Back at home Gramps jumps right out of the car to go tell Grandma about holding Joey. I just sit and stare. I can see her in the window and he is gesturing about, they are both visibly excited- why shouldn't they be right? Dad has never really ‘settled’ even when mom was around, he was everywhere. Going away on business, going out late at night with his friends. When I was really little, we used to have a house, I had a pink room with nice curtains, and we had a kitchen and a bathroom and tv and stuff. When mom left though, Dad went a little crazy. He sold our house and bought a small, one room apartment that barely has running water, and no electricity. That was also when he brought me, his four year old daughter, to my Grandparents house- and has yet to pick me up. Its been 12 years since then, I haven’t heard a word from my mom once in that and barely more than that from my dad- who lives down the road. So really? I shouldn’t be surprised about this turn of events, I shouldn’t be upset that Gram and Gramps are happy. And i’m not really, I just can’t bring myself to feel the same way. I couldn’t even remember how to make myself feel anything at all.
I finally get out of the car and walk into the house. I try for a beeline to my bedroom, but Gram is already after me with a huge hug.
“Oh Sweetie! I'm so happy!! this is so great!! Aren’t you so excited? A baby brother!” She just kept going, I kind of tune out. Untangling myself from her death grip, I start heading toward my room again. I honestly can’t even muster a fake smile for her, I feel kinda bad but not enough to try harder. My energy is spent and I can’t make myself pretend anymore.
“I’m pretty tired Gram, talk to you in the morning?” I say with a yawn for emphasis. I open my bedroom door and find piles of boxes. Everywhere. “Gram? Umm... what is this?” I say as I open one of the boxes to find my sketchbooks and markers in it. What? The next box reveals my easel and paints. The next is holding my books. “Why is all my stuff packed up?”
“Oh darling, I thought that since your father’s house is a bit small right now, that they might want to stay with us for a while until he can arrange for something more suitable for a baby. You don't mind right?”
Her voice is still light and happy. How can she not know that this bothers me? Of course its not okay! This has been my room for 12 years of my life! Everything I own is in this room- now stuffed away in boxes like i'm moving out. My dad hasn't spoken to me in months, and before that it was even longer. And now? He is moving into my room? No. No i'm not okay with it. Yes I mind. How can this be happening?
But I just say, “Oh okay, yeah thats alright. Can I, um, sleep here tonight though?”
“Of course darling, they should be bringing Joey home tomorrow so we still have time to move the boxes to the downstairs room, and get everything all set for them in your room. Oh i’m so excited! We are going to have a baby in the house!” I think she says something else but I don't really hear it. I Stiffly move some boxes to the side, trying to make it to the dresser. Opening the drawer though, just reveals the wooden bottom. My clothes are not in my dresser. You have got to be kidding me. So I rummage through a few boxes to find my pjs and finally collapse on my bed. Looking at the ceiling, i'm relieved to see that one thing hasn't changed. The stars I painted up there are still shining, and my last thought before I drift off to sleep is that I won't see these stars tomorrow night.