I didn't say goodbye."You told me this would be okay!" Mom yells, at the top of her lungs. "You said you would figure it out!"
"I'm sorry, but what do you want me to do? I can't get more money just like that." Dad snaps his fingers, a dramatization.
"Guys, stop fighting for once!" I say and they both look at me.
"Go to your room and mind your own business!" My mom spits at me, like she tasted something fowl. There's a fowl taste in my mouth, and it's called hate. Not only am I living with crazy parents, I live with a crazy sister.
"Anna." I say quietly as I walk down the halls. I knock on her door.
"Yeah?" She says over the yelling.
"Can I come in?" I ask, pressing my cheek to her door. It's cool and it feels good.
"Sure, whatever." She says and opens the door right out from under me. I practically fall on my face. "Look, I hate them fighting too, but we have to deal." She says. She acts like she's so much older than me, but she's only 2 years older. She's 17 and I'm sure you can do the math, but if you are mentally unable, I'm 15.
"Yeah." I say. "What are they arguing about?" I look at her and she's biting her lips. She closes the door and pulls me to her bed. I sit down on the yellow fabric, pinching it between my fingers.
"Autumn, I overheard them talking." She whispers, and I barely hear what she says so I have to read her lips. "They said they were paying someone for something but I don't know." She shrugs.
"Oh, well do you think it's like drugs or something?"I get scared. If they are selling drugs-or buying drugs- could someone hurt us?
"I don't know." Her eyes drop. I hear a door slam. But it's not the thud of a bedroom door; it's a slam of the front door. I look at her and jump off the bed. She follows me as I slowly walk down the dark hallways. As I creep along, I look at the wall. It's cluttered in family pictures from better, happier times. That's over now.
"Autumn, there's a note on the desk." She says, pointing at the wooden desk near the door. The paper is slightly damp with little drops, that could be tears. I pick it up and read it out loud.
My jaw drops as my mind processes it. "Anna..." I say but my mouth feels numb, and so does my face. My mind turned to goo and my stomach dropped to me ankles. The last thing I see is the ceiling and I assume I pass out.
"Autumn, please wake up." Anna pleads, but her voice is fuzzy. I feel someone slap my face. I jerk up.
"Ow, what is wrong with you?" I say and rub my sore cheek.
"Sorry, but you wouldn't wake up. You passed out." She looks at me, like I'm mental.
"And you couldn't poor water on me, like a normal person?" I look at the paper, still clamped in my hand.
"They're gone." I hear her whisper. I look at her, seeing my mother in her blonde hair, blue eyes, full lips, and big, thick eyelashes. I throw the paper somewhere and stand up. I feel shaky, but I'll get over it.
"So, they leave us with money and that's it? We have to take care of ourselves?" I look at her. "How old do you have to be to drop out of high school?" I look at her, and I won't go to school.
"14, I think in some states." Anna has tears running down her cheeks but her voice is controlled.
"Okay, because I'm not going." I say and walk to the kitchen. "Does this happen to everyone? I mean, do kids get left by their parents but have thousands of dollars to buy food?" I say louder so she can hear me.
"No, I don't think this is common." I hear her say, her voice revealing that she is crying.
"They left us." I say quietly, tears coming to my eyes and affecting my vision. I sit on the floor and lean my head against the cabinet. I allow myself, for the first time in 7 years, to cry.