Tuesday night scribbles, trying to get my mind clear for the novel I’m currently working on. Let me know if you like it but also if you don’t.
It’s been the same, every night for the past ten years. Her parents would get wasted beyond belief and then fight until the neighbours called the cops. Like a ritual, every night, the same would happen. It was like a bad movie that kept playing over and over and over. Alcohol consuming their lives and tearing away their future like a cancerous disease. Lacey had dreams, dreams of going to college and becoming a world-known author. She’s always been a believer that your circumstances should not determine what you become in life or where you go.
Instead, she found a job at the bakery downtown, where she now spends most of her days and sometimes nights, trying to save up money to attend the writing classes she’s always dreamt of taking. She opens her backpack and takes out the crumpled envelope she’s been hiding in there since the beginning of the year. She shoves her latest paycheque inside and folds it in half, hiding it once more.
Lacey walks over to her bedside table and turns off the light, while crawling into her bed, her blankets covering her, almost protecting her against the words that fly through the walls. The same words that sometimes stings her like a million bees, swarming around her head, she tries to cover her ears but the swarming won’t stop. She cries, sometimes falling asleep, other times laying awake for hours and hours, until the word-swarming finally stops.
The fairy-lights that hung above her head reminded her of stars, every now and again she would imagine one of the stars shooting and made a wish. She wished that she could escape this, that somehow, someone would save her. It never happened, yet she still hoped, prayed.
She can hear footsteps coming up the stairs, it’s as if she’s hiding away from the monster under her bed, the only difference is, is that the monster is not under her bed but right outside her room. The bedroom door swings open and her drunken father stumbles inside, whispering profanities under his breath. Lacey closes her eyes quickly and pretends to be asleep. Maybe he will leave her alone if he doesn’t get any reaction out of her.
She can feel his eyes on her. Staring at her, waiting for her to move, waiting for her to give him a look, anything that would trigger his anger and make him lash out at her. She doesn’t move, that usually is enough to anger him even more but she’s hoping for some miracle tonight.
She can hear him walk over to her bed, he rips the blankets off of her and pulls her out of bed by her long sparkling golden hair. Lacey screams and his grip tightens. She panics and let’s out a cry for help without realising it.
“You lazy, good for nothing, oxygen thief! Get out” he yells, his grip still tight around her hair while he drags her down the stairs with his arm around her waist.
“Dad!” Lacey screams, frantically trying to get his attention and fighting to loosen the grip on her hair.
“Let go, you’re hurting me! Let go dad!” Lacey yells, unable to stop the tears from flooding down her face.
“I said get out!” he screams pushing her through the front door and throwing her backpack next to her. She falls to the ground, feeling the hard wooden flooring beneath her.
She looks up at him confused. Why would he do this? He looks back at her, anger raging in his eyes. He wipes the sweat off his upper lip with the back of his hand, and slams the door shut.
Silence. She is completely stunned at what just happened. Her father, the man she once looked up to, the man that once saw her as his little girl, threw her out on the street and she had no where to go. How could he do this to his own flesh and blood?
She gets up slowly and swings the backpack over her shoulder and catches her mother peeking out the living room window. Tears start flowing out of her eyes again and she wipes them away with her hand. She will not let them see her like this. They don’t deserve to see her break down like this.
The night air is cool and crisp against her face as she walks down the pathway. The shadows of trees and buildings frighten her but she can’t let that show. Not in this part of town anyway. She sees
the red letters of the word MOTEL flash on the side of the building in front of her and run’s across the road.
The inside of the motel smells musky and damp. A green-swamp-like colour is splashed on the walls and Lacey holds back the urge to pull a face. A friendly lady with a huge afro sits at the wooden reception desk. Lacey walks over to her and she greets her with a polite smile.
“Good evening, may I help you” she asks in a warm tone.
“A room for one please” Lacey asks and she hands the receptionist the rolled up notes that she’s been carrying with her for the past six months. The same notes that she’s worked so hard for at the bakery to save up enough to go to school.
The receptionist hands her a key and motions for her to walk down the hall. A light flickers and she stops in front of room 219. She unlocks and slides the door open. The same swamp-green colour is painted on the walls and the same musky smell overwhelms her.
She drops her backpack on the velvet-green chair in the corner of the room and steps inside the green-tiled bathroom. She stares at her reflection in the square shaped mirror and salty warm tears start to form in the corner of her eyes. She closes them and they roll down her cheeks.
She opens the tap and splashes the warm water on her face, causing the tears to quickly dissolve. She needs to be strong, she needs to fight and she needs to get out of this godforsaken-town.
She pulls open the tap of the shower and steps inside, allowing her muscles to ease and relax under the flow of the warm water. She wraps herself in one of the towels and dries her hair with one end.
Her shift starts at eight-am tomorrow morning and after that she’s not sure where she’ll go or where she’s going to sleep. Maybe she’ll ask Hoolio if the back room is still available, just for a few days until she’s back on her feet.
With the thought of half a plan, Lacey closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep.
The mint-colored Ubanears are draped around Lacey’s neck as she climbs onto the bus. The bus driver, an old man with a grey and navy uniform and a wrinkled face, gives her a tired smile before clipping her bus-ticket. She finds a seat near the back slides the thick, black frames back onto her nose and shoves her backpack in between her legs. Being a nineteen-year old is kind of tough these days. Especially if you’re alcoholic parents threw you out onto the street while being drunk and you don’t have anywhere else to go.
