Chapter 9 - Bittersweet Relaxation

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Chapter 9
Bittersweet Relaxation

A/N - Hello lovelies! I'm updating today even though I really don't have the time. I have finals this week so my week is going to spent with my head in the books. Both Torn & With Hope probably won't be updated after this for another week or so. Also, this is dedicated to Kammi because her compliments of this were so sweet & I couldn't update last night like I told her I would. Thank you guys for reading, voting, etc.! (:

I was dreaming. I had to be. There was no way that this could be real life.

The entirety of my early childhood was based around my mother being the one to hold us together. Whenever “Jack” lost his job, she picked up another part-time side job to help make up the difference. The days he came home, stumbling through the front door with sweaty palms and rancid breath, she was there to take him out of my innocent sight, nursing him back to a sober state. She was the glue to this family until she left, even when she decided to come back.

And now she was just like him.

“Mom!” I shouted when she swayed too far forward and almost fell down the stairs. I caught her with shaking arms, not sure what to do with a drunk like this.

I was always used to “Jack” and his battles, the curse words spraying and the fists flying. I wasn’t used to giggly intoxicated people, who practically threw themselves in my arms. She was so sweet, with her voice shaky and almost unintelligible. While I carried her to the dining room chair, carefully avoiding the dirty and battered couch that served as “Jack’s” bed. Her body fell limp against the back of the wooden chair, her hair falling into her eyes.

Mom spat at her hair falling in her eyes again and laughed obnoxiously at the sound it made. I felt my emotions come to a standstill, watching her fall apart like that in front of me. She was the only thing that gave me hope, the only thing that kept me going, kept some amount of positivity in my life. And now here she was, falling apart right in front of me. My rock was now confetti on the ground. Her secrets and issues spilled out on the kitchen floor.

She was starting to knock out now, her arms falling slowly against her sides. Her breathing was becoming shallow and didn’t match mine a bit. I fell against the kitchen wall, my head in my hands. Curling my knees up to my chest, I let out a cry I hadn’t done in a very long time. My fingers clenched at my hair and turned my sleek look into a bird’s nest. I could practically feel my heart fall into the pits of my stomach. I had no control over any aspect of my life, no grip on anything unfolding before me. There was no solid, concrete image for me to hold onto.

The sob I let out shook my entire body, radiating into the wall behind me. I couldn’t stop the shakes reverberating down my spine and into my legs. I was emotionally frozen, so void of any positivity or hope. In that moment, I could almost imagine how “Jack” must have felt most of the time. He was so void of any emotion or feeling; he didn’t have a damn care in the world. I almost wished I was him.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door, freezing my body and my cries. I picked my head up off of my knees and first looked to my mother. Her head was lying against the wooden dining table, her hair blowing up just a bit from the breath escaping her slightly ajar mouth. I couldn’t think of who would be knocking at this time of day. It was dinner time and most of the families were in picture perfect views from their dining room windows, eating dinner in a harmony of laughter and random conversation. I drew in a deep breath and ran a hand through my hair to put some stability into it. Taking a much needed deep breath, I picked myself off of the floor and made my way to the door. My hands were still shaking from the breakdown I’d just had when I reached for the doorknob.

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