The State of a Daydream

"I, Amelia Michael Katherine Jackson, do solemnly swear to keep my virginity until I'm married." I promise. As soon as my dad seals my vow with the purity ring, the doorbell chimes through the house. It's him.

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1. Birthday Wishes

"Daddy's home!" Paris squeaks from the living room window.

"Let me see!" Prince hops down from the couch and climbs up on the chair next to Paris.

I stand up from the comfortable couch that I've almost dozed off on a few times. You can't get a wink of sleep while babysitting these two fireballs! I walk over to the window to open it. Paris loves to mess with us by saying that daddy is home. I have to see this for myself. 

Surprisingly, dad's car is just pulling up into the driveway. I guess she was telling the truth this time. Both of the front doors open to the car. Who else is with dad? He didn't say anything about visitors. Mom isn't supposed to be home for a few hours. I guess it's one of dad's coworkers. He's always bringing work home with him. Ugh,I hate when he does that!

Prince jumps from the chair and scurries outside, followed by Paris. I yawn as well as stretch. It's hard to catch up with these little critters. All they seem to do these days is jump and run. I trudge behind them, reluctantly.

They jump up in his arms, filling his face with kisses. He pulls them close to him and kisses them on their forehead. I slowly walk up to them. As I get closer, I see how tired dad really looks! His eyes have dark circles under them. Is that a grey hair I see? How is he only 47, but already getting grey hairs? I can see the weary look in his eyes. He's not like he used to be. It's time for him to slow down. Of course, that's not part of his vocabulary.

"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" Paris and Prince squeaks.

"Hey, my little angels!" Even his voice sounds frail.

I peek through the windshield to see who's in the car. Purple eyes stare back at me. A smile spreads across my face. I'd know those eyes from anywhere! Elizabeth Taylor, or in other words, my god mom. She gets out of the car, looking not a day over 30. She stares at me with symathetic eyes. I walk a little quicker, passing my dad, up to her.

She opens up her arms wide. I fall into her grasp. She feels warm and soothing against my worn out, sore body. Dad's too busy with the little ones to notice my exaustion. Elizabeth kisses my forehead softly.

She keeps her hands on my shoulders while pushing me back enough to take a look at me. The worry in her face is palpable as she takes her first glance. I try to put on a reassuring smile. It doesn't look like she's buying it.

"You poor child." She whispers so low that I have to strain to hear her. "Have you gotten any sleep at all?"

"I've tried, but Blanket repeatedly wakes me up with his screaming from nightmares." I complain. She traces the bags under my eyes, shaking her head.

"You're a growing girl. You need your beauty rest." Her finger traces lines across my forehead. It's stress lines. I know that I have a lot. She doesn't have to remind me.

"Please, don't." I plead.

"This has got to stop! You're too young to have to be doing this." She says a little louder.

"I'm fine."

"No, you're not! You're exausted!" She stands up straight. 

Dad is glaring at her now. He hates it when someone questions the way he raises us. The one thing about my godmom is that she doesn't care! She'll tell you what she thinks about you and won't give it a second thought.

"Michael! This poor baby is stressed out. You've got her working all day long."

"I'm sure I'll be fine." I butt in.

"No, you won't. Michael, you need to let her breath."

"Don't start, Lizzy." Dad sighs.

"I will start! This child needs some rest. She can't be babysitting your children all day long. You're working her like Joseph worked you. Do you want her to grow up without a childhood like you did?" Elizabeth yells.

She just hit a soft spot. Everytime something that that is brought up, dad just can't help but agree. He doesn't want us to be like him. It'll kill him if we don't have a childhood. I order for Prince and Paris to go inside and get washed up for bed. They oblige quickly, not wanting to see what may happen next.

"You're right. I'm sorry." He runs his hand through his hair. "I'll see to hiring a nanny tonight."

"That's just what you need." Elizabeth sashays inside the house, leaving dad and I alone outside.

