chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing


See the Shadows of Innocence and Sanity

a shadow of the day

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chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing
From The Round Table.

Louise was tapping a set of drumsticks rhythmically against her lap. They could see it was without thought, because she would look down occasionally and stop, laying them flat, before picking up the conversation again. And as she would talk, her hands would eventually begin drumming again.

“So this week, I thought we would talk about family. You know, who raised us, how they have affected our lives. We have had the chance to talk about this before, and I thought that maybe we could talk about it again.” She looked around the small group, wanting assurance. No one spoke up, reminding her of the very beginning of this group, not the way they had come to be. “Families are the building blocks of our lives. Do you mean to tell me that you do not have families?”

“Some of us do not want to talk about them,” Alex murmured. “My ‘dad’ was not a shining example of fatherhood.”

“At least you had a father,” Nix countered with a sigh. “Almost anything is better than no father at all.” He rested his head on his hand, elbow landing hard against the tabletop.

Alex shook his head, scoffing at Nix’s naiveté. “Not my father. Not an abusive father.”

“Not a neglectful father,” Sin joined, hands loose between his knees and lifeless.

The boys were all sedate, each reminded of why they had escaped to college life. The two women in the room looked helplessly at each other, waiting for someone else to speak.

Alex spoke first. “My mother died when I was a child. I cannot remember her, even though I try. In return for her death, I was…” he took a deep breath, as if collecting his thoughts, “made to believe I was worthless and the reason she died.” Alex balled his fists in his lap, his eyes closing tight. “My father treated me like the dirt under his feet my entire life. My Baba—my grandmother—was the only reason I lasted as long as I did. CPS and my family were well acquainted, to say the least.” His eyes opened to a slit, his gaze cutting left and right. “I moved away the first chance I got.”

Nix nodded. “I never met my father. I never met my mother, or my father. My aunt and uncle raised me. I guess they did all they could for me, but they had their own children after I came along. It was not really the best of situations.” He laughed self-derisively, and they heard the quick sound of someone tsking, sucking their teeth to fill the time. “My mother was a junky, and probably never even knew my father. My aunt did everything she could for me, but it was not and never would have been enough.”

“Neglected children of the world, unite!” Sin tried to joke, but the sound of his voice was hollow. “I guess you could say that my childhood was a little better than these two,” he said with a vague gesture to the other two men in the room. “You could say that, but it was not like that. Do you know what it is like to have to move from place to place because your parents cannot keep business and pleasure separate? To know that your mother sleeps with half of the people your father works with, and that your father bribes the other half? And to still have to put on an innocent face? No?” Sin sighed. “I started drinking when I was 14. I am surprised I even have any brain cells left. Or that I have yet to be in a automobile accident.”

The gentlemen around the group were morose, each stewing in their one-upmanship of “Whose parents suck worse?” while Nisha and Louise sat quietly by. Louise raised an eyebrow at the other girl, the drumbeat on her lap down to a vibrating hum. Nisha shook her head, clearly not wanting to speak. Louise ignored her, and raised a drumstick to point directly at her, forcing her to be the center of attention.

“My parents are normal,” she growled, low and annoyed. “Interracial marriages are all the fashion nowadays. Who am I to say anything about them being bad parents?”


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