N is for Nihilism

“Get up lazy bones, I’m leaving in fifteen.” My dad slammed the bedroom door behind him.

I lay there gathering the strength to get up. The struggle is real. Yeah, I slept through the night, if you count nightmares, panic attacks, and cold sweats. Last night wasn’t bad. I laid awake for most of it. But Dad would be back to pull me out of bed, like he has to do at least twice a week and I care enough today that I don’t want to deal with that shit, so I sloth onto the floor, grabbing my red hoodie from where I tossed it last night and pull it over my head. My comb is stuck in the pocket from yesterday.

Yeah, I’m wearing yesterday’s clothes. Whatever. At least I’m dressed.

I pick up yesterday’s backpack with yesterday’s homework. No, I didn’t touch it last night. The teachers never check anyway, and I can just fill something in during homeroom. I glance around the room, making sure I haven’t left anything out, and then stumble to the car for school.

My old man had warmed up the car, and my little sis is already strapped into her kid seat by the time I made it down. She was an unplanned “gift” in my parents lives, back when I had two of them. We all kind-of love her; five-years-old are kind-of hard to screw up unless you are some kind-of monster, and my dad isn’t.

“I was thinking I needed to dump a bucket on you, Kevin.”

“Grumble.” Or something like that is my response as I climb in the passenger side. I pull my hoodie up over my head and hunch down, but only after putting on my seat belt, because, god forbid, I forget to wear my seat belt.

Mom died because of a mistake, but not the seat belt kind. Just stupid shit. Two years ago and it still hurts … somewhere.

I guess it hurts Dad too, but he never shows it. Back at the beginning, he said we needed to be strong for Cheryl. That’s my sis. I try to be, and Dad is a pillar. But, some days it is like we pretend Mom never existed. Whatever. I guess that is always how it is. A person leaves, and people fill the hole somehow.

Kind-of kills the argument against suicide.

Yeah, the people you leave behind will hurt, but they will get over it. Or not. Whatever.

Dad joins the drop off line for the prison. I mean high school. Same difference. Except we get to go home at night, and the prison has a better weight room. I guess that balances. I go to the sophomore homeroom for average students. They say they aren’t grouped by grades … but they are grouped by grades.

In homeroom I pull out my schoolwork from last night and fill things out quickly. Math was a multiple choice answer sheet, as was history. I just write down the numbers and letters, not really caring if they are right. I try to get enough correct that Dad won’t be called in. He doesn’t have time for that shit, what with having to find a sitter for Cheryl. English gave an essay, and I scribble out some BS for the teacher. She is an easy one; at the beginning of the year she decides how you are going to do, and you pretty much are stuck with it. She thinks I got potential, and my grades from her are some of my best.

As long as I pass the standardized tests, it isn’t like anyone is going to fail me. That gets them black marks with the state. So I do enough to skate by; it’s not like college is an option. Dad makes too much money for grants, and with Mom dead, we don’t have enough money for anything else.

I’m practicing saying, “Do you want fries with that?” since I figure I will be asking that question a lot.


A to Z Short Story List Breakdown

Rainbow Spectrum (A to F)
Marathon Party (G to M)

Trigger: Cutting (N to Q)
4/16/2019 – N is for Nihilism
4/17/2019 – O is for Open
4/18/2019 – P is for Pause
4/19/2019 – Q is for Questions