17 year old Ada Laney is a junior in high school with no real hopes or dreams other than to go to college and get away from her alcoholic mother, whom she both loves and despises. This is her story.
I could give you a sob story about my alcoholic father and absent mother, and how I am practically a poor orphan girl living with her over-caring, over-bearing aunt. But all that would just sound ungrateful, now wouldn't it?
Instead, I am just going to start now, where I am at this precise moment.
I am in the car.
The trees pass by in a blur of reds and yellows and oranges, making it look like the world is on fire. It makes me wonder where the fire trucks are, and why they are not putting the fire out.
October is my second favorite month of the year, for this reason precisely. The colors.
My first favorite season is July. Not because of the 4th of July or anything. You know, that time of year when families get together and have picnics and sit around telling stories about childhood, cook hot dogs on the grill and watch fireworks burst like colored lightning in the night sky. I never had that. Again, I'm not even going to go there.
I love July because it is liberating. Not only is my birthday in July, but usually by that time I am free to go where I want, whenever I want. School can't hold me back from going to the woods near my aunt's house and meeting up with my friends to hang around while they smoke and get drunk.
I, however, am not like that. I've seen what happens when people get that way, and I have no intention of travelling down that path. Even so, I'm most comfortable around people who do that stuff; get drunk and high, get a hangover, then do it all over again.
It's all I really know.
My aunt leans forward in her beat up Chevy to turn on the radio. She turns up the volume dial, blasting me out the window. I look at the car next to us, a sporty red Prius, positive they can hear.
"Does it need to be that loud?" I ask, not looking at her. But I know that her cherry red lips are turned down in a frown, and her brown eyes are probing the side of my head, like she cannot figure out what is wrong with me. I've seen that look many times.
It's ironic, really, because my aunt is a psychiatrist. It's her job to figure out what is wrong with people. I'm like the sad figure in her success rate that pulls it down that tiny 1%. But she just cannot fix me. I'm perpetually broken.