After taking a second to fully regain my composure, I noticed that there were two cars sitting in the driveway. One was my mother's but the other, I didn't quite recognize. Mom's got company? Since when does she invite friends over?
I opened the front door, nearly forgetting that I was soaking wet, and stood completely still in the doorway. As the rainwater dripped all over the welcome mat, I waited patiently for my mother to yell at me for leaking water all over the floor.
--Nothing yet. So, I stepped a bit further inside, and I think I heard... yelling? Yes. It was yelling for sure. And, it came from the kitchen. I sat my purse on the wooden, hallway table and eased over to the kitchen doorway.
"I don't give a damn what you think, Daniel. She's my daughter! And, she has done great without you so far. So stay out of our lives!"
"It's not your life I wanna be a part of. She's my daughter too, Charlotte. And, I think I deserve to spend some got damn time with her if I want to."
"You thought wrong. Now get your ass out of this house... or I will have you escorted out by the police--"
"--Mom?" I timidly intervened, not expecting such a wretched ending to a day that was turning out to be so perfect--despite the rain and coldness.
"Hey, Jenni! how was school?" my father answered instead.
My mother was not pleased. She placed a quivering hand to her frustrated brow and leaned against the kitchen counter."
"Um, hi, dad..."
"Go to your room, Jen. I'll be up in a sec," my mom interjected."
My father gave her a sideways glance of disapproval, but my mother was adamant. She glared back at him and dared him to override the instructions she had given me.
"Goodnight, Jenni," my father called after me.
I looked back and listlessly replied, "Goodnight, dad..."
I could hear the rest of the conversation as I climbed up the stairs--before their voices faded away at least.
"--You can't take care of her...! Did you see how soaked she was? She's gonna be sick living in this damn house with you!"
"I can take care of my own daughter, Danny. Don't patronize me."
"Why didn't you pick her up from school today instead of letting her walk in that misted shit? You saw how hard it was pouring down out there--"
"She spent the night at a friend's house--"
"Well, damn it, didn't it occur to you to bring her an umbrella and a jacket after watching the weather last night? I know you watch that religiously--"
"Just shut the hell up! I forget to bring her a damn umbrella, once, and you come down on me like--like I'm some kind of a--a bad parent!"
"I would never lie to you, Charlotte. You aren't a bad parent. You're a terrible one--"
I took a hot shower and washed the chill of the rain off of my skin and out of my hair. The water didn't feel hot enough--or maybe I was just so cold that it felt warm. After a while, I started to regain some feeling in my body; the water was definitely too hot.
I stepped out of the shower, my skin blushing-pink, and put on my night clothes. After a while of waiting for my mother to come up and "discuss" what had just happened, I grew tired.
I laid across my bed, still able to hear the voices of my parents mingled with the heavy cadence of the rainfall.What a kind of chaotoic lullaby to fall asleep to...