He slowly walks over to me. I stare up at him, trying not to fall asleep. We both look like we can just pass out right on the concrete. Dad pulls me close to him, hugging me tightly. I close my eyes and let his warm embrace take me.

"I love you. You know that right?" Dad asks.

"Of course I do, daddy."

"Lets go inside and we'll talk about what you want for your birthday tomorrow." He lets me go. I take his hand as we walk into the in unison. 

Elizabeth is in the kitchen. I had put some tea on the stove like 3 minutes ago. It should be done by now. Initially, it was for dad, but I made a lot extra. She's probably fixing her a cup. I should make me one. It's just the way dad and I like it, with honey, lemon, and extra sugar. Dad and I sit in the living room. He lets out a loud and long whistle. 

His pet monkey, Bubbles, wobbles out of the game room. Bubbles loves the flashing light of video games! He's our family pet. It's been that way since I was born. Dad got him a day after my birthday when he was just a baby. We're about the same age.

I've helped dad take care of him pretty much all of my life. It isn't a burden, though. Bubbles is really fun to be around and he LOVES coffee. I used to teach him how to do tricks and things like that. Another thing he loves is showing off. Which is why dad and I love to dress him up in cool outfits! For some reason, he seems to strut his stuff everytime we change him into something new. Today, he's wearing a biker costume with the glasses and leather gloves and everything.

He hops on dad's lap. I listen closely as he grunts and speaks to my dad in monkey. It's a language that we pretend to understand and respond to. Sometimes, dad has full conversations with him. I doubt they know what the other is saying. 

"Oh really?" Dad asks Bubbles.

Bubbles responds with more grunts. Dad winks at me. I smile. He swears that he's able to communicate with monkeys. I think he doesn't get the fact that just because the monkey grunts back after you say something doesn't mean that you're talking to him. Either that, or he's just completely insane. I think both.

"I will make sure that I do that." Dad assures Bubbles. 

I roll my eyes. Elizabeth walks out of the kitchen and sits next to me. She has a steaming hot cup of tea in her hands. Dad sets Bubbles on the seat next to him, giving him an affectionately pat on the head. I yawn as dad clears his throat.

"Are you still talking to that chimp like a deranged fool?" Elizabeth mumbles as she takes a sip of her tea. Dad gives her a dirty look.

I'll never quite understand their relationship. Elizabeth annoys the hell out of dad, and vice versa. At the same time, they mean no harm. It's like unasked for constructive criticism. They insult ech other constantly, but at the end of the day, they love each other. They're like brother and sister! No matter how much they hate each other, they love each other.

"Shouldn't you be somewhere playing with your diamonds and your.....what? 5th husband?" Dad gives her a cocky smile.

"This coming from the man who...." She stops herself, glancing at me for a second. "You better be lucky your daughter is here."

I frown. I hate it when that happens! It's funny to hear them bicker back and forth. They are really creative with their curse words and insults. Sometimes, I sneak downstairs to hear them go from slightly insulting each other to full on cursing each other out. It's really entertaining!

"So, speaking of Amelia, what do you want for your birthday?" Dad asks, with his eyes still on Elizabeth. 

I think hard. What do I want for my birthday? My 15th birthday is tomorrow and I don't even know what I want. The topic of music comes to my head. What would I get that has to do with music that I don't already have? I know how to play cello, drums, violin, piano, flute, harp, and the trumpet. What am I missing?

"If you need some inspiration, think about what you like. Any hobbies or interests that you'll like to try out? A pet of some sorts?" Elizabeth suggests.

"I want to learn how to play a new instrument, but I don't know which one."

"You know how to play pretty much all of the major ones, what else could you possibly learn how to play?" Dad asks, sitting on the edge of his seat.

I think harder. What can't I play? It's hard! My phone starts ringing. My ringtone is a Green Day song called Hitching A Ride. It has an epic guitar solo! I wish I could play like Billie Joe Armstrong. Not wanting to be rude, I send whoever it is to voicemail. 

