Today I’m staying home from school, Jessica didn’t want auntie K to be left on her own. Jessica is scared to lose her, she doesn’t know if that would make uncle K worse than he already is. “Please keep checking in on her, don’t let uncle K annoy you and just take everything that comes to you.”
“Jeez you make it sound like I haven’t done this before.” I said.
“Just reminding.” She looked at uncle K sleeping in his chair. “What ever happened to him?” she said sounding a bit sad.
“You should go.” I said and opened the door for her. “Don’t take any crap from anyone.” She turned around and just stared at me.
“No one is giving me crap.” She was very defensive about it, which means something is wrong.
“Jess, you’re fooling no one” I said but he rolled her eyes and walked to school. I went back in the living room and saw uncle K was awake. “Hello uncle.” I said being very pleasant.
“Oh it’s you Zoë.” He said sounding very disappointed. He never used to have a problem with me, it was just when he became a little... ill, let’s just say ill.
“Yeah, it’s just me.” he rolled his eyes.
“There we go, play the ‘feel sorry for myself’ thing. It don’t work on me Zoë.” Don’t react to it.
“I wasn’t.” I said.
“Don’t talk to me like that you confounded child.” I felt myself wanting to scream, but I just ran out to the garage. I collapsed to the ground and cried, why did Jessica find it so much easier than me, why can she cope better? Why can’t I just get away from this life? I cried for a long time, then I checked my watch, it was 4:00pm. Jessica would be home soon, so I ran to the living room and she was already there with uncle Kalanda.
“Where have you been?” she asked, sounding a bit angry.
“In the garage.” I wasn’t going to lie to her; in fact I was still upset and angry.
“You should have been here with him.” She was clearly upset about something else, I needed to know what is going on with her.
“I need to talk to you, now.” She looked at me, then back at uncle Kalanda.
“I’ll be right back.” She got up and followed me into the back room. “What?”
“What is going on with you?” I said. “And don’t say nothing, because I know when you’re hiding something from me.” She looked like she was going to break down, but somehow managed to keep it together.
“Okay, so I’m getting a bit of shit in school.” She said and I knew it was more than a bit.
“Did they do that to your head?” I asked looking at the cut on the side of her head.
“Yeah, but I’m fine.” She did not seem fine.
“You’re not fine, we’re not fine.” I said sitting down.
“What is that suppose to mean?” Jessica asked sitting next to me.
“What do you think it means? We cannot keep living the way we do, we can’t keep looking after them.” She became wide eyed.
“Don’t say that, we can do this. They need us and we can’t abandon them now. Auntie K is dying and uncle K won’t be able to stand it without her.” I thought about it and she made sense, but it’s so hard.
“Promise we can do it?” I said and she held up her pinkie.
“I promise.” We joined pinkies and giggled, I knew it was going to get worse but I had to stick by Jess, she needs me and I need her.