I’m greeted by a headache as I try to open my eyes. The sun is blinding me through my huge bedroom window. I was so drunk last night that I didn’t realize my curtains were still open when I crashed on my bed. But who cares? I mean, I don’t anymore. I roll over and look at the time. 08:08. A deep groan escapes my throat. I wanted to wake up much, much later, in five years to be exact. But I’m up now, and my head is killing me.

Getting out of bed seems like a death sentence, but I eventually make it out. I open my mouth to yawn but immediately close it. Sheesh, my breath reeks. I should never drink that horrible drink again. But if I’m being honest with myself, that drink tasted sooooo gooood! It got me drunk so quickly and I was up on that dancefloor like I was the baddest chick in the entire world. I had all the moves; it didn’t matter what song the DJ played, I was killin’ it on that dancefloor. But now…now I feel like poop, not that poop has feelings, but I’m guessing if it did, this is how it would feel. FOCUS man! You have a real issue here.

I don’t know how my feet found the bathroom, but there I was, lifelessly staring at the mirror while I brushed my teeth. My mother always said I should brush my teeth first thing in the morning. I almost choke on the toothpaste as the thought of my mom sweeps across my zombie brain. I clutch at the sink for dear life as I try not to remember her husband. Suddenly, the air around me feels so thin, and before long I am gasping. I slide down to the cold floor as I try to control my breathing. After a while, I feel calmer. That’s when I realize I’ve been crying. I close my eyes and let the tears wash over my face. Maybe they will help me see things clearer. The way my mom sees everything. Because right now, I can’t understand why she decided to stay married to her ex-husband’s brother.

She had a choice. She’s drop dead gorgeous, I know she could have married a younger man. And there was a younger man available;  he wanted her so bad. But no. She just had to stick to the man who reminded her so much of her ex. Or maybe it was just me who saw that side of him. She seemed blinded by his grandiose nature, and also the fact that he moved with an entourage much bigger than her first husband’s. But in my eyes, that’s part of the problem. Why doesn’t he ever leave those militant groupies of his and just be him for once? And that sinister look he always has on his face. I don’t trust him; I’m just a kid, but I don’t trust that man. But it’s too late now. Mom’s made up her mind. And it’s time I make up my mind about whether or not I’m gonna take that shower…

Clean and fresh, I start thinking of a plan. I shouldn’t have to suffer because of my mom’s choices, right? Okay, so the problem here is that my mom is married to a man who’s cut from the same cloth as her ex. And I’m just a kid, so I can’t exactly fend for myself without a mom. What if I get a new mom? People do it all the time. And they seem to be living much better lives. With this thought in mind, I fire up the laptop and I head to Google. How To Get A New Mom. There are a few moms that catch my eye, but all of them need me to have this thing called a visa. So I grab all the necessary documents and I make for the door. But just as I’m about to open it, mom walks in.

“Where are you going?”

“To get a visa.”

“What for? You don’t need a visa here.”

“I’m leaving, mom.”

She puts her bag down and stares at me for a few seconds. ”This isn’t about Em, is it?”

“Oh, so you have a nickname for him now.”

“He’s my husband, of course I have a nickname for him.”

“But he’s your ex’s brother! Don’t you see how twisted that is?”

“He’s nothing like his brother! Don’t you ever bring up that man’s name in this house, do you hear me?”

“I hear you mom. That’s why I’m leaving.”

I try to open the door, but she blocks my way. “Why do you hate him so much?” I try to move past her but she shoves me back with so much force. “Why do you hate him so much? ANSWER ME, CHILD!”

“BECAUSE HE’S EXACTLY LIKE HIS BROTHER!” I cry out as a fresh river of tears floods my cheeks. “He’s just like him. He helped him kill. He helped him steal and loot and intimidate anyone who dared to save you from him. Where was ‘Em’ when you were being abused? Where was he when all your wealth was stolen? Why didn’t he rescue you sooner? Why now? Because the old man is frail and impotent? Is that it? You could have married a younger man. A man from a different family. But it seems like that family has turned you into their whore, and now I’m the child of a whore.”

All I hear after that is a loud ringing in my ear. I touch my cheek and stare at my mom in disbelief. She slapped me. She actually slapped me. Without a word, I rush out of the house. She calls after me, but I block her out. I just run, and run, and run…

And so I’m right back where I started. At the bar. I walk in, and I laugh. The disaster in here is very comforting for me. At least now I know I’m not the only one affected by the gloomy turn of events. All my older brothers and sisters are here, quarrelling among themselves on how they can get mom away from ‘Em’. I start feeling a sense of loss. I know I’m not going to leave my mom. I can’t. I actually love her. And maybe her new hubby isn’t so bad. I mean, if he is, we’ll just organize another hostile takeover. I laugh again as I order a drink, the same one from last night. “One glass of Hope please. On the rocks. And you better have a lot of this stuff stocked up. Lord knows I’m gonna need this poison for the next five years.”