Welcome Y2K!

Posted by Leah on 8/16/2020 12:22:57 AM

The room was dark, and quiet. I lie in bed, eyes closed, heart pounding, breathing shallow. In appearance alone am I trying to sleep, my emotions still too raw to bother. It’s almost time. I wonder what the signal will be; if people will make it clear without me having to look at the clock. It isn’t long before I have my answer, the fireworks distant, but clear. It is now the new millennium. It is now the year 2000.

My head throbs and I clench my fists in a vain attempt to hold back the flood of tears, but the flood is not to be. Instead all that’s left is a few single droplets, each taking its time to run the course from duct to chin; my normally deep emotional reserves long since spent earlier this night. I sigh, wiping the last two tears away. How I wish for the sweet release sleep would bring. The calming, restorative fast forward button of life.

But it won’t come. Each time I’m close to under control some new perceived slight occurs to me, starting the anxiety shame spiral over again. Why do I have to act so fucking stupid in front of his friends? Why does he act like such a jackass and cause me to act stupid? He says he loves me, then he pulls the shit he pulled? He calls that love? Ha! Maybe it’s just me though. Maybe if I didn’t act so selfish and want so much of his attention it wouldn’t be a problem. I do ask a lot of him; I mean, we hang out almost every day, no one does that. I wish they didn’t all stare and laugh at me like that though, especially once they saw he was pissing me off. I wish I had someone to talk to right now. I wish someone would give me a hug.
I hear my parent’s car pull in the driveway. Dad must’ve over done it pretty quick tonight if they’re home already. Maybe once Mom gets him settled I can go get a hug, though. At least I hope so, assuming he hasn’t been a jackass tonight, too.

Another car pulls in behind them.

Within minutes my relative peace, noise-wise, is shattered. My parents and their friends congregate in the driveway, directly under my slightly open window. I wonder how long they’ll cackle and caw outside before bringing the ridiculousness inside for a few hours. I wonder how long I’ll be able to tolerate their bullshit before I snap.

Not long.

They drop the conversation from loud indoor levels, to a concert whisper. “Shhh okay? Looks like Leah’s home.”

“Is she asleep?”

“I don’t know, but the lights are off, go ahead and toke it.” The smell hits my nostrils nearly immediately. The cringe is involuntary.

I look at the clock on the side table as I roll out of bed and over to the window; twelve fifty two. For fuck sake, how old do they think they are, anyway? I open the window further, leaning out a bit. “Put it out and cut the shit, or I call the cops.” My voice is as steady as I can make it. I hope they didn’t hear the waver.

“It’s my house Leah,” my dad slurs. I see his round form wobble in the pale winter moonlight.

“I don’t give a fuck. I’m trying to sleep and that’s illegal whether its your house or not, so cut the shit or I call the cops.” My hands have trouble controlling the decent of the window, but I manage not to slam it. A chill runs up my spine and beads of sweat speckle my brow. I need a cigarette, but now I can’t go downstairs, I’d have to face them. I have to wait and sneak onto the breezeway roof once things quiet down.

I lie back on my bed and listen. I can’t hear what they’re saying anymore because I closed the window all the way, but I can hear the tone of conversation has changed; the once jubilant air has been dampened by my crushed spirit. I hate when that happens.

It’s not long before the company leaves, and my parents come inside. I hear them talking about me. They’re wondering why I’m home. I wait for one of them to call up the stairs, to knock on my door asking why.

By one thirty my dad has long since passed out in the living room, his snores a comfort of life. Mom has tidied up a bit from earlier in the evening, before retiring to bed herself. No one asks how I am. No one asks why I’m home. No one cares that I’m home, other than that I ruined their fun. I don’t even know why I stick around. The only one who’d miss me is the dog anyway. The thoughts are rapid and toxic, poisoning my brain, body, and soul. The tears have returned, I’m not sure when.

I struggle to regain control. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slower. Deeper. Slow sigh. I blow my nose again, my nostrils raw from all the attention they’ve had tonight. I roll out of bed and open the window, letting the cold air wash the unprocessed emotion from my face before climbing onto the breezeway roof for a cigarette.

Shittiest New Year’s Eve ever.