You get to know Frankies family situation a bit better.
“Mom, can you please be quiet? People are trying to sleep”
“Don’t you use that tone with me young ma...“ she came out from the livingroom and saw Annabel leaned to my shoulders, with my arm around her waist, almost past out.
“Sorry mom, my friend was ill and needed me” I said as I walked past her up the stairs.
“What’s going on” I heard Annabel’s beautiful British accent. She spoke in a low vice.
“It’s okay Hun, I’m here”
My head was in his lap. We were in a meadow and the sun was shining at us. I could even smell the grass! He was playing with my hair and I never wanted it to end. But then his touch started to fade, actually everything started to fade. As I blinked the meadow turned in to a room. There were posters all over the walls, band I had never heard of before like Misfits and oh Black Flag, the same band Frankie had on his T the other day. Across from the bed was a desk and on one side was a window with dark curtains. On the other side was a Fender. I knew the guitar is a Fender at first look because I had had one just like that back in London (sadly I had left it there with the stuff I didn’t want). This guitar got all my attention. I got out of bed not even realising I had an unfamiliar shirt on and grabbed the guitar. I hadn’t played in ages. I sat down on the floor, leaned against the wall. I loved how it felt to brush my fingers over the strings as I played almost as much as I loved ballet. No I told myself, I don’t love ballet anymore. I started to play, shaking of the thoughts of ballet. I led my fingers trough the tabs of the first song I ever learned. I got trough the intro and was just about to sing when I heard the door open and I just stopped by reflex.
“No don’t stop, it was good!” Frankie said with a smile on his face.
“I don’t play in front of people” I said as-a-matter-of-factly.
“Oh come on, I like that song” Frankie said, sitting down on the desk chair.
“It was one of my mom’s favourites” I put the guitar back in its stand.
“You really miss her don’t you?” I could tell he was trying hard not to look at me when he continued “I keep thinking that I won’t miss my mom cuz she’s in my face all the time, but I probably will”
I got what he meant. I really did. I couldn’t, it was too much. I had no air. I put my hands round my chest so that it wouldn’t fall apart. I couldn’t even hold up my head anymore.
“Oh no Annabel, Honey! I didn’t mean to... I’m sorry” He sounded so sweet. I felt my heart jump and the butterflies in my stomach. I almost smiled only I couldn’t because my chest was falling apart. It was weird, I was really happy Frankie was with me, but I was falling apart missing my mom at the same time.
“No...” was all I got out trying to breathe.
“You can tell me what’s going on Honey. You’re not alone in this you know. Even though I might not always understand, I’m here” he was wrapping his arms around me as I leaned my upper body to his chest. I hadn’t noticed when he had moved down to the floor. It felt better with him there. It was easier to breathe and after taking in a long deep breath I could form words again.
“The last time I saw mom I was really mad at her“ I can’t believe I’m telling him, I haven’t even told grandma. “I said some awful things” I felt the wet tears in my eyes “and just before slamming the phone in her ear I said I hated her. And for a moment I really did” I hadn’t even admitted the last sentence to myself yet. The fact that it was true made me really cry.
“Your mom knew that you loved her. Everybody hates their mom sometime, but deep down they always loves her” his sweet voice made me calm and I could let go of my chest.
Why was it that every time I was with Annabel she was crying and I managed to comfort her? I couldn’t get her out of my mind. Not that I wanted too, I’d never thought of anyone as much as I thought about Annabel. The way her body fitted against mine when I held her, I knew she felt it too.
It was Sunday night dinner time. My mom had made spaghetti and was handing me a plate. I heard the door open with it my dad’s voice.
“LINDA! Have you made my dinner?!” He slammed the door behind him and walked through the livingroom.
“Of course dear, I was just serving Frank Jr.” She painted on that fake smile and put down my plate. I could smell the booze even before he opened the kitchen door. Knowing my mom, I knew exactly what was going to happen when I saw dad’s shoes. There was nothing I could do about it. Why couldn’t she just learn? I sat quietly, not touching my food hoping I was wrong, but as always, I was right.
“Couldn’t you at least take your shoes of? I just cleaned the house today” mom said. Knowing this situation, I didn’t want to look at my dad. Getting my memory confirmed dad growled something that sounded like “Don’t tell me what to do woman!” and then he slapped her over the face. I tried to leave quietly, but the chair wasn’t on my side.
“YOU” He pointed at me “sit back down! We are going to have a nice family dinner just like every other family on this street” he sat down and demanded food. Sundays was actually the only day he was home for dinner. Mom just stood there with her hand on her cheek like this was the first time it happened. As if it was. My dad had been hitting my mom as long as I could remember. I hated the guy, why couldn’t she just leave him? I looked over to dad. He didn’t look pleased. One day, I promised myself, I’m going to stand up to that man. I looked back to mom who still hadn’t moved.
“Mom?” I said waking her from her trance. She gave dad a plate with food and sat down herself.
“I’m sorry dear I’ll just clean the house again tomorrow” she said. I am such a coward! One day...
We ate in silence and then I went up to my room and turned on my music as high as I could. I didn’t want to hear my mom scream again but her bruises the next morning confirmed it all.
“Why don’t you just leave him?” I asked her that every Monday morning and I always got the same answer.
“Because he’s your father and I love him. And besides, where else will we get money from when I don’t work?” I usually let it go at that but this time I was tired of it.
“We’ll work it out, I’ll help you! You know I will!” I said getting all excited about living without him.
“I don’t know...” Who was I kidding anyway? She’ll never leave him.
“You could get a job, any job. I don’t like seeing him hitting you mom”
“You’ll be late for school” she gave me my backpack and practically pushed me out the front door.