It is six thirty in the morning. I look around in a smoky haze and realize my dad is already up and I'm not even home yet. I give Hannah a quick kiss, even though she's passed out, grab my t-shirt and put it on as I leave. I haul ass home, parking quietly in the street, climb up the Sycamore tree to my window and crawl in. Mitch's alarm is going off as I plop my backpack next to my bed and pass out.
The next thing I knew, the doorbell rang, announcing Lucy's arrival. Lucy is my younger step-sister's worker. That meant it was already ten in the morning, and I was going to be late for third hour. A quick look in the mirror and deodorant under my arms, I head to school.
"Mister Post, two marks again for being late." I shrugged my shoulders. I have more marks than I can even count. Who really cares about some stupid marks, anyway? It doesn't affect my grades. Last I checked I have a C minus in History. I took my seat, still feeling the effects of last night's drinking. Not totally hung over, but still a little drunk. I should have smoked before class, because now I was totally craving that first morning cigarette. Dad caught me once smoking in the backyard. He was on his cell phone and walking around in the kitchen. He paused in his constant chatter, looked outside right at me. We locked eyes for a moment, and then he went back to talking. So, that right there tells me he doesn't even give a shit. Lorelai would probably freak the hell out if she caught me smoking.
Lorelai is my step-mom. She's really hot, so I give my dad an A for the looks-part. Her personality ticks me off, though. She's one of those goody-two-shoes. Lorelai is so freakin' happy all the time, keeps a smile on her face and just seems so fake to me. Not everybody is happy all the time. Not everybody is happy even part of the time, not that I've ever seen. I mean, when my mom got sick, we pretended everything was fine, but we weren't. When she died, it was the worst.
I was at school when it happened. She had been in the hospital, with complications from having a cold. My mom hadn't smoked a day in her life, so we were all shocked she had been diagnosed with lung cancer, the year before. The cold settled in her chest and she looked really bad. I remember I was in second grade. When they called me to go to the office, I was scared that I was in trouble. Prior to this, I had never been in trouble. The counselor and the principal were both waiting for me and told me my dad has called. When Mr. Book said the words, I'm so sorry to have to tell you this, but your mom has passed, I didn't process it right away. It took a minute for his words to register. When it finally did register, I just sat there. Everything in me froze. I felt my face start to feel cold, I stomach started to turn and I blacked out.
Apparently, passing out when you're seven is a big deal even if you're given terribly bad news. Dad arranged to have someone pick me up from school and take me to the hospital, where he was waiting for me. Mitch was already there. He must have been in kindergarten. Dad didn't cry. I never saw him cry a day in my life. If I were to be a manly man, then I can't cry either.
I woke with a start. "History is over."
Grabbing my backpack, I mumbled, "You've got that right."