My mind goes back to what I want for my birthday? Do I want a party? Do I want a new iPhone? I'm not into material things like that. What do I want? My phone rings with a text. It's a guitar riff sound. I hurry to silence it. That's it! I don't know how to play the guitar.

"I want to learn how to play the guitar." I announce. Dad and Elizabeth exchange glances.

"You do?" They ask in unison.

"Yes, is that bad?"

"It's not bad. It's just.....not like you." Elizabeth speaks slowly, as if I'm crazy or something.

"What? I don't know how to play it." I shrug. It's not a big deal to me.

"You don't." Dad agrees. "Who do you want to learn from?"

"Um....I have a choice?" I ask, surprised. 

Usually, dad teaches me. Sometimes, a family member teaches me if dad doesn't know how to play it. Uncle Tito could teach me. He knows how to play.

"Yes, it's your 15th birthday. You can make decisions for yourself." Daddy nods at Elizabeth.

"What about that...sexy man who plays with even sexier men?" Elizabeth stares up at the ceiling with lustful eyes, biting her lip.

"The thirst is real, Amelia." Dad motions to Elizabeth and smiles. I laugh slightly. Elizabeth doesn't seem to notice, which is what makes me laugh harder.

"What....sexy...." I clear my throat, trying to keep from laughing. "man are you talking about?"

"I think she means that Billie Joe Armstrong guy from Blue Day. Or is it Red Day? Am I wrong?" Dad snaps in front of her face to get her out of the trance.

Elizabeth shakes out of her trance. I chortle at her blank and confused stare. Dad laughs along with me. These time that I have with my dad is the ones I treasure the most. Elizabeth's face turns red with embarrassment.

I wipe a tear from my cheek and try to catch my breath. Dad takes a deep breath and picks up Bubbles. The bickering between them has just begun. I wonder what Elizabeth is going to say as a comeback to that.

"What happened?" Elizabeth looks around confused.

"Nothing. I just want to know, are you thirsty?" Dad bursts into laughter.

"Yeah, I guess I'm a little parched."

I choke on my laughter. She has no idea what she meant by that! This is just hilarious. I take a pillow and scream into it. That's a way that I laugh really hard. It's really wierd, but at the same time, I can't help it.

"What's so funny?"

"It's nothing." I clear my throat, trying to be serious. "By the way, it's Green Day, dad."

"I got the day part right!"

"Yeah, yes you did."

"Is that who you want to teach you?"

I can get him? Dad can get him? He barely even knew the band that Billie Joe plays in. How is he supposed to convince him to teach me how to play guitar? What makes it worse is that my birthday is tomorrow. Dad isn't going to be able to get in contact with Green Day in months much less a day. It'll be a real miracle if dad actually gets him to be my guitar teacher.

"Yes, if you can. Don't stress yourself, though." I warn. He's already stressed enough. The last thing I want is for him to wear himself out trying to get Billie Joe. It's fine to me if he doesn't. 

"Oh, don't worry. I'll....." Dad's sentence is cut off as his gaze lifts from me. 

I hear the alarm for the door ring. That either means that a robber just walked in, or it's just mom. I really hope it is the first one. I turn around. Sure enough, it's mom. Dang it!

She's wearing a plain, knee length, red dress that clings to her body. A red sweater that goes a little past her dress covers her shoulders and a little cleavage. Her silky red hair flows over her shoulders and down her back. I stare at how graceful she walks in those red strappy stilettos. Mom's hazel eyes are lined with eyeliner and her lips shine with red lipstick. 

She's so beautiful and graceful, compared to my clumsiness. I wish I looked more like her. Instead, I look like my dad. Not like there's anything wrong with that. It's just that sometimes I wish that I was just so beautiful that I make the room go quiet when I walk in. Of course, just because it shines, doesn't mean that it's a diamond.

"Micheal, dear, you're home." Mom squeeks as she walks over to him. She lifts Bubbles off of his lap and puts him back in the chair. I can swear he's pouting.

"Did I sleep with you last night?" Elizabeth asks. I remember that.

