Fifty-two dollars and seventy-five cents.
That's what her check book said she had. The check book was blue and thin with a nearly faded name on it. Next to that name was a worn sticker of a tropical scene. The kind of scene you would see on vacation, like Hawaii. Palm trees blowing in the wind, the warm sand, and blue sky.
God Dammit. $52.75.
The check book lay beside a pile of bills. Envelopes with flimsy papers staking claim on that small amount of money. The phone bill, the damn gas & electric company. They weren't even the real problem, no, that was the insurance. The car insurance company. They wanted one hundred two dollars and thirty-nine cents. She could see the numbers in outlined in the little box. And her check book was thin and worn.
How did she get here?
She rested her thin arms on the kitchen table. Thin, tan arms from too many hours at the bus stop without shade. Her hands with chewed fingernails, she was trying to quit that. Her hair fell in her face, blonde and needing a haircut.
She looked across the room at the tattered brown couch. Used. Looked at the bare walls and the small table across from the sofa. There was her television and the framed 5x7 picture. They took the picture at the mall with a free coupon. Just the two of them.
The baby was crying in the bedroom.
submitted at 01:27am
11 May 2009