It was late when we got there so after we got settled, Rachel fell asleep on the couch and Holland laid on the cot. I was in no mood to sleep so I sat on the floor and looked out the window, thinking. I look over at Holland, he had his arm over his eyes and I wasn't sure if he was sleeping yet or not. “Holland?” I call softly.
“Hm?” he mumbles.
“How long was I in the hospital?”
He must have known I wanted to talk because after a few seconds of doing nothing, he got up and sat beside me. “A few days.” he sounded kinda tired.
“Was my dad there?”
“Lyza, why are you doing this?”
He sighed and lit a cigarette, taking a long slow puff before answering me. “No.”
I look down at the cold, concrete ground and nod. “I understand.” He was never around for anything.
“You understand?” he repeats. “How? I mean, sure he was a dead-beat ass hole but he was still your father. You should have wanted him there, you should have been angry when I told you he wasn't there.”
“I'm used to it, it's not really a big deal. I just wanted to know.”
“No, it is a big deal. You shouldn't have to walk around knowing that it doesn't matter what you do, your father wouldn't be around to see it. Dead or alive. He should have been in that room with Rachel and I, not off doing who-knows-what. You shouldn't be okay with him not being there.”
“It's been like that for as long as I can remember. Dad was an angle growing up, mom was a hood. He didn't approve of the way she lived her life and never approved of how we lived, especially JD. Neither did Carolyn, she didn't want to live like this anymore. That's why she packed her bags at 16 and left.”
“Did you ever think of going with her? Of being with her now?”
“Well yeah... when I was 5. Now?” I sigh. “Even after all of this; I'm not so sure.”
He tries to hold back a confused look. “Why?”
“I don't know. You, Seth, Rachel. Rachel wouldn't come with, she hates how the angels live and that's the neighborhood Carolyn is. She'd end up doing something and we'd just have to leave again.”
He takes my hand. “I'd come with you, ya know.”
“How did we get ourselves into this mess?”
“I believe it began when Seth cheated on Carter.” he smiled. “It was Seth's fault.”
“No surprise there.” I chuckle quietly and he agrees. “But I mean, how did we... why did we have to become this way?”
“I don't follow.” he shakes his head.
My eyes start to water. “Such a disgrace to our families, so terrible that the community hates us. Hoods.”
“Are you ashamed?”
“No, just... curious.”
“Believe me, Lyza, you are the last person that deserves this. Any of this. You're spirit is not the spirit of a hood. You are so much better then any of us combined. You may be a heart-less bad-ass sometimes but I blame that on your father. The heart-less part, the bad-ass is all on me, I taught you that.”
“I'm serious though. You shouldn't be ashamed of anything because this is not where you belong. Me, Seth, Carter, we're all lucky to have found someone like you... and Myles is lucky I don't beat the breath outta him for treating you like shit.”
“Oh stop, you know deep down, you secretly like him.” I laugh, resting my head on his shoulder and closing my eyes.
“The kids' alright when he's not a disrespectful punk.”