On the Inside – Emmaline’s Story
Chapter 15: The Institution of Screw, Fucking, U
The next morning, I joined the herd racing to pre-breakfast smoke break. I sat alone at my table and pulled a cigarette from the pack, but didn’t light it. I stared down, flipping it in my fingers and wondering if I still wanted to die. I rolled it in my palm thinking hard while concocting a slightly morbid pro/con list in mind,
I never planned a slow death. I just want it to be over, done,finished – finally. Now. I need to escape the whipping post and I need to never return to people who are killing me slowly, every single day, and enjoying it.
God help me, I started this and I need to try for Danica. I made a promise, took an oath, and shared my deepest grief with her. Maybe an apartment isn’t realistic, with both of us working for minimum wage, but there are shelters. We could stay at a shelter, pool our resources and save up. I have to try. I didn’t promise just anyone. I promised her. She’s the only family I have now. Actually, she’s the only true family I’ve ever had.
To my own shock, I stood and walked past goon, went inside and handed the pack to big B without a word of explanation and walked away. Then I joined the girls for breakfast as goon made her way to the front of the room.
Danica smiled, beaming at me, and whispered, “You did good!”
I hadn’t realized she had been watching me so closely. I smiled wanly when Goon interrupted my thoughts, “Attention, everyone,” Her voice boomed, “Whoever is responsible for the elevator is in serious trouble! That is a fire hazard and this person, or persons, will be punished accordingly.”
I presumed her announcement had everything to do with ordering me to mop the community room tonight. I figured I’d better get used to it if we planned on life in a shelter, but I took the opportunity to curse Psych guy in silence, presuming he probably put her up to it.
That evening, I mopped for a long time in silence but screaming in my mind. Again I considered lighting goon on fire and shoving her down an empty elevator shaft, or into rush hour traffic on a busy highway. I mopped furiously, fueled by my homicidal thoughts, and when I finished I fell into bed too exhausted to speak.
Fitful sleep imprisoned me in ungodly nightmares until I woke to Goon’s pudgy face peering through the small window. I considered turning over to sleep through the night but I wouldn’t let her think she had broken me. My eyes were nearly closed again when I forced myself up to sit on the edge of the bed.
Danica and Marie were sound asleep. I heard the front door click shut and it was too much temptation while thirsting for revenge. I let myself out of our room, went to the main computer, set the scrolling marquee, and typed:
Graduate Mop Maid, Institution of Screw, Fucking, U!
I left it scrolling across the screen, well aware that goon would know with certainty that I did it and I didn’t care one bit. Once again, I chalked up an imaginary score, slicing the air with my finger, and whispering, “Them – one. Us – three”.
Out of unadulterated, malignant spite, I stayed up long enough to write deplorable ‘love lost’ prose, dropped the page near the door, and slept soundly for the rest of the night.
© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM