Once I was inside the house she slammed the door and shoved me into the middle of the room. She was unsteady on her feet. Great she’s been drinking again at least I’ll be able to make it to my room before she can catch me.
“Where have you been Quinn? I’ve been worried sick. Do you even know what time it is? How could you be so inconsiderate?” Her face was turning an unflattering shade of red; she slurred her words and inched toward me. I knew this game and I wasn’t up for playing it tonight. If I just apologize I should be able to safely get to my room.
“I’m sorry mom, you’re right. I should have called. I was with Eve she was pretty upset I thought I’d stay with her for a little while. I guess it is pretty late I’ll just head up to my room for the night, okay?” I gave her a weak smile and tried to inch around her the look on her face stopped me in my tracks. She walked slowly over towards me barely able to stay up right.
“Listen up you little shit, I know you weren’t with Eve, I don’t know who’s car that was that dropped you off but I know it wasn’t hers. I’m not stupid, don’t you dare lie to me like I am!” With that she grabbed me by my arm and swung me around so my back was towards the kitchen. I stumbled into the kitchen table. I need to get out of here now, this isn’t normal drunk mom. I broke free of her grip and sprinted towards the back door. Of course it was locked; I turned around to face her, she had a smile plastered across her face. I made my move and sprinted around her towards the stairs. She caught my ankle on the way up. I slammed down hard on the stairs but kicked free. I made it safely to my room. I locked the door and slid down the frame, hoping that she’d just leave me alone. I heard her barreling up the stairs before stopping in front of my door. I held my breath.
“Open up Quinn! I’m not finished with you yet!” She was banging on the door with her fists. When that didn’t work she hurled her body against it. After a few minutes she finally stopped. She cursed me under her breath and retreated back down stairs. I heard her opening another beer. I sat there on the floor until she finally went to bed around 2am. I slid out my door and crept past her door. Silently I moved down the stairs and out the back door. Thank god Eve only lived a few blocks from me. I sprinted towards her house. I finally made it and luckily all of the lights were out. Eve’s bedroom was on the first floor I cracked the window open and slid inside. She always left her window unlocked for nights like this. I quickly grabbed a pair of her sweatpants and a tank top before climbing into bed with her. I curled up into a ball and shook as I started to silently cry. Eve rolled over and put her arm around me. She pulled me close and told me everything would be okay. I let her hold me until I finally fell asleep.
I woke to the smell of bacon and coffee. I rolled over to see Eve wasn’t in bed. I looked for my phone on the bed side table finding a note instead.
Quinn, I guess you had a rough night too. Sorry your mom sucks.
I’m gonna go make breakfast, get a shower then come down.
Borrow whatever you want.
I smiled and got out of bed. I walked into her bathroom and turned on the shower. As I waited for in to warm up I started to undress. I looked into the mirror seeing an ugly purple bruise on my arm. I inspected my body further noticing a bruise on my forearm, probably from falling on the stairs and rug burn on my stomach. Good thing no one ever sees me naked I guess. I climbed into the shower and tried to wash away the memories of last night. Once I was done I got out and quickly got dressed some jeans and a long sleeve shirt would have to do, hopefully it won’t be horribly hot today. I made my way down the stairs and caught the end of a conversation I waited and listened.
“She was here when I got up this morning dad. She’s all marked up again. Isn’t there anything you can do?”
“I wish there was sweetie but I can’t. Quinn has to tell me something’s wrong I can’t just make accusations like that. Her mother is an upstanding woman in this town. I know it’s hard to understand honey I love Quinn too but my hands are tied.” Eve’s dad is the best lawyer in town. He’s been like a father to me since my dad left. He always knows just what to say to make me feel better. I try to make some sort of noise to let them know I’m coming down. I turn the corner and smile.
“It smells heavenly in here guys.” They both look up and smile back at me. I make my way over to the counter and pour myself some coffee. I sit down between them and make myself a plate.
“I didn’t know you’d be joining us this morning Quinn I’m glad I bought extra bacon this week.” Rodger laughed at his own joke and returned to his paper. He looked up at me and gave a knowing look. I forced myself to smile back at him and took a sip of my coffee.
“Yeah I know I’m sorry to intrude it was a last minute decision. I’ll make sure it won’t happen again.” He shook his head with a smile. He and Eve talked about the apartment she would be staying in this summer. She got into a summer program at The University of California. We’ve always known we wanted to go to the same school, it just so happens that we both got in. Unfortunately there were no summer programs for my chosen major so I’ll be stuck here all summer by myself. I felt the blood drain from my face and I thought I might cry. I excused myself from the table and made my way back upstairs. I found my cell phone on the floor next to my discarded pants. No missed call or texts, typical. The only person I talk to is in the same house. I laid across Eve’s king size bed and closed my eyes.
“Quinn, get up. It’s time to go. Quinn!” I slowly opened my eyes to Eve’s smiling face. She pulls me out of bed and down the stairs. As we round the corner all the lights in the kitchen were off and there was a cupcake with a single candle in it shining in the darkness. Eve’s parents were around the table smiling. They started to sing happy birthday. I know it’s not my birthday and I know it’s not Eve’s birthday so I just stood there confused and smiling. I blew out the candle and everyone cheered.
“Uh, sorry to disappoint you guys but my birthday isn’t until next month.” I laughed, Rodger and Sarah smiled at each other and handed me a plain white envelope. It had a little weight to it but really there was nothing special about it. I just looked from the envelope to them. Eve playfully elbowed me and urged me to open it. I carefully pulled open the envelope and stared inside. There was no card, just a simple brass key.
“You didn’t think I’d leave you here all summer did you?” I turned to Eve and she was beaming. I didn’t know what to say. I started to cry, happy tears not sad. I won’t be alone with my mother all summer. I’ll be with my best friend. I cried and Eve hugged me trying to calm me down. I finally looked at her parents thanking them from the bottom of my heart. I didn’t know what else to do so I ran to them and hugged them as tight as I could. Rodger planted a kiss on top of my head and Sarah started to sniffle.
“You know we’d do anything for you. We love you and we want you to get ahead on your studies. We’ve enrolled you in some general education courses to get you started. Don’t you worry we’ll talk to your mother for you.In a few weeks you’ll both be soaking up the sun on the deck of your new apartment!” I was so excited I needed to pack right away. Eve said I could bring my stuff over there so I didn’t have to go home alone to pack. “Now we’ve already had this discussion with Eve but since you’re going too there’s only one rule. You’ll both need to get a part time job. You’ll be paying for your own food and household supplies. We’ll take care of the rest. Now we’re all going to head over to your house so we can talk to Melinda and get her on board. Either way you can still go, you are eighteen she has can’t keep you from going. Do you understand Quinn?” I shook my head knowing what he meant. If she tried to guilt me into staying I can still say no.
We all piled into Rodgers SUV and headed towards my house. She probably wouldn’t even be awake yet and even if she was she wouldn’t be coherent. We pulled up to my house and my heart started to race. I got out of the car and told them to wait. Of course Sarah refused saying she would go with me. Making my way up to the door I had Sarah on my left and Eve on my right I slid my key into the lock and opened the door. I walked in and I didn’t see her anywhere so I motioned for Sarah and Eve to come in, I didn’t notice Rodger coming up the steps behind them. I turned on the light in the kitchen and headed upstairs to my room. Eve came up with me and we made it to my room. I pulled out my key and went in. Before I knew what was happening I was shoved to the floor and the door slammed behind me.