Do you know what I was doing a year ago?
I was ready to graduate high school. They told us our lives would begin and we would take the world by storm. We'd be successful and talented and brilliant. Angel was still sweet and not fucking insane. I was ready to take on the world with Rose right there at my side, and Violet on the other.
Now they're both gone. Aunt Michelle is dead and Rose is worse than dead and Vi is miles and miles away. She's moved on from Chicago and is somewhere around Kentucky. I can't even know exactly where.
The reading of the will was this morning, and I was outed as receiving even more inheritance than Aunt Michelle told me. The place in Ocean City, the fund for its upkeep and the taxes on it. But also a sizable trust fund that looks like it was started just before I was born. It doesn't have any legal stipulations -- I can use it for whatever I wish, according to the law -- but one note in her will said: "To assist in furthering her education and enlightenment."
I was right. Angel did exactly what I knew she would. They called me down not long ago and said they needed to have a serious talk with me about something. I've been sipping at my little hip flask of whiskey since noon; I didn't have the will to refuse.
Sure enough, thhey tried to get me to give it up. Not just part of it, either. They wanted me to give up everything. Well, I say they -- really, it was that near-eldritch cunt using my father as a mouthpiece. I won't bother writing down the exact conversation. They pretended it was for my own good. I'm too young, they said, to be ready for this responsibility.
I was fully ready to sit it out the exact way I have for my entire life: Keep my mouth shut, don't make any sudden movements. Pretend I'm a little porcelain doll. I was ready to let it slide off. But then, she spoke up, and she said:
"Quite frankly, it was a less-than-intelligent move on Michelle's part to leave it to you --"
The little porcelain doll in me shattered.
"Why is that, Angel?" I said. I looked up from my hands on my lap at them. "Is it because I'm so stupid and naive, or she was plotting something and using me? Because obviously, when a woman does something, it's usually specifically to make things more difficult for you, isn't it?"
"I've been excusing you for way too goddamn long."
I lost my cool, and I don't give a shit. Eventually, the argument rose from the table and we stood, and I said things I've been wanting to say for a long, long time. I'm sure she did as well -- no one has ever spoken to me the way she did, so blatantly belligerent and hurtful. Right in front of my father, she called me every name under the sun, from a lazy and ungrateful daughter to a criminal slut.
She's certainly one to talk.
After the argument, I stormed up the stairs and found something that was, naturally, exactly what I needed in this shit.
A note. Sitting prettily on my pillow and addressed to Little fucking Mouse.
It was simple enough to not even warrant a picture:
"i'm ever so sorry about Michelle's tragic demise. i hope that you find solace in her gifts.
You know what? No
He doesn't fucking get to say her name. He doesn't even get to know she exists. Ever.
I'm fucking tired of this. I'm tired of feeling like I need to watch my back. I'm tired of not even feeling safe at home. I'm tired of hearing the house make noises at night and wondering if maybe, just maybe, it's Angel, finally gone crazy and killing the whole family. I'm tired of those sorts of things that keep me up at night. I'm tired of my room being messy because I don't ever want to leave it if I don't have to. I'm tired of fucking Zeke and how he's so fucking stupid and won't listen to me. I'm tired of not being able to tell anyone about what's happening to me. I'm tired of drinking until I can't feel because I don't dream when I pass out and the hangover is better than those goddamn nightmares and that goddamn feeling. I'm tired of my voice getting scratchy because I'm smoking too much.
I'm tired of feeling helpless.
So I'm fucking done. I know he's got his eye on me. He's probably watching right now. I haven't seen his boss in a while, but damned if I don't know he's still tailing me. I can turn this. I can use it. I have a gun, and I have pepper spray, and if he gets past those I can kick the fucker in the head.
This can't wait. I'm getting my jacket now.
I'm going to find Practical Cat. I'm going to call him out.
And I'm gonna kill the bastard.