Chapter 2: A Father's Expectations

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I climbed out of the basement, feeling refreshed. Erika was in the kitchen with my mother. I kept my eyes pointed at the floor and headed for the stairs.

"Hey," My sister eyed me. "I brought your bag. You forgot it by the basketball hoops."

"Thanks," I muttered.

"I heard you broke down again."

"I didn't," I snapped at her before leaving.

"Don't be rude," said our mother under her breath. "It's a sensitive issue, you know that."

Rolling my eyes, I took the stairs two at a time and went into the bathroom. I took off my clothes and stepped into the shower. I turned the water on lukewarm and stood with my head bowed. If only it was socially acceptable to beat in douchebags' faces. That would save me a lot of my problems. I scrubbed my head and washed off the black hairs from my hands.

Brown water ran down my arm. I jerked back, cursing under my breath. "You have to be kidding me." I turned off the water. "Mom!" Climbing out, I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around my waist. "Mom!" I opened the bathroom door. "Mom!"


"The water has dirt in it again."

"Oh no. Get dressed and come down stairs."

I went to my room and put on some clothes. Rubbing a hand through my hair, I could feel the dirt. It was disgusting. Why was it always me that this happened to? Erika maybe had to deal with it once. Going downstairs, I went to the kitchen and hunched over the kitchen sink.

"Lean down a little lower," said my mother. She poured some of our reserved water over my head.

Erika was sitting at the bar and wouldn't stop smirking at me.

"Is there a reason you feel the need to watch?"

She shrugged. "Nope. You have horrible luck."

"Shut up."

"Be nice," said my mother as she scrubbed my hair.

"Do you think the grounds shifting?" asked Erika.

"We're high enough," replied our mom. "The water levels were lower than usual on the last report." She grabbed my ear. "Turn your head to the side."

The front door opened. "I'm home."

"We're in the kitchen," replied Erika.

Our father stopped in the entryway when he saw us. "Dirt in the waterline again."

"Yep," laughed Erika. "It's away Zale."

I glared at her.

"Turn the other way," said my mother.

I did so.

"That should do it. I don't feel anymore." She put the pitcher to the side and scrubbed my scalp. Taking a small hand towel, she ran it over my head.

My father loosened his tie and put his bag on the table.

"How was work?" asked my mother.

My dad shrugged. "The same." He kissed my sister's head. "How was school?"

"Fine. Nothing exciting happened. Some kids made Zale cry again though."

"Erika!" I stood up straight. "Keep your goddamn mouth shut."

My mother snatched my chin. "Do not speak that way in this house. Do you understand me?"

Nodding, I stepped back, fuming. I could feel my father's eyes on me, but I won't look at him. I was already struggling to keep it together.

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