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I was with my mom the first time I saw a ghost. When I told her she completely freaked out and couldn't rush me off to therapy quick enough. Twelve years had passed without another incident and then, out of nowhere everything changed. The journey b...

I was with my mom the first time I saw a ghost.

When I told her she completely freaked out and couldn't rush me off to therapy quick enough. Twelve years had passed without another incident and then, out of nowhere everything changed.

The journey began with a car trip through a narrow thoroughfare that travelled straight up the mountains. The cliff-side road never once changing or altering en route.

I shuffle my feet as I try to shift into a more comfortable sitting position. The car was a package deal that my mom could never seem to upgrade no matter how many times she passed by the used dealership. It went everywhere with her before I came along. Hence the sun fatigued dash board and saggy, decaying carpet.

The engine discharged with a burst of fury. Ugh. I manage to hold on for dear life as my mom flies up the hill and past looming trees. I could barely focus on a single deep thought without losing track of my attention because of the stupid pot holes on the ground.

Each bump felt like another punch to my gut and managed to steal the breath right out of me.

Eager to disappear, I clutch onto my belongings to keep them from dropping onto the floor where they could disapear forever.

I hold back from looking in the mirror as we drove because I didn't want to spoil what spirit I had. These days it took a lot of energy to direct my reflection of the past few days from slanting and then end up having severe depression.

As it was I didn't have the strength to pull myself out of a thought crippling bender, let alone call to mind a figment of imagination from which I could induce rainbow colored visions of pleasant daydreams to squash my dreary reality.

Ugh. Another bump in the road. This time my head got the worst of it.

I shift the hood of my jacket further over my forehead and slump back into my seat. Mom

always took care of herself as opposed to my careless way of doing things. With a Cardinal scarf tied over her chin the impeccable bun stayed put.

She approaches a stop sign and glances at me with a look of utter disappointment. It was a facial expression I was fond of. "You being away is for the best. Honestly, I don't understand why you're pouting. I have to deal with the backlash of your current outburst, not you. No, you get a fresh start. Who knows, perhaps this time you might even make friends to socialise with for a change." She emphasizes that last part with one of her trademark fake smiles.

I did my best not to roll my eyes in response as I focus on something else.

I take a glimpse past the steering wheel and am not surprised to see the number displayed on the indicator panel stayed even. Mom was always an overly cautious driver.

"Besides," she said, her voice strained. "We need some time apart, Aislin." She looked as though she wanted to say more, but held back.

As I stared at her, it wasn't hard to imagine what she was probably thinking. The whole 'I was a contributing factor to her picturesque lifestyle' was not said for me. In fact, it was no secret that my personal situation was not a flourishing one.

I roll my eyes and look out the window. Honestly, would it damage her reputation to let go of the facade once? No critic was around to witness anything and therefore disapprove of her authentic self.

"Your father and I have done everything in our power to help you," she says.

"He's not my dad," I mumble.

The truth was, when I first met my step-father, Jett, I thought he was a nice guy.

It wasn't until after he moved in with us and gained our trust that his attitude changed. Being a practicing Catholic, Jett felt a distinct calling to become a minister. Thankfully Jett was at work so it was just mom seeing me off, and I took pleasure in knowing that the drive was just as inconvenient for her as it was for me. The hatred is nothing compared to the indifference I feel toward my biological father and sister. 

 

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