Thursday, April 28, 2005

the first time

this is my third attempt at this post. in the other 2 i kept going off on tangents and telling too much back story. (i saved them, btw.) i'm really just trying to focus on the leaving part, not the reasons why.

i do have to start by saying my father's an alcoholic. excuse me, what i mean is he "had a drinking problem once but that was a long time ago and it only lasted a short while." and the sibling rivalry between my sister and i runs deep. she's a year and a half younger than me. as adults, we now kid about how she's the favorite, but it wasn't funny when i was growing up. i know now what guilt she has always felt from that. she doesn't understand why she's the favorite either.

my entire senior year, a friend of mine who lived a couple miles away would pick me up to go to school (my parents wouldn't let me get my license much less a car) while every morning my mother drove my sister. if my friend wasn't going to school, i would either call another friend to pick me up or take the bus. i never once rode with my mother and sister. also, i was kicked out or i moved out a total of 3 times. so, technically there are 3 stories. this story is about the first time.

i was 17, a senior in highschool. it was january, 1996. my mom wanted me to go to a few of my teachers to get a "progress report" from them b/c my grades were slipping. i kept forgetting. finally, after about a week of my forgetting, she sarcastically told me, "fine. if you can't be responsible enough to do a simple thing such as getting these notes, then i guess i'll have to take care of it for you." i replied, "fine. you do it." she replied, "fine, i will." that was a wednesday night.

friday night, she called to check in from the barn. (she and my sister each had a horse and thus lived at the barn. our family was often split mom & sister/dad & i.) i told her i was going out with two of my friends (who she knew well) and would be back at 11:30pm (because the previous saturday night, i arrived 6 minutes past my 12:00 curfew and they would take off 5 minutes from the next night for each minute i was late) and that i'd cleared it with dad.

mom: "but you didn't get the notes."
me: "you said i was too irresponsible and that you'd handle it."
mom: "well, i didn't mean it."
me: "okay, i'll get them monday."
mom: "...and you won't go out tonight."
me: "yes, i will."
mom: "no, b/c you didn't get the notes."
this continued until i was crying and finally said, "i'm going out, like it or not."

so, i went out. when my friend dropped me off at 11:25 pm (i wasn't that rebellious), i found that the doorknob to the front door had been locked. no keys to the doorknobs, only the deadbolts. all the lights were out including the outdoor porch light i had flipped on when i left and the motion sensor light over the driveway that's set to a timer. i took the hint loud and clear.

i ran up the driveway to stop my friend. she said she'd take me to her house for the night. we went out and i cried on the shoulders of my friends until 4 in the morning.

when i finally came home again it was sunday night. (i had school monday morning after all.) i had known (or at least suspected) the entire time that the doorknob lock on the door in the garage was broken and that after unlocking the deadbolt, i could just knock it open with my shoulder. that's what i did. what i did not expect was that my father was in the garage smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone to my grandfather. he barked, "what the hell are you doing here?" through beer-thickened breath. i didn't say a word, so he said, "get upstairs, i'll deal with you when i'm finished."

wow. that's already so long and i've just begun. i think i'll stop here.