Thursday, October 27, 2011

Casey (Somebody's Daughter excerpt)


            As I walk into the kitchen, I snatch the recorder from my mother’s hand.  I don’t press “record” of course, because I’m not getting involved -- but I pretend to speak into it, with a fake reporter-y voice:   “And now, a News Channel Mom exclusive:  Daughter’s Best Friend Raped, Mother Tries to Get Rich Off the Story.”
            My mother gives me a look that includes half a smile, and it’s like what the eff?   She never takes me seriously!  Obviously, she thinks I’m not really mad at her or something.  She thinks I’m kidding.  Well, I may joke in my own dark way, but fact is, she never even asked if it was okay with me if she wrote this book.  So what am I supposed to feel?
            Still with the half-smile, and now adding a rolling of her eyes in an “Oh Casey,” kind of way, my mother takes back her recorder.  She gives me the full smile.
            Oh.  My.  God.
            Her smile is totally a slap in my face.  My legs suddenly feel weak, drained of the strength that originally brought me downstairs to try and talk my mother out of doing this stupid book.  Because, A:  It’s a stupid idea.  B:  She shouldn’t be opening up wounds and poking around inside my friends.  And C:  She doesn’t have a clue what she’s getting into.
            I can’t talk to her when she’s like this, when she’s in writer-mode, when she’s all full speed ahead and screw the consequences.  When she’s smiling.
            Did I mention, I want to scream? 
            Only I won’t.  A:  My mother would like it too much.  She gets off on seeing my emotions.  She thinks it means we’re really close because I let her see me cry.   And B:  It’s too late to scream now anyway. 
            All I know is, I didn’t scream when it counted, and I’m all cried out.  I ache all over.   I can’t, I don’t...
            I don’t understand what I feel, what I want to feel, what I should feel.  In the past, I would’ve asked my mother, or she’d have told me anyway.  But that was before.  Like, before she adopted my friends for her book. 
            She hasn’t actually asked me to participate.  And I won’t say it out loud but inside, I’m all like, what, has she forgotten I’m her daughter and plus, I was there at the party too?  

Thursday, October 13, 2011


“OMG, I had a pair of earrings just like these when I was in high school!”
     My mother holds up what look like two cd’s in bright blue, only smaller – but not that much smaller.  She pretend dangles them from her ears and peers into the mirror on the counter because her eyes aren’t so good, and I want to die, and I’m thinking how old she looks squinting to see like that, and how she shouldn’t say things like “OMG,” no one should say OMG if they’re over twenty-five…
     “Nice.  You should get them.  They totally match your shirt,” I say.
     “I know, right?”
     Another thing no one over twenty-five should say, but whatever.  If she’s happy, she’ll totally buy me the silver hoops I have my eye on, even though they’re like thirty-two bucks, and she lost her job.  If she gets the blue cd earrings, she’ll feel like she has to buy me earrings too.  I know my mom.
I’m out of money because me and my boyfriend used up the minutes on my prepaid – and who, by the way, who has to have a prepaid cell with limited minutes they have to pay for themselves, it’s so unfair… anyway, I had to buy more minutes with my allowance or die from embarrassment plus probably Seth would’ve broken up with me if I couldn’t text him anymore until next month.  I have to get the unlimited Net 10 minutes next month, when I have some money saved.
     If I have any money saved, which I won’t at this rate, not after I used up my birthday gift card on the shirt that hangs off my shoulder, and can you believe my mom said I can wear it to school even though it’s against the dress code?  She was all, “If someone sees you, just put it back on your shoulder and pretend you didn’t know, and then when no one’s looking, slide it off again.”
     Remembering that, I make a decision:
     “Mom, remember you said I could clean the upstairs bathroom to make some extra money?  Could you advance me some so I can get these earrings?” 
     I put back the thirty-two dollar pair, and grab a $10 pair I can afford if I take on the bathroom cleaning job.
     “Only if you get these,” my mom says, picking up the more expensive earrings I really wanted.  “How about we go halves?”
     “You’re going to pay me sixteen dollars to clean the bathroom?”
     Smiling, she shrugs.  “Just make sure you really scrub the floor, behind the toilet too.”
     I love when she pretends to be tough.  Playing along, I roll my eyes and sigh. 
     My mother puts back the blue earrings she wanted, and we buy the silver hoops for me, and I pretend it doesn’t matter, I pretend she owes it to me or something, but deep down?
     She can say “OMG” whenever she wants.  I kinda like it.