It pretty much means that you forgot to say hi. Elizabeth really isn't the one to sit in the background and disappear. She will not stand for sitting back and having someone be rude and not greet her.

Mom rolls her eyes. I can see the anger flare up in Elizabeth's eyes. She really doesn't like that. Mom and Elizabeth's relationship isn't like her and dad's. They don't have a love-hate relationship. It's just hate. Ever since they met each other, they've never liked each other. Everything usually ends in a true fight with them.

Mom sits on Dad's lap. He kisses her on the neck. My dad literally adores mom. I don't get it, but he does. There's nothing to adore with her. She just came in and changed the whole atmosphere. It was a funny or happy feel, now I feel like I need a jacket.

"What were you talking about?" Mom asks innocently, still not acknowledging Elizabeth.

"Amy's birthday gift. She's turning 15 tomorrow." Dad smiles at me.

"Ugh, what are you going to get a spoiled brat who already has everything?" Mom asks disgusted.

"What?" I stand up, stretching my long legs. Sometimes, mom can really press my buttons. She's so....I can't even explain it! I can't find the words to say to that. Elizabeth gives me warning sign.

"Did I stutter?"

"I'm sorry, mom. I just wanted to help you out. There's something brown right by your lips."

There really isn't. Dad and Elizabeth senses that. They stare at me, wondering what I'm talking about. Mom start to wipe her face repeatedly. I bite my tongue to keep from laughing at her efforts.

"What were you eating earlier?" I ask, boldly staring into her eyes. 

"It was just a brownie. I thought that I had cleaned myself up." Mom starts rubbing harder. I crack a smile.

"It was from a brownie?" I lean my face in so close that my nose touches her's. "No! It was from all the SHIT you've been talking!" I yell.

Both dad and Elizabeth gasps in shock. I've never cursed....out loud. Mom has been really getting on my case lately for absolutely no reason at all! My temper can only go so far. There's just those times where you just have to speak your mind. The problem is: she knows exactly where my weak points are. She knows exactly what to say at exact moments. 

I watch with satisfaction as her whole face turns red. This I just can't let down. I just have to finish it off.

"Now, your face matches what you're wearing. Congratulations! You look like Satan and his wife. Now, can you go back to hell and leave us all alone?"

Elizabeth pulls me back before mom could slap me. She holds me in her arms, away from my mom's wrath that's about to be released on me. This time, it'll be worse. I brace myself for it. Dad stares wide eyed at me. What does he think of my cursing?

Mom stands up and walks slowly up to me. I back down a little. She's kind of intimidating when she stands up. Her eyes are enflamed with rage. She reaches down and pulls me up by my oversized shirt. I didn't know that she was so strong! She lifts me up to the point where my feet don't even touch the ground. My face is right in her's. Here I comes.

"Listen here, you little twerp! I am your mother, and you will respect me. You got that? If you don't, so help me, I will make you regret the day that you were born." She clenches her jaw and squeezes my shirt. It's starting to choke me! I'm too scared to look at Dad for help.

"Brooke," Dad says calmly. "put my daughter down." He's staring at her. I'm not sure if he's mad or not.

"She disrespected me, Micheal. This girl must be punished." Brooke hisses.

"I said put her down. I will not as a third time." Dad keeps the same tone.

"SHE DISRESPECTED ME!"

"I SAID PUT HER DOWN!" Dad stands up and snatches me away from mom. I run over to hide in Elizabeth's arms.

Dad is nose to nose with her. She starts to back down. Go daddy! Stand up to that witch.

"Micheal...she..."

"If you put your hands on her again, you will regret it for the rest of your life." Dad interupts.

Woah. That was unexpected! I can see the shock on my face and Elizabeth's face. Dad isn't like this. He only gets this way when he's super mad. I think I went too far on this.

Brooke starts to back away. Dad only steps closer to her. I have a bad feeling. He looks like he wants to hit her. I start to get up. Elizabeth holds me back. She doesn't want me to get hurt. I won't. Dad will never hurt me. She starts to get up, but hesitates.

