It was going on 4:30, and I’ve been at the diner for two hours. Hopefully Helen won’t keep me here longer, since I’m supposed to get out at five. Then I figured since she was nowhere in sight, I could just leave now.
“Take that, Helen,” I whispered quietly to myself as I made my escape.
Instead of going home to face Clarissa, I walk somewhere else. My footsteps take me to the home of my best friend, Damien Parker.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK, “Damien it’s me, Lill.” I pound on the door another three times until his annoyed father answers the door.
“He’s upstairs, just please strop with the knocking,” he says impatiently. So I make my way up the stairs and to the right. Instead of knocking this time, I just open the door.
“Hey,” I say tiredly, as my sleepless night finally begins to catch up with me. I let out a big yawn, and Damien laughs at me.
“Hello,” he relied, “and how was your day?”
I sigh, “Terrible. I actually had to go to work. I absolutely hate the diner, and its owner.”
“Awe, what did Helen do this time?”
“She hired me,” I replied in a monotone voice. I could just pass out right now. I am so tired.
He chuckled, “Well it seems like you had a rough day. Coffee?” And then holds out his Bridgeport Getty coffee cup.
“No thanks, you know I don’t like coffee.”
“And that is so weird!” he teased. I punched him playfully in the shoulder and I sat in a nearby chair.
Damien shifted in his seat. “So how’s Clarissa?”
I let out a fake laugh, “Same as usual, prodding me to change my ways and act more responsible.” I remember the note she had left me, always wanting me to be perfect.
Then I remembered my father again, and I shuddered.
“What’s wrong?” Damien asked, concerned. He sat up more and leaned toward me in a curious fashion.
“I was just thinking about my dad, and his brothers family.” I trailed off at the end. Damien has heard this story before. He knows what thinking about it does to me.
“Did you have the nightmare again?”
“Yea, its been gnawing at my soul.” I said. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of overstatement, but I have been thinking about it a lot.
“I’m so sorry. It’s just awful that you have to deal with that memory. Maybe you need to go back to-”
“Go back where, Damien? To the crazy house? I am NEVER going there again, do you hear me? I’m, perfectly fine!” I was screaming now, my temper taking over my emotions. I was immediately sorry for my reaction, but I couldn’t tell him that until I calmed down.
When I was nine years old, I started having nightmares about my father coming back to kill me. The dreams took over my life, and everyone thought I was insane. My mom had me kept at a facility for troubled children in Hartford. That’s one reason why we have a not-so-great relationship. I felt betrayed, like she shipped me off because I was a burden. I could never forgive her for abandoning me.
“Damien, I’m sorry. You know how I get when I talk about my dad.” I apologized.
“It’s okay, Lill. I’m just trying to be of assistance here.”
“Yea, I know. But I want you to realize that I am never going back to Hartford. Ever.” I said sternly, and I felt a tear trickle down my cheek. I hate to think about my past, but it keeps coming back to me.
“I think I’m going to head home. See you, Damien.”
“Bye Lill. And good luck.” I knew exactly what he meant by that. Good luck with my nightmares and keeping my sanity.