special. It’s her way of missing dad. Danielle doesn’t understand.

The nights keeps moving. Danielle’s breath is uneven, over there on the spare bed. She is dreaming about her boyfriend, the way he touches her, just like that… They get all close and cuddly in the music room at lunch time. It’s out of bounds but he’s a senior and the captain of the football team, so nobody notices. Danielle thinks that she is keeping me safe, sleeping in here. We have enough rooms for everyone to be alone, but sometimes, it’s nice to know someone cares enough to try and fight away the nightmares.

Morning makes it better. A new day, maybe a pretty sunrise. Who knows what they’ll try to teach us at school. Always keep moving, keep thinking. Don’t look back.

Wordcount: 872


  1. "She has a funny look on her face, like someone who is looking down over the edge of a cliff and realizing just how high up she really is."

    I like this a lot :)

  2. Thank you :) This is one of my favourites, other than my new cat story (16: Bastet)