No one knew this, but Susie loved to write. Her writing was deep and personal, and she never shared it with anyone. She kept a journal ever since she was old enough to form compound sentences. Naturally, most of what she wrote about was her mother, but she had other feelings too. Mostly things she was afraid or too prideful to ask Mary about. She was a loner, and writing her thoughts helped her process life. When she was angry, she felt better after writing. When she was too excited to sleep, she wrote to calm herself. Writing made life make sense. So, with all of the free time she had as a new adult, she decided to put her love for writing to good use and took a job at the news station. She’s just a lowly blogger right now, but she has aspirations of becoming the finest journalist alive.
Tim sleeps a lot during the day seeing as how his “job” does most of its operations at night, and Susie is often left home alone. One afternoon, she was feeling particularly nostalgic began thinking about home–Mary, specifically. She wondered how she was getting on without John. However, she didn’t want to waste any brain power on that woman and shifted her thoughts to slightly further away from home and called Lester to hangout. She hadn’t seen him since the birthday party and wondered how life was turning out for him. They met up at a cafe in Windenburg and ordered some desserts. He looked the same. She noticed he wore one of the outfits she created for him before prom and was still wearing those contacts his mother insisted he wore. She, on the other hand, did not look the same, and he had some questions.
“So, uhhh…what is it with you women and hair color? My mom is always changing hers.”
She laughed. “No, this is my natural color. I figured since I don’t live with my mom anymore I’d go back.”
“Sooo, what…you dyed your hair black to make her mad or something?”
“Pretty much. The first time, yeah, but then you have to keep it up to keep it looking nice, so I just stayed black.”
Lester rolled his eyes. “You women are too complicated for me.”
She pushed him playfully. “You know you love us.”
“So, what about you? What’s going on in your life?”
“Uhhh…not much. I’m just kinda hanging out until I figure out what I’d like to do. I’m still working at the store.”
“Oh, ok.” She wasn’t sure what else to say.
Luckily, he continued. “My mom on the other hand has all kinds of drama going on, but what else is new.”
She giggled. “What’s happening now?”
“Remember that old guy I told you she was dating?”
“Well, apparently he asked her to marry him but she said no. Two weeks later, the man dies and he still left her all his money and big ol house! He must have REALLY loved her!”
“Wow! Seriously! Poor guy. She must have crushed him.”
“I guess. Anyway, so she’s trying to figure out if she wants to accept this inheritance or not.”
“Where is the house?”
“Somewhere in Newcrest.” He waved his hand dismissively.
Her eyes lit up. “Oh! If she accepts, and you move with her, we might be neighbors again!”
“Oh yeah. That’s right.”
“What do you think she’s gonna do?”
He shrugged. “I dunno. She’s really torn about it.”
“What do you think she should do?”
“I dunno. I mean, it doesn’t matter to me either way. Her elder birthday is coming up soon, so I guess I want her to be happy and comfortable. But, she can do that at home if I move out.”
“You’re thinking about moving out soon?” She could have kicked herself for sounding a bit too eager.
“Heck yeah! I can’t live with her forever. She’ll totally tank any prospects I have for getting a girlfriend.”
Susie laughed uncomfortably.
“I figured I’ll get a job and then get a crappy apartment downtown. Of course now that I’m 18 my dad’s child support checks stopped coming, and I don’t want to be a burden to my mom.”
Talk of child support and being a burden sent her mind back to home. She wondered how her dad was fairing financially. It didn’t occur to her that he would have to support himself and pay Mary to support Phoenix. Everything had gotten so complicated so quickly, it made her head spin. If she ever decided to take the plunge and get married, she wanted it to be a very long time from then and to a person she was 310% sure she loved and was loved equally in return. She didn’t want any part of another divorce. Oddly enough, she felt bad for wishing it on them for so long.
They finished their desserts as the conversation lulled. Susie wanted to sit outside for a moment before they called it a night, so they walked down the street to a park area. As soon as they sat, her phone buzzed.
She snorted. “My dad. He has my sister this weekend and he wants to take us all out for dinner.” Gosh…I hope he can afford it.
“Nice little family get together, eh?”
She shrugged. “I suppose. I don’t connect with Phoenix like Tim does. I hope she’ll be well behaved. I can’t deal with her little tantrums.”
“Ugh. That has to be so annoying!”
“Tell me about it.”