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Rated: E · Short Story · Personal · #2128350
This is a diary entry from some years ago as my family struggled to stay above the water.
Apparently Ma forgot to pay the light and gas bill again and we've been living in darkness for a week already. It never made sense why she can't forget to do it during the winter instead, but no she chooses to forget in mid summer. Luckily school is out this time and it's easier to get away with not showering every night. We usually picked the days that we are going to play outside with the water hose so we can shower outside unsuspectingly. At night it's the usual black out routine, get all the blankets from the rooms and pile them on the living room floor. We move the couches around so that they act as a fort of some kind and we sleep all together with the sliding door open. Nights like these, the summer nights breeze is our AC and our ears are the house alarm.

The other morning we woke up to Izzy and Joseph making breakfast on the grill outside. Kim must have told them about our situation. That or they figured it out when they made their way into our house as we slept at night. They are Kim's best friends and Ma's "sons-she-never-had". They are two trouble making punks who love to worry us but are just so awesome enough to make bacon and egg breakfast tacos on the grill. That night they told us they would stay over until the lights and gas came back on, and they did. They slept on the couch closest to the open sliding door. Izzy slept on the couch like a normal person and Joseph slept on the back rest of it like a nut job. Our two personal body guards.

The next few days were kinda weird. We couldn't get away with getting wet outside since there were now two guys hanging around, so my sisters and I bit our lips and showered in the cold water. I guess we cant complain too much since the rest of the day we just complain about how freaking hot it is. We usually spend our nights playing handheld video games, listening to Joseph's crank radio, and playing board games with missing pieces. Every now and then, if ma got out of school early enough, we would pile up in the car and go to the mall until they closed. In the evenings we scavenge for whatever food didn't spoil yet and make it on the grill or ask the neighbor for their microwave and tell them its because ours is broken. I'm so sure they know whats up, the corner neighbor was our personal local news announcer, they all love to gossip but as long as we don't admit it, it ain't true.

The one thing that makes this situation kind of alright is that we are stuck having to bond with each other since we cant just be in our own rooms. We are a house of Four girls and an emotionally unstable mom. Things are usually tense, but times like this, we have to deal with one another and put aside any squabbles. I'm sure you can hear us laughing like hyenas for miles. We actually get to talk to each other and learn more about each other. My sisters and I are all three years apart from each other so bonding isn't usually hard but when it comes to Ma, we kind of cringe from the idea. Shes not a bad person, its just that shes going through some things. Since the divorce all she does is drink a ton, makes money magically disappear, and buds heads with Kim more often. Kim says she prefers it that way since she is the oldest but it only leaves the rest of us kind of scared to be around ma.

Last night Joseph stated that we should sleep on the roof since is most definitely cooler up there. Everyone passed it off like a joke but I couldn't help but agree that it made sense. I went and grabbed a light jacket and we both climbed the wall that boosted us up to the roof. I found the perfect spot to chill, it was right behind the backyard tree that would hide me from people passing by and blow the coolest of breezes. Joseph plopped right next to me, and grabbed my jack only to put it around me. Out of all of Kim's friends, Joseph is my favorite to be around. He had this old-timely charm about him. He's tall and slender, with the nicest pealies to ever make a smile. His super curly hair falls off into is face with the sides shaved off into a light mohawk. We spent the night talking about our future goals and desires. I told him that all I ever want is to grow old with someone and eat at a diner with them. I want to be comfortable in my future but I don't know what I want to do to get there. I'm still a lazy sophomore in high school, I don't do much thinking of my future.

He went on to tell me how he wants to be able to help people out, he wanted to be a doctor before he was kicked out of school and now he didn't know what he was going to to. He started telling me how he didn't become a screw up until his dad died. It wasn't that he blamed his dad for leaving him behind but he hated how his living family left him behind to raise himself. Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with the ability to comfort someone with words so a turn to him and a smiled. I told him that he's too smart to let his family or himself ruin his life and that he needs to get off his butt and fix it. If he needs help I would be there to help him. I wouldn't know how but we'd figure it out together. He smiled is Cheshire cat smile and ruffled my hair. After that we spent the rest of the night talking about story ideas and food. I ended up waking up this morning to the cool morning sky. It was 6am and I can hear ma leaving for school. I woke up Joseph and we both headed back down to sleep with the rest of the gang.

Ma gave us a call this afternoon to tell us that we received the child support check and that she would be getting the light and gas reconnected sometime today so we had to clean up. All the blankets were moved to the rooms and the couches are back in place. Izzy and Joseph went home to take a shower, they never showered once since they got here. My sisters and I are sitting in the living room waiting for the technicians to get her. Kim kind of teased me into talking about what me and Joseph did on the roof, but there wasn't much I wanted to tell her.

Hopefully the next time ma decides to forget to pay the utility bills, we can just Invite Izzy and Joseph to stay over. That and maybe have like emergency supplies. I mean we don't get hurricanes in this part of Texas but we should pretend like we do and start stocking up.

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