Light the FireMature

Her mother is gone, her father is a drunk and she just doesn't care anymore.
Kaela needs help. Before it's too late.

I did a quick stumble when I crossed the road to my house. How the hell did I manage to trip over thin air? I'm uncoordinated when I walk, but I am fine with sport. Go figure that one out. I made a quick recovery and glanced around to see if anyone had seen my smooth moment. I quickened my pace, but made sure that I watched where I placed my feet this time.

I didn’t bother knocking on the door; it was always open, even at night. I think that we are pretty safe; nobody in their right mind would want to rob our piece-of-crap house.  (When I say ‘we’ I am talking about my father and I. When I say ‘my father’ I mean the drunk that lives with me. )

I tried to slink off to my bedroom without alerting my dad to the fact that I was home.

“Hey, ah, you!” My father called from the lounge room. Damn , hadn’t been quiet enough obviously.

“Please” I said, walking into the room where my father was seated. “My real name is You, but my friends call me Kaela.”

He pointed at me. “That might be funny if you had any friends to speak of.”

I smiled humourlessly. “What do you want?” I asked, narrowing my eyes slightly.

“Cash” he shrugged, and turned his attention back to the television. I sighed, expecting the answer, and wondered why I bothered asking in the first place.

“Right” I muttered, and started to turn away.

“Hey! Do you have the money or what, Kid?” he called to me, I kept walking.

“Not now!” I yelled back and grinded my teeth together. I could hear him muttering incoherently behind me.

“Turn the fire on, it’s bloody freezing!” he called again. I ignored him, he could freeze his butt off, I wouldn’t care, and god knows he has enough blubber to keep himself warm, anyway. The fire was the only thing that Dad managed to finish after Mum died, just before he changed, I guess that I changed too, but in a different way. He changed slowly, one beer can led to another which led to a few bottles of whisky, then I stopped being his daughter and became his annoying extra mouth to feed. I changed suddenly, or so my high school councillor told me, “I shut the world off” were her exact words.

I don’t care. Shut off from the world is a safe place to be, you don’t care about anything enough to feel that amount of pain again, and I would never have that big empty feeling because there was nothing there before.

I shut my door and put in my earphones, but it isn’t loud enough to drown out the unfair reality that is my life. I sound like a whiny teenager, don’t I? Plenty of kid’s mothers have died and plenty of their fathers have gone alcoholic. So what makes me so special? That I have not coped too well with it? Maybe, but I think that there is nothing that makes me so special, I really need to just accept the fact that she is gone, and taken our house, our money and my father with her.

About an hour later, I woke up because I was too cold. I must have fallen asleep; my iPod had stopped, because it ran out of battery. I decided that it would probably have been a good idea to light that fire like Dad said.

I walked down the stairs to the ‘dining room’ as my father calls it, when it is actually just a pile of empty beer cans and bottles, empty boxes from five years ago and a small, wooden fireplace.

I searched around for a box of matches or Dad’s lighter, and eventually found the matches on top of the fridge. I filled the fireplace with fresh wood and struck a match.  The fires flames grew tall and hot, but nothing could thaw out the coldness that encased my body. I couldn’t believe it was possible, but even from standing in front of the fire, I felt colder than before.

The End

3 comments about this story Feed