Letting her head get the best of her... A work in progress, of course.
|We all learn to cope at one point or another. “All” as in, everyone but me. I’m more of an anti-coper. Now my head is mocking me.
- Anti-cope? Ha, more like anti-HOPE!
- Shut up, Head.
Obnoxious, so obnoxious.
- It’s a little hard to find hope when I have you for a brain!, I yell back in disgust.
If my head had eyes, it’d be glaring at me right now.
Mom heard. I know because she’s talking to Dad, and the only time she does that is when she puts on her “concerned parent” mask. Dad hates Mom. What’s new?
There’s a hawk outside my window, cawing and making circles around the roof. I bet him and his mate just ate my gerbil for lunch. I set Lizzy free last night after she nearly bit my middle finger off. Mom and Dad don’t know, and if my little sister rats me out, she’s dead.
- How could you do such a thing?!
- Do what? To who?
- Your sister. How could you kill little Evelyn?!
- Shut up, Head.
I wish I had a remote control for my brain.
Mom’s coming upstairs now and I’m freezing. She probably did it on purpose. Turning her brat of a daughter into an ice sculpture—perfect and picturesque, and just in time for the Christmas party!
- Tee-rific!, Dad would say, his professionally-whitened-and-not-even-worth-it teeth gleaming.
As if spending all our cash on an already okay smile would fix the mess he and Mom created.
Ice sculptures are dumb.
But Mom doesn’t seem to think so. She’s ramming her fist into my door and I’m ignoring her.
So she turns to breaking-and-entering instead. Because criminalist behavior solves everything, right? It suits her though. She’s always been one to please herself before others. Pretty much WITHOUT others really. She rides solo. Oh, yes she does.
And now the independent, flying high thief is in my room.
- I’m going to turn down the heat. Don’t go anywhere.
And I’m thinking to myself, why would I?
- I’m freezing, under my covers, and she goes away to make my life even more of a frosty hell.
- Your mom loves you.
- SHUT UP, HEAD.
I remember the time Mom tried to explain the Cold War to me. So when she storms back into my room, I’m yelling at her. With my blanket over my head, she looks at me like I’m some sort of Eskimo unaccustomed to my sub-zero home.
- Jesus, Mom! What are you trying to do? Start another Cold War?!
It’s my head’s turn to talk. No, not talk. Butt in.
- For Pete’s sake, May. You know she’s not trying to kill you or anything.
- Maybe not, but I’m about to kill you in a second, Head.
I look over at Mom.
- You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you?!
I’m grounded. I threatened to slap Mom. I almost did too—right across her fat little face. But I stopped when I heard Dad coming up the stairs. Dad hates violence. Says Gramps beat him when he was a kid, but I don’t blame him. Dad’s annoying.
He came bursting into the room and almost broke down my door.
My head has a thing for my mother sometimes and is playing the Guilt Trip card.
- She’s crying, you know.
- Screw her.
Mom gets up off the floor and makes to leave with my dad, who turns to stare me down over his shoulder.
- You’re grounded!, he barks.
I walk over to him and slam the door in his face.
My bed is Heaven. I collapse, pulling my Eskimo covers back on top of me.
My head finds the need to strike up a conversation.
- Now is not the time, Head.
But my obnoxious mind is obnoxiously persistent.
- You forgot about Evelyn, haven’t you?
She’s not going to be happy when she finds out Big Sis is grounded again.
Evelyn always goes on and on about how much of a cowgirl she is. Like she belongs on a horse or something insane like that.
She sends me postcards from camp, sometimes pictures too. “I’m having such a blast!”. “Look, May! It’s me on a horse! A real horse!”. Oh, Evelyn. We all know you’re a city girl at heart.
She won’t be after she sees the mess I’ve made though. As if Mom and Dad weren’t bad enough already.
- May, your sister loves you no matter what.
- Head, remember when I told you that now wasn’t the time?
- Well, five minutes doesn’t change a thing.
- Actually, it’s been eight.
- SHUT UP, HEAD.
I feel like writing. I mean, when you’re as grounded as I am, you can’t really do much else. Counting freckles gets boring after two seconds—tops. Trust me.
As I’m about to pull my covers off to go find some stationery, my head interrupts me for the millionth time today.
- Hey, Eskimo Girl? It’s freezing, remember?
I pull my blankets back over my head.
I’m taken aback as I go fetch a pen and some paper. For once, my head came in handy.
Now I can’t help but laugh.
- Ha, let’s see how long this lasts.
Not very long.
Because now I’m back on my bed and before I can even put a pen to this paper that was ridiculously hard to find, we’re in a fight. My head and I. My head and I are in a full-blown fight.
- Admit it. You can’t last a minute without Evelyn here!
- No, Head. I can’t last a minute with YOU here!
And we’re both getting heated, my head and I, ready to engage in battle, but I can’t.
And not just because of Mom’s stupid idea to bring back the Cold War.
It’s like, I can’t even think of anything mean to say. Attack weapons? I’ve got none.
Which is weird, because I can usually find them so easily.
But when I open my mouth, no words come out.
My head is brutal and it laughs at this. Because now I’m sitting on my bed, defenseless.
But in a lot of ways, I think my mind works like my mother’s. Putting on a mask when they’ve got nothing left to say. So now it’s my turn to laugh.
- At least I’m not faking it., I scoff. Pretending to be a jerk when I’m not.
My head is good at come-backs though.
- You really are.
- A jerk. You’re really a jerk. So you’re not faking a thing.
- Who even asked you to butt in in the first place, Head?
- Ouch. I thought April showers were supposed to bring May flowers.
- Bite me.
And I’m back to being an Eskimo again, ignoring my head in my igloo of blankets.
And writing to my little sister, Evelyn.
- “Ev, I messed up. Bad. I almost hit Mom. Like, slap kind of hit. In the face. Help me. What’s wrong with me?
I miss you, I love you more than anyone (especially Mom and Dad), and I can’t wait for you to come home.
Oh, and I hope you’re having fun at camp. No, a blast!
- You didn’t tell her about our fights?
- No worries, Head. She’ll hear them soon enough.
So I’m in a battle with my head and we’re fighting over how stupid I was to get grounded again for the umpteenth time. I’ve found my attack weapons and I’m throwing them at my mind—yelling and hurting it more with each savage strike. Just call me May: The Eskimo Warrior Princess.
Until I hear Evelyn stomping upstairs. Before I know it, she’s in my room. I look up from my battle stance.
- Welcome home., I say.
Evelyn looks like she could kill someone. Maybe even me.
She looks like a dragon.