The morning after the worst weekend of my life, I dragged myself out of bed at 6 a.m. and stumbled listlessly to the mirror. My hair was a tangled, unwashed mess and there were streaks of makeup on my face and clothes; I had cried myself to sleep again last night. I hadn't even bothered changing into pajamas. I was still wearing the clothes I'd worn yesterday and I hadn't showered in three days.
Has it only been three days?
On Sunday I had finally forced myself away from Hunter's house and found my father slumped on the couch, fighting off the last night's hangover with another bottle of beer. He barely even looked up when I came in the door, and I was fine with that. If he didn't ask any questions, it meant I wouldn't have to give any answers. I wouldn't have to admit to anyone that he was really gone.
I started the hot water running and dragged my shirt over my head. Standing in my underwear, I stared into the mirror and noticed how disturbingly thin I was. I hadn't eaten anything since the Hot Pocket I'd taken a bite of yesterday before it made me sick. My stomach, usually tightly muscular, looked shrunken and hollow. I stepped into the shower and made a mental note to eat something before I left.
Oh, God. How would I survive this day without him? How could I look into all of those apathetic faces and see the reckless way they lived their lives? How I could face all of those who got to live, while he was taken from me so suddenly?
I stepped out of the shower, threw on some clothes--I didn't even notice that I had grabbed two different socks--and pulled my hair up into a ragged knot. The sickening smell of cigarettes drifting up the stairs told me that my dad was up already, and suddenly I was hit with a wave of burning nausea. I sank onto my knees and bent over the toilet, dry heaving because there was nothing in my stomach that could come up. My pale fingers clutched the side of the porcelain bowl tightly enough to turn my knuckles white.
I shakily stood up and wiped the sheen of sweat off my forehead. My mouth felt thick and heavy; my skin cold and clammy. I wrapped an old sweatshirt around myself and weakly went downstairs.
My dad was sitting at the table, hunched over the newspaper with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. He glanced up as I came in and grabbed a yogurt out of the fridge.
"Wha'sa matter with you?" He asked gruffly in his slurred Italian accent. "You look like you seen a ghost or somethin'."
"I don't feel well," I replied shortly, ripping the foil top off of my yogurt and plunging a spoon into it. I tried to keep the conversations with my father short. Or better yet, avoid them all together.
"Well, if you get sick, don't expect me to clean it up," he said replied and went back to his newspaper.
I closed my eyes and tried to keep the anger from boiling over. Some people, it seemed, were born with the same amount of tact as a brick.
I made sure to let the door slam on my way out.