Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Irony of Life...

Remember this is but a chapter... the end of the story is a happy one.

The 10 year old girl wakes up in the huge room alone. She wasn’t expecting anything different really, most days her father had left for work long before she got up for school. Today is Christmas eve morning though, so she hoped to find someone home.
From the bed in the corner of the room is was easy to take inventory of the entire house. The house was in fact an abandoned church that was far cheaper to rent than an actual house. Her bed was in one corner, near the front door. In the far corner was her Dad’s bed, there were blankets hung around it from a wire strung from the wall to a support pole. It was for privacy incase his girlfriend spent the night. There was a small kitchen in an area towards the back. There were two bathrooms, one for men and one for women. She peeked in the men’s room once but she didn’t like it because the toilet looked funny. Bathing was difficult as there was no tub or shower. Baths were accomplished by pouring water into a large galvanized tub, or more often by just standing in front of the sink.
Even when she was home alone, she wasn’t really alone because Bernie was always out back. Bernie rented the detached garage to live in and she had it fixed up real nice, but it was small compared to the huge room that made up the church. Yes, Bernie was home, the girl could see the faint glow from the television just by looking out of the kitchen window.
The girl got dressed and ate a bowl of cereal. The snow was only a few inches deep, but she took the extra time to find shoes, socks and a sweater to wear because it was always too cold in Bernie’s garage. Throughout the day, the two watched TV and played rummy until the old woman was ready for bed and sent the girl back home.
While the girl ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich she wondered if Christmas was going to be extra special because they lived in a church...
She really loved Christmas and this year they had a tree and everything, it was decorated with colored glass balls and she had made a popcorn string last week to put on it. There was a present for her under the tree, she picked up the box and shook it, but it yielded no hints. She only had to wait until morning to find out what was inside.
As she drifted off to sleep, she wondered about what was in that box.
Sometime before morning, she woke up to arguing, her father was home, he had that awful girlfriend with him, she knew they had both been drinking because that was the only time they fought like that. She closed her eyes tightly and tried hard not to move so they would still think she was asleep. She concentrated hard on not moving even when that woman took a punch at her father. Her father was so mad. They were fighting near the Christmas tree which was very close to her bed. The girl willed herself not to cry. Someone must have bumped into the tree because the girl heard the decorations begin to fall to the floor, first one, then a few more. There was a loud crash as the tree completely toppled over. The girl bolted up in bed as her father swung the tree by it’s base like a baseball bat and knocked the woman across the floor. Even though the girl did not like the woman, she knew she needed to do something to stop the fight, this one was worse than most.
Trying to stay out of the way, the girl ran from the bed to where the tree once sat, she cut her foot on a broken decoration. She grabbed the present under the tree and ran barefoot to Bernie’s out back to get help. Her feet stung from the cold as she pounded wildly on the garage door. Normally Bernie didn’t like to get involved in such things, but she did let the girl in to use the phone. While the girl waited in the garage for the police, she opened the Christmas present, it was a game, The Game of Life. The girl recognized the irony of that moment, before the present was completely unwrapped.
In the reflection of flashing red and blue lights, it saddened her to think that perhaps this IS the Game of Life....

posted by addict @ 12:12 PM |

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