Little Black Book(6)

By: Tabatha Vargo & Melissa Andrea

I sat straight up in bed, gasping for air. Same nightmare, different night. Sweat trickled down my neck and into my nightgown. I pulled the fabric from my skin and tried to catch my breath.

It’d been a while since I’d had a nightmare about the night my parents died, but with everything going on around me, it wasn’t a big surprise.

“You okay, Roz?” Kyle’s voice came from behind my bedroom door.

His voice was changing. Every now and again it would crack or squeak and he would sound older for a few brief seconds. He was slowly becoming a man, and I silently wished Dad could be there to teach him the ways of all things manly.

“Yeah. Just a nightmare. You can come in,” I waited for the door to open. “What are you doing up?” I checked the clock by my bed for the time.

“I heard you making noises in your sleep.” He came across the room and sat on the end of my bed.

“I’m sorry I woke you. You have school tomorrow and I have job hunting to do. We both need our sleep.”

“It’s okay. I wasn’t sleeping all that great anyway.”

I patted the bed beside me and Kyle climbed under the covers. Turning on my side, I wrapped my arm around him. “Goodnight.”


“You know, I could get you a job at Clive’s. It pays well and you’d be home all day since you wouldn’t have to be at work until six.” Trish said.

She was my only friend. Growing up, I never had time to go out and meet people because I was always taking care of Gran. Trish was the only person in school who made time for me and understood I couldn’t go out partying on the weekends.

We’d been friends since tenth grade and she still looked exactly the same. Same blonde hair, same blue eyes, and same perfect body. My own body had started to grow since high school. My butt was a little wider and my boobs, a little heavier. I still had my tiny waist, which was good, but I hated having to go up a size in my jeans just because my hips were so curvy.

“I’m not working at a bar. Plus, who would watch Kyle at night?”

“Kyle’s thirteen, he can watch himself, Roz. I was staying home alone much earlier than that. You’ll be there when he gets home, and you can make sure he gets dinner, or help him with his homework, or whatever. Then he can get ready for bed and go to sleep. Buy him one of those little pre-paid phones so he can call if something happens, and tell him to lock the doors.”

Trish talked as she flipped through a magazine. It was obvious she never had to worry about another person besides herself. I couldn’t just leave Kyle at home all alone. Especially not now. He was already having a hard time sleeping at night, no way could he stay home alone.

“I can’t even afford a cell for myself. How would I be able to afford one for Kyle? It’s out of the question. Keep thinking. There has to be some places hiring around here.”

She sighed. “Fine. We’ll keep looking.”

I knew she was annoyed, but she’d just have to deal with my decision. I wasn’t going to budge.

Every day, after dropping Kyle off at middle school, I’d spend the day putting in applications everywhere. I didn’t have a cell, so I’d checked the answering machine every afternoon with hopes of someone calling me back. I’d already gotten the phone bill, which I couldn’t afford to pay, so I needed a job like yesterday.

Two weeks later, there had been no calls, and our house phone had been disconnected. I was desperately trying not to spiral into despair, but the water and electricity were the next to go—not to mention, we only had two more weeks before we had to be out. I was at the end of my rope, and desperate.

Kyle and I searched for boxes at all the local stores and packed the belongings we wanted to keep. Everything else, we sold. By the time the bank was taking the house, we managed to move our belongings into Trish’s parent’s garage.

We each packed a suitcase for everything we’d need until a place was found. As sad as it was, and as bad as it broke my heart, we moved into the Oldsmobile.

I was sure Trish would have given us a place to stay had I told her about our predicament, but I was too proud. She was my age, and worked and lived on her own. I was ashamed I couldn’t do the same.

The little bit of money we had from everything we sold would get us through. It paid for gas and food and really, that was all we needed until I could get us into an apartment.

As we pulled into the parking lot of his school, I grabbed his arm before he could make his hasty exit.

I turned worried eyes on him and gave him a warning. “Remember, Kyle, don’t tell anyone about our living arrangements. It won’t be like this for long, I promise. Just bear with me, okay?”

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