Everyday would be better if it were a smiling day.
Jackie and Rozelen are playing in the backyard. “I love this Tether Ball I got for Christmas.” Jackie says as she knocks the ball twining around the pole; winning for the ump tenth time.
Rozelen, “ Okay you are good at this. I am tired of it. Let’s go in and play cards. Or, go bike riding over to the planetarium. Walk to the store. OKAY!”
Jackie says “K, Let’s go to the planetarium.”
The girls started to walk inside and one foot of Rozelen’s went through the soft ground making a hole. It looked like nasty smelly soil. Her shoe was cut. There was a gash in her toe. Rozelen cries as Jackie thinks big baby. She can’t stand to be beat and now cries over a little blood.
Mom is busy with the tub backing up with sludge. Finally, she turns to see that Rozelen needs a little attention. Mom washes it up and realizes that the backyard must be all backed up or affected by the same malady as the backing up in the house.
“Brice,” Jackie’s father, calls her mother.
“Evelina,” Jackie’s mother, calls her dad. “What do you need. You know I work very hard and take a nap after I go to school and work my double on Friday night. What is the matter with you!”
“What is your problem? I woke you up because I need your help. We are having a super backup inside and out. We need to call a plumber.”
“Evelina, we can’t afford it. I will look at it. I will go rent a snake and get it fixed.” Brice then goes to the fridge for a beer. Sometimes he can drink only one or two and is fine to stop at there. However, if Evelina badgers him he keeps drinking.
“Brice, I already called the plumber! That is that.” says Evelina.
With that Brice just slaps Evelina. It wasn’t hard. It was about the sound of like a small good natured pat on the bottom or back. Evelina reaches out to hit Brice but the arm is blocked by Brice.
Jackie is embarrassed but not as much as before. Rozelen has seen fights before. Jackie hopes this isn’t the second time it gets really bad.
Brice calls Ross, “I can pay you to pick up the snake and help me unclog the drain and replace some of the pipe in the back.”
Ross answers, “Of course. Uncle, Brice. Be over in a jif.”
Ross arrives at the same time the plumber does. Great timing he thinks. Uncle Brice is arguing with him. What does this mean for the day?
“I called the dispatcher and they said we canceled the call so there is no fee. I am not paying anything. My stupid wife called before she asked me. We don’t have the money to pay you. What else do have to tell you idiot (words are a little slurred due to more beer).” Brice states.
Evelina jumps in begging the plumber, Ralph, to stay. “ Look I called you. Do you think I would call if we couldn’t pay. Brice you are drinking and we will end up calling a plumber because you can’t do it right!”
Brice shakes his fist at Evelina, while yelling cuss words at her. Bice pulls her by the hair. Evelina yells, “ Let go.”
Ralph, the plumber decides that his exit call. This was somewhat over what he wanted to or thought he could handle. “Look here you two. I have no idea what you are used to but this is crazy. Crazy I don’t do. You are on your own and no charge I promise.
Brice lets go of Evelina’s hair at that moment like nothing has happened. “ Ross my boy bring it in the back and let’s get started.”
It takes almost ten hours but they get it done. Finally, they start in the house ready to take a shower. Brice gets a beer because he is tired. Evelina at that moment turns and says,”See Brice I told you that you couldn’t handle it. Now we have to go all night without plumbing.”
Boom. No warning. Brice hits Evelina in the face and she goes down to the floor. Yet, Evelina gets right back up in his face.”What are you going to do? Brice the girls need to take a bath. We are going to church in the morning. I need to shower and wash clothes tomorrow for the rest of the week.”
Boom. Again, no warning. Brice hits hard twice. This time it is a one, two punch left then right.
Jackie runs to her mother. It takes a good five minutes for her to come out of the blackness. That is unless she was pretending. Jackie doubts this. What does Jackie do? Was it her fault for having a friend that broke the pipe? If this had not happened like her mother said, this would have been okay.
Jackie didn’t know this but her father went to pack at this point. He decided enough was enough. Going he was. Out the door he went.
Jackie was sitting on the floor with her mother out; and crying as her father walks out the door.
Jackie helps her mother to the bed with an ice pack. Jackie has to listen to things about her dad the complete time. Rozelen and Ross have recoiled and scattered out. Ross was nice to have around but ran he did with Rozelen in tow. He dropped her off at home on his way.
Mom is okay now. Jackie went down the list; icepack, aspirin, in bed and dressed in PJ’s. Jackie loved her parents but was scared more than she had ever been. Caring for her mother was hard. Doing some of it without Dad even though he was hard to live sometimes, would be extremely hard to bare. Mom could be a burden. Dad usually was fun even though he drank.
Jackie wasn’t able to sleep. Shaking and crying she faced a bleak future of uncertainty. What was life going to be like? Money was tight now. With Dad gone it would be ten times as bad. What would Jackie do? How could she hold Mom and her together.
Jackie finally fell asleep on the couch. The next morning she realized Dad had come home. She was sleeping with him on the couch. Mom has come in and said something extremely nasty.
Jackie often let their fights go. This time a line had been drawn. Some how Jackie knew she had been placed in the middle and Mom didn’t like being two against one. Of course this was all in her head but real to her mother.
How was this going to affect the future?