Falling: When You Hit the Bottom, It Hurts Like Hell

By Stacey Amerson

She sat on the couch staring out through the glass window, beyond the front yard, to the street. The dirt-covered black truck would be pulling up soon. She dreaded Sundays because of this. Having to see that truck, that expensive, dirty truck that carried that stupid, neglectful man. Having to see her little brother return from his visit, happy, cheerful, smiling. Smiling at all the attention and love he was receiving, while she remain locked in her room, forgotten.

Some might say it was partially her fault. No one was stopping her from seeing her father. He even wanted to see her. But how could she? How could she, when he had done nothing but abandon her, treat her like a toy. Play with her when he was in the mood, then callously toss her aside when he became bored. Play with his new toy: Jennifer.

Her fists clenched. Hearing that name, merely seeing it lying lazily on a page of a book, shot a fresh dose of fury through her. Her muscles tense, only just able to contain from shaking. That bitch-no, that cunt, named Jennifer had taken her father from her. Ripped him away, leaving Stacey with bloody hands from where she tried to hold on to him. As far as Stacey was concerned, Jennifer was a main conflict as far as her parents' divorce was concerned. She was the woman who Roy had cheated on his wife with. Stacey hated her. No, loathed would be more accurate.

A few months ago, Roy had moved in with his girlfriend. His daughter refused to visit him anymore. Before that, their relationship had been terribly rocky, a cliff over sharp rocks. They were both struggling to hang on. Then Jennifer came along and helped Roy from the side of the cliff. Smiling, they walk away, hand-in-hand, leaving Stacey to slip, falling forever…

The sound of tires rumbling over gravel shakes her from her reverie. Sure enough, there is the truck. There is her father, dressed casually in a red collared shirt, sunglasses resting on blonde-turning-grey- hair. And there is her little brother, leaping from the truck. But something is amiss. He is not smiling, not prepared to brag to his sister about the visits filled with movies, fast food, and amusement parks. He storms into the house, slamming the garage door. Stacey watches the truck pull away as her brother walks over, throwing himself into the couch.

"What's wrong?" She asks, studying his face.

Sad, angry eyes look up at her from behind round, gold-rimmed glasses. They reminded her of Harry Potter's glasses. "Guess what Dad told me today?"

A ripple of apprehension swept through her. This was never good. "What?"

The little boy, Andrew, leaned back into the couch. A few locks of brown hair turned blonde from the sun fell into his face. "Dad and Jennifer are engaged."

"What?!" Her voice betrays her emotions; her eyes narrow.

Andrew nods. "He said so. They're getting married next year in April."

His sister remains silent, unmoving, numb. It was official. He was really moving on with his life. He knew Stacey hated his girlfriend, didn't want anything to do with her and her two kids. But he didn't care. Didn't give a shit. This was proof.

Stacey had stopped falling now. The edge of the cliff was nowhere in sight. And the rocks at the bottom hurt like hell.

Based on a true moment in time. Or true experience, how ever you want to put it. RxR.