Picture Perfect


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1. One

                 "Dinner was good mom, thank you," I said as I got up to put my plate in the sink. Truthfully, the meatloaf tasted like a mixture between smelly socks and eggs. I'd never tell her that though. My mom was the best person I'd ever known. She sacrificed everything for me, from her life to her career that she was trying to pursue in college before my non existent father knocked her up. She was studying to get her PhD, of course she couldn't do that anymore. She had me and then when I was old enough she got a job as the school psychologist, the only thing she was qualified to be. 

               "Thank you honey," she said with a smile. "Are you excited for college?" I was hoping she would've forgot, but of course she didn't. I wasn't ready to start college but I had no other choice. My last year of high school sucked and I pretty much I talked to no one and that's how I liked it. I worked my ass of though, there was no room for failure and I'd rather get A's than D's anyway. I was just wanted a break.

                "No." I said blankly as I started to run the faucet. "But what choice do I have right?" I asked matter-of-fact. My mom walked into the kitchen and placed her dirty dishes on the counter. 

                "Right," My mom said patting my back. "Promise, don't try to make it seem like you have no choices in life. Remember when you were in seventh grade and you died you hair pink?" I cringed at the thought of my tight curls being died the dreadful hot pink. "I told you you had to go to college. Don't act like this is a surprise." I rolled eyes and try not to be too rough while putting the plate away.

                "Okay mom." I said, I was relieved when she walked out the kitchen. I quickly finished the rest of my dishes and walked outside pulling a cigarette out of the box of my too tight jeans. I put the cancer stick between my lips and proceeded to light my cigarette. My younger brother Jared was already helping himself to a cigarette as he was sitting in a wicker chair on the deck. 

              "Mom's pissing you off." He said. I inhaled the toxic smoke and then exhaled with a cough. 

              "When is she not pissing someone off?" I asked him. Jared shrugged his shoulders and stood up from his chair. 

               "You're right." He said flicking his cigarette butt into the grass and then he walked inside. That's usually how our conversations went. We'd complain about something and then go on with our lives mostly ignoring each other. He was always too busy with his girlfriend Alyssa, to ever even care to spend time with the rest of us. Just as I finished my cigarette Jared open the sliding door again. 

              "Promise," He said. I turned around to face him. "Next week we're having family dinner with Alyssa's family before school starts." Jared said.

              "Do I have to go?" I asked him. Jared shrugged his shoulders.

              "I'm not going to be like mom and force you into doing something that you don't want to do but I'd really appreciate it if you did. I think Lyss and I are going to be together for awhile so it just seems like it'd make sense." Jared said. He didn't mean for everything to sound so sappy, but it ended up sounding like it anyway. 

              "Sure I'll go," I said to him. He smiled and I smiled back at him. 

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