The Indelible Night of Memory
Jackie, with her long red hair, sat on the end of the sofa watching tv after dinner. Mom had cooked delicious spaghetti. Jackie loved mom for cooking it while her friend Rozlen had been able to come on the sleep over after all.
Jackie was cringing inside because her father was passed out on the couch smelling of beer in his boxer’s. Rozlen pretended not to notice. What made it exceptionally hard to bare was the fighting between her parents before dad passed out ant Ross, her cousin that lived with them,had to work tonight.
At least now he was asleep. Rozlen asks,”Is it safe to play cards now?”
Jackie sizes up the situation and replies, “Of course.” While she then goes off to get them. Surely after eleven beers he was out for the count.
After a couple of hours playing cards and WhaHoo with only three marbles each Ross called. “Jackie can you tell your mother it is time to pick me up? I get off at 10 tonight.”
Jackie went and woke her mother up and they drove out of the driveway. Jackie’s tummy drew tight. Glad her father passing out finally came and gone, didn’t feel much better with her mother driving. The other week her mother drove over a parking meter. They had only been in Biloxi for four weeks. Her dad was working at his Master’s in Education at the Mississippi State University Coastal School. Aileen, Georgia was much smaller than Biloxi. If they were there her dad could walk to town to buy his beer and come home.
They were living in their Aunt and Uncle Mason’s house and taking care of Ross while they were overseas in Europe on a University Professor Exchange Program.
Mom told them girls to come with her quietly not waking her dad in the process. Rain started after they were safely in the car. Mom had the girls singing and looking for horses to play a game Aunt and Uncle Mason had taught them.
Arriving at the campus janitorial and maintenance station, Mom got out to go get Ross. Ross wanted to drive having heard of the parking meter incidence. Mom wouldn’t hear of it.
All rolling along in the car having fun stopped. Mom managed to get a poll through the front passenger’s side floorboard. Ross said “How did you do that?” Ross tried to work it off gradually but was scared of what he knew would happen.
That tightening of the belly Jackie felt was instinct. Soon a small car her father always drove to save gas pulled up. Cussing started and yelling. Bam. Mom falls to the ground. Ross had a feeling. He gets Rozelen out of the way in the other car and head home. He didn’t like leaving Jacke but knew she was used to it.
Dad hits mom again. Finally, dad gets the car off of the poll. How the car wasn’t damaged other than a hole no one could guess. The ride home wasn’t as smooth as the work dad had done on the car.
The car almost slides into a creek with a 20 foot drop of and gators in the creek. That tightening up is now a full knot. Yelling, bitching and fist shaking is going on between both parents. Jackie wants to get home to her bedroom to go to sleep and let them cool off.
The cooling off doesn’t happen. A stop for more beer makes for a hell of a long night. Mom pushes dad when he gets home. Jackie wonders why. Knowing this would only trigger her dad to act by swinging his arm and bam. MOm is lying out on the ground in front of the house. Jackie only can run in and up to her room upstairs.
Listening to the fight about who is going to go and who is going to stay and dad isn’t going to pay child support. This could have all been avoided if mom had let Ross drive home.
Jackie years later has to go to the funeral of her Uncle Mason. That night left an indelible memory that will last forever.