"Jazzy, sweetheart, why are you limping?" A motherly voice, oozing with compassion, questioned me almost pleadingly as I entered the kitchen.
"God, Mom, I just stubbed my toe." I snipped back at her, angrily, not even bothering to look at her as I grabbed a pop-tart from the cupboard.
"Jaz, I really wish that you would not talk to your mother that way. Can't we have a pleasant morning for a change?" I looked at my father from my downcast face, but seeing him these days made me cringe. Blinking, I shifted to look at my mother, who was at the table feeding the most recent of her adopted pets.
"Sorry, Ma." I insincerely threw over my shoulder as I began to stroll out of the kitchen, forgetting about my hurt foot, the one that I had actually hurt by kicking through a rotten door the night before. Man what a thrill last night had been. Putting my hand out to steady myself, my father caught me and held my arm until I jerked it quickly away from his grasp.
"Hold on, I have been meaning to tell you something!" Glad that he didn't ask about the foot as Mom had, I looked at him inquisitively from under my eyebrows. "Your uncle Jeffery is coming to stay with us again! I know how much you enjoyed spending time with him during his last visit, so I thought you'd be happy to know he will be here in the morning."
"What!" I screeched in shock, fighting back a panic attack as I fled from the house. When I reached the corner before the bus stop, I collapsed, my foot throbbing. Relieved that I had been headed out the door with all my stuff anyway, I pulled a razor blade out of my bag and pressed it to my calf, feeling a release as I did so. Seeing a few kids headed toward the bus stop, however, I made a quick decision and gathered my things again, limping over to hide in a garden shed behind a nearby house.
After an hour of waiting, I returned to my empty home, my parents having left for the day. First I said goodbye to some of my mom's strays, knowing that I may never return, then I wrapped my foot and gathered some clothes and food in a bigger bag. Without even realizing it, I had been planning this day sine my Uncle's last visit six months ago. But today was the day I knew I would never have to see Dad's twin brother ever again.