"Dad, she's right." No matter how much I hate to admit it. "I'm sorry mom. Please forgive me for my disrespect."

"Go upstairs." Dad orders me without looking my way.

"But...."I start.

"Don't make me repeat myself."

I look at Elizabeth. She slowly nods at me. I stand up. Mom's eyes follow me upstairs. Dad turns to me. I stop to stare in his eyes. He looks like he wants to cry. My heart feels like it's breaking. I never meant for it to go this far.

"One more thing." Dad clears his throat.

"Anything." I try to act good. I've done enough already.

"Do not come out of your room tonight." Dad warns. 

Mom's eyes shoot wide. Her jaw drops. I'm to afraid to ask why. To be honest, I don't want to know. Elizabeth stands up and follows me upstairs. The last thing I see is Dad taking off mom's sweater slowly.

Elizabeth and I walk down to long, dimly lit hallway. Prince and Paris are asleep. I open Blanket's door to check on him. He fell asleep an hour before dad came home. It's a surprise to see him still sleeping soundly. I go in my room, followed by Elizabeth.

My room is really nothing fancy. It's just white and green dressers, a matching desk and mirror underneath my bed, with a bathroom. My bed is like a bunk bed without a bottom bunk. Dad had it specially designed to have a top bunk, little dressers along the side, and my desk and mirror where the bottom bunk would be. It's pretty cool, actually.

I go into my bathroom to wash up. Elizabeth waits at my desk. Closing the door for a little privacy, I stare up at myself in the mirror. My long curly hair is up in a tight ponytail. Oversized glasses rests on my nose an takes over most of my face. I take them off and set them in their case. My eyes look weary and tired.

I smile at myself. Tomorrow is my 15th birthday. No matter what happens. Despite all of my family issues, trust issues, and fatigue, tomorrow is my day. There won't be any arguements, stress, or weariness. We'll all be happy, even if it's just for 24 hours.

I only brush my teeth since I took a shower before dad came home. Elizabeth is sitting at my desk. I walk over to her and stare at both of our reflections in the mirror. She smiles. It's just dazzling! She's the most beautiful person I know, inside and out. So many people look up to her! Magazines claim her as the most beautiful woman alive. Yet, she isn't cocky about it.

I'm so happy that she's my godmom. Diana Ross is my other one, but I don't really see her that much anymore. Elizabeth, on the other hand, would fly across the world just to see me. She's always there when I need her. There hasn't been one time where she wasn't there for me. I am so grateful for her.

"Let me tell you something, Amy." Elizabeth clears her throat. I sit down on the floor, knowing that she's going to tell me something I'm going to need to remember for the future. She's good for things like that. "Your mother....loves you. You know that right?"

"If she loves me, why does she act like she hates my guys?"

"There's a quote that I really love, because it's so true. It pretty much says that my thing is: until you've lived my life and until you've been through what I've been through. Don't judge me. Don't judge anything that I say."

"What does that have to do with mom?"

"There's somethings in her life that she just can't control. We may never know what it is, but it hurts her deeply. She has learned that the one thing that she can control, is you. Which is what she does with her words. Don't give her to power to do that." Elizabeth warns.

"My mom doesn't control me."

"If she can change the way you feel just by walking in the room, she has major control over you."

I start to think about how just her presence sends shivers down my spine. Her words tend to cut me like knives. It seems like she never has anything nice to say to me. She never cared about how I felt about it. Now that I think about it, she does have control over me. I let her. Why do I let her?

Elizabeth checks her watch. "Oh my! It's 11:00. Time for you to go to bed."

I climb up in my bed with the ladder attached to the side. Elizabeth stands on the bottom shelf and kisses my forehead. Honestly, I believe that I'm too old for this, but it relaxes me a bit. I pull the blankets up to my chin and turn round on my stomach.

Elizabeth walks towards the door, turning to face me. "Good night. Sweet dreams. Happy birthday." With that, she walks out the door, flicking off the light in the process.

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