Chapter One And Two (Full)Chapter One
"Liz," I hear my name.
I struggle to open my eyes, and fail, wanting nothing more than to sleep for a few more minutes.
"Liz, we're here," my mom shakes me lightly.
I open my eyes to see what she's talking about. When I finally rub the sleep from my eyes, I see we're parked beside a small house.
Ah, here meaning the house I didn't want to live in, in a town I didn't know, in a state I had never been in before.
"It's nice, isn't it?" My mom asks.
I know what she wants. She wants me to shower her with compliments, tell her what a good job she did, how beautiful the house is, how I am so eager to be here, and how everything is going to be okay. Maybe I would have a few months ago, but things are different now. I'm different now. So instead, I just huff and open the car door.
Seconds later, I hear my mom get out of the car too. "I was thinking that after the movers get here and we set up a few things I can go get a pizza. And tomorrow, we can unpack and go shopping and maybe rent a movie. Wouldn't that be fun?"
I don't answer. I tug at the sleeves of my jacket, and roll my eyes.
"Liz," my mom starts.
The nickname sends a wave of anger over me. "Don't call me that. Only dad can call me that," I snap.
My mom runs a hand through her hair, and maybe for the first time, I see how tired she looks. Her once bright, shiny red hair has lost it's luster, and I can see small streaks of gray coming in near her temples. Her green eyes look sad, and the laugh lines that used to look so good on her now droop a bit. Her shoulders are hunched, making her figure look like it belonged to an old woman, and not my beautiful mother.
"I'm sorry," my mother brings me back to reality.
I roll my eyes. I've told her countless times to just call me Elizabeth. Not Liz, not Lizzie, and definitely not Lizza. She knows how bad the last one will piss me off.
"When are the movers supposed to get here? I'm starving," I say.
"They should be soon. They were right behind us," she says just as a big white van with the words MOVE IT printed across the side pulls into the driveway. My mother rushes to greet them and motions for me to help the other one.
A huge man gets out of the passenger's seat as his partner talks business with my mom. He lifts the door on the back, revealing all of the furniture my mother managed to get from my dad. It was a lot.
This was going to be a long day.
So far, so good? Comment, follow, and all that jazz.
"Yeah, just set it in the living room!" My mom calls after the huge worker carrying our couch.
From inside the house, I hear something heavy hit they floor, followed by some loud cursing.
"Well, that didn't sound good," my mom says as she kicks some of the mulch back into the garden.
We had been unloading the truck for hours, and my shirt is soaked with sweat, even though me and my mom were only bringing in small boxes. It was going to take some time getting used to the southern heat. We left the heavy lifting for the movers, and they had just finished bringing in the couch, the last item in the truck.
"Alright, Elizabeth," my mom adds emphasis to my full name. "You can go ahead and start setting up around the house. Start with the kitchen, please. We will set up your room after while. Then pizza, and a cold shower," my mom wipes some sweat from her forehead.
I nod, heading into the new house. I have to admit, it is pretty nice. It's small, cozy. There are three bedrooms (one of which my mom was going to use as an office), two full bathrooms, a half bathroom, a living room, and a big kitchen, which practically made my mom cry when she first saw it.
I start opening boxes in the kitchen, waving to the workers as they exit. The first box I find is full of silverware, so I pretend like I don't see that one. Separating forks and spoons and knifes is not on my to-do list. I tear into the next box, which is full of plates and begin placing them into a cabinet. It bothers me that mom got so much from my dad. He was left with practically nothing, and here we are, with these old white plates my mom just had to have. I'm pretty sure the only reason she wanted them was to prove she could. My dad is probably home eating a microwaveable burrito off of a paper towel or something. I know for a fact my dad hasn't gone freaking plate shopping. Hell, I doubt he's even gone grocery shopping. The man probably doesn't even know where the grocery store is. I love him and all, but he is just so clueless sometimes. I smile to myself, remembering how I had to teach him how to make Ramen noodles when my mom was gone to work.
"Elizabeth, what are you doing?" I hear my mom ask.
"Huh?" I ask. I glance around and see that I've been putting the silverware in the plate cabinet. And I say my dad is clueless. "Oops, sorry," I say.
"A bit distracted?" My mom gives me a small smile.
"I guess," I mutter.
"What were you thinking about?" My mom walks over and tears into a box and begins unloading pots.
"Dad," I answer, immediately regretting it as I watch the pot in my mom's hands slip from her grasp and fall to the floor.
She quickly regains her composure, bending to pick up the pot. "Oh?"
"I was just remembering when I had to help him make Ramen and-"
"Elizabeth, can we please not talk about your father," my mom begs. She finishes putting the rest of the pots in the cabinet beside the stove.
A flare of anger courses through me. "Why? He's my dad, for Christ's sake."
"Because," my mom furiously tears into another box. "I just got away from him. And I do not plan on reliving that hell I had to endure with him for the past eighteen years."
"So what?" I slam a cabinet closed.
"We're just going to pretend like he never existed?"
"Well," my mom pulls a pack of cigarettes and a lighter from her pocket. She lights the tip and takes a long drag. "Yes."
"You are unbelievable," I march over to my mother, snatching the cigarettes from her lips.
"Hey!" My mom shouts.
I rush past her, open the back door, and flick the cigarette out onto the grass. I make sure the fire is completely gone before returning to my mother.
"Why the hell did you do that?" My mom shouts as I return.
"First of all, I don't want the house I have to live in to smell like smoke. Second of all, you said you quit two weeks ago," I snatch the box of Marlboro Lights from the counter and go to toss them in the trash can, but realize we hadn't found it yet. I stick them in my back pocket instead.
"I'm stressed, okay? Forgive me because I want to relax a bit," my mom groans.
"Okay, tell me that when you're dying of lung cancer," I shrug.
My mom sighs, leaning against the counter, her elbows sliding against the smooth surface. She rubs her temples slowly, methodically. "Okay, fine. I'll stop. Let's just get through tonight without fighting, okay?"
Even though I'm pretty sure she want quit, the anger that had taken me over drains from my body. "Okay, yeah, whatever."
"Do me a favor and go pick up a pizza," my mom digs in her pocket. "Here's twenty dollars."
"Where's the pizza place?" I ask as I take the money.
"Um, I think you take a right out of the neighborhood, and a left on the road beside the...CVS? I think that's right. It should be three minutes down that road. It's called Peter's Pizzas, or something like that," she starts picking up empty boxes.
Even though her directions seem vague, I don't question it. "I'll be back," I say as I snatch the keys from
the table beside the front door.
"Be careful!" My mom calls after me.
"Okay!" I shout.
Kind of tense, yikes. Why do you think Lizzie's parents got divorced? Comment below!
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