No. 1 – ashamed

1 Dec

During fall, early mornings in North Texas smell like spring in other places. It’s cold, but just barely. A misty, gray fog drapes the tops of the trees and streetlights in fine lace. The drone of eight hours of high school awaits me. I ride in the back seat of my father’s car, hoping no one will notice me. It is a silver car from the 1970s, long and low to the ground. The driver’s side door is black, a replacement from an accident that left my father with blood on his face and glass embedded in his forehead. He couldn’t find a door to match and couldn’t pay to have it painted to fit the rest of the car.  

At my high school everyone’s father is someone, some big shot. I hear kids use their fathers as threats to teachers and other kids alike. I’ll tell my father, they say. I’ll have my dad ask his lawyer. These kids all have perfect hair and five thousand dollar watches.

My father could not afford a lawyer to sue the drunk driver who caused the accident. He could only afford bottle after bottle of cheap whiskey. He lost his job and started getting checks from disability. I wasn’t sure how he was disabled, only I remembered the way he was before the accident and he had definitely changed. Before the accident my father was happy, or at least able to fake it. Now his eyes are black, even when they look at me. 

I make him drop me off a block from school so I can walk the rest of the way. As I step out into the fog, my father turns his head to say goodbye, but I slam the door and look around nervously. I am ashamed to hurt his feelings and ashamed for anyone to see me with him. I wondered, as I walked toward the tall brick building if that was how my mother had felt before she left. Ashamed. 

I told all my friends at school that my mother is an actress and lives in France, shooting movies I had never seen. Too dirty, I had said, my father won’t let me watch them. For all I know, she could be. I straightened up as I neared the school, bits of rain beginning to sprinkle through the fog. My head high, and the faintest hint of a French accent ready and waiting on my tongue, I dissolved into a crowd of Rolex, Tiffany’s, and Louis Vuitton. 

~ fin ~

** for more information on my tiny*fiction and for copyright info, please read the fine print **


2 Responses to “No. 1 – ashamed”

  1. fivereflections December 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    i enjoyed this very much – your creativity is limitless – imagine the possibilities…

    merry christmas and happy new year from David in Maine USA

    • fixemfine December 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your saying so. Happy New Year from Texas 🙂

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