The bus pulls away slowly and she presses play on the my-life-sucks playlist she has compiled. She knows that she should most probably play happier music, whatever that might mean. Help get her out of this funk she finds herself in, but what’s the point? It’s not like it will help. She rests her head against the dirty window, staring out in front of her. It’s a bright and sunny day; people are out and about, jogging, and going about their day. Lacey stares at the trees going past them, the green of the leaves against the piercing blue sky, it calms her and as they pass a few houses she wishes that she could live in one of them and have a family of her own.
They come to a halt at the red traffic light and Lacey can’t help but stare at the couple sitting at a table at the coffee-shop on the corner of Bree street; canoodling and wiping creamer off each other’s lips, while sipping their latte’s. Good grief. Get a room. Do they not realise that there could be innocent children walking by, nearly throwing up on the sidewalk, due to their disgusting behaviour? She rolls her eyes. Maybe she is feeling like this because her own parents once had what this couple has. Now, now it’s gone.
She suddenly feels a pressure next to her, interrupting her train of thought, and pulls her eyes away from disgusting-creamer-licking-couple as she just named them. Her eyes widen and a frown tangles between her eyes as a Ansel Elgort look-a-like has seated himself right next to her, smiling and staring at her. She can’t remember him being on the bus when she got on; surely she would have noticed him, right? Then again, she wasn’t really paying much attention.
He points to his ears, confusing her, then realising that her my-life-sucks music was still blaring in her ears. He probably saw the confusion on her face and he flashes the most perfect smile she’s ever seen on any human-being. Great, he must think she’s a total nutcase.
She slides off the headphones, staring back at him and realising that the look she’s giving him is probably that of a human looking at an outer space being for the first time. She shakes her head.
“I’m sorry” she smiles and looks down at her purple painted fingernails. She looks up and meets his gaze again, seeing him still smiling at her. This guy is weird, does it talk, she wonders. They sit in silence as the bus moves down the street and she turns her head to catch him still staring at her. She frowns. This is just creepy. What is this guy’s problem? They sit in awkward silence for a while and Lacey shifts closer to the window nervously.
“You have beautiful eyes” he finally says, a playful smile tucking at his upper lip.
So it does speak she thinks and giggles to herself, realising how stupid she must come across to him.
The bus comes to a stop and the old man with the tired eyes, opens the bus door. She looks up, and realises that this is her stop. She needs to get off and start her shift at the bakery. She doesn’t want to get off, not now; she and cute-weirdo over here were just starting to bond. She rolls her eyes and gets up from her seat, smiling at him. If it’s meant to be they will run into each other again. Hopefully.
Lacey opens the door to the bakery and spots Hoolio at the counter, placing two blueberry-muffins into brown paper bags. She slides her back-pack off her shoulders and ties the apron around her waist. Hoolio smiles at her and he waves to the customer leaving the store.
He turns to her and she’s able to immediately spot the sympathy in his eyes. Hoolio and his wife Annabelle, have always been there for her. They knew her circumstances at home and she knew very well that Hoolio paid her more than what most places would offer someone with no experience or education.
“Lacey, are you okay?” he asks in a soft and caring voice, genuinely concerned.
He looks at her with knitted brows and Lacey swallows hard to fight back the tears, stinging her eyes.
“I’m fine, just a little tired” she smiles back at him.
The bell hanging on the front door of the shop rings and an elderly couple walks inside, ripping both Lacey and Hoolio back to reality. Saved by the golden oldies she thinks, relieved and walks over to help them. Today is going to be a long day and with the talk still ahead of her she needs to get through this day as soon as possible.
The store is in a buzz, business usually picks up around lunch time and Lacey can’t help but stare at the men and women in their business-like-attire ordering lunch and meeting up to discuss new projects and ideas.
Once gone, the bakery pretends as if the buzz never happen, leaving no traces of the noise behind. Silence fills the store and Lacey starts wiping off the counters and tables, removing the last bits of evidence scattered on the tables of the lunch-time rush.
The bell on the door rings and she can hear footsteps inside the store, a chair is pulled out and she turns around quickly to help the customer who just walked in. She lifts her perfectly formed eyebrows and her eyes widen. A playful smile dancing on her lips, she decides to have fun with this one. She walks over to the table and places a menu in front of bus-boy. He smiles but doesn’t make eye contact and flips the menu over, rubbing his chin with his forefinger and thumb, seemingly deep in thought.
“Can I get you anything?” Lacey asks, flashing her best waitress smile at him.
He picks up on it and stares at the menu a little longer, trying to hide a broad smile.
“Anything on here you can suggest”? he finally asks and looks up at her, making eye contact for the first time.
Lacey stares back at him, determined not to loose his gaze and presses with her finger on the hot-beverage section of the menu.
“How about one of our ‘how-did-you-know-I-worked-here’ cappuccino’s? Cream or froth?
“That sounds amazing, let’s go with the ‘I-know-everything-and-this-seems-like-a-great-bakery’ with froth please” still keeping his gaze.
“Coming right up” Lacey says, trying her best to sound fake and turns around and walks to the kitchen.