She pushed the cigarette into the cereal bowl, push the bowl to the side, put her head down on the table and closed her eyes. She had barely slept the previous night having spent the first four hours at the Tavern and the rest of the night at a Frat party. She drank way too much, smoked too much and ended up waking up with “whats his name” laying next to her on the floor of her friend’s dormroom.

She wasn’t sure anything had happened with “whats his name” and didnt even want to think about it. She had a mid-term running towards her in an hour and needed to somehow uninebriate herself.

Her phone vibrated; it was Michael, her brother.

“Hey Mikey.” She answered.
“I am going back home to see dad.”
“Ugh, when?”
“Tonight after my last class. There is a train leaving at eleven and I pull into the station at five. Do you want to meet me and ride in together?”
“I don’t know – I will call you back after this mid-term.” She didn’t bother saying goodbye just hit the red “end” button.

She knew what the right thing to do was, she knew her bitch mother was probably not shedding a tear and was probably with Frank or Bob or whoever. Her father had been become almost a non-presence in the house since he caught her sleeping with his boss six years ago this Christmas. He seemed to be blaming the kids for his wife’s infidelity as if we had a hand in it.

That Christmas he walked out of the house and walked around town for several hours while Mikey and Pam cried and their mother stayed locked in her room. They were 12 years old then – twins – and that is the year that Christmas went from the most exciting day of the year to the worst day of their lives.


She walked around the college perimeter, smoked several cigarettes, drank vodka from a flask and cried. She never went to take the test, didnt see the point. All she kept replaying in her mind was her father sounding disappointed when she told him she could not come home.

She remembered the way he used to be, how her family used to be before that Christmas. It was as if he was a balloon and her mother punctured a hole – he began to fall and fall until he was just a shadow of who he once was.

Its been over 6 years now and she is still waiting for that man to surprise her – to love her as he once did before.

Mikey feels it, she knows that for a fact.

They never understood why their father would stay in that house of cards while their mother would be rocking and shaking its foundation.

She went to grab another cigarette but her pack was empty.

She went to drink some vodka but the flask was empty.

She went to call Mikey and tell him that she would meet him at the station – but her phones battery was dead.

She thought to herself that she still had time – then remembered her father ‘s time was running out and there was nothing she could do about it.

So she ran back to her dorm, jumped into the shower, packed a bag, called her brother and headed out to the train station.

With nothing but time on her mind.