Chapter 34

Trish went through her drawers and secret hiding places and very carefully packed her trunk. Old and weather beaten as it was, it would hold all her treasures, her diary and school awards, her notebook of doodles and daydreams, and she wondered if she would ever get back to them.

She hated to feel like she did about her grandmother, who had always been fairly pleasant, if somewhat bossy. But she did have that odor about her that always made her think of her great grandparents when she went to see them in the visitors room at the home.  They were always polite and smiled and patted her hand, but she didn’t think they had a clue as to who she was and why a young thing like her would bother to visit them. She loved them anyway, remembering days from, her early childhood when they all attended picnics and birthday parties. She wondered if someday she would have a hard time remembering who she was.

She lay back across her bed and stared at the mobile on her ceiling.  She had made it in 6th grade and still liked the way the clouds floated on her blue ceiling. When she stared at it long enough she would have been transported to a world of make believe. She wondered when that sensation had vanished with her dreams of becoming a movie star.

Come back to reality, she scolded herself. There was nothing ahead for her but to work in the local button factory, probably marry with a bunch of kids, and an alcohol problem like her mother. There would be no chance of being a secretary, or nurse, or teacher, which she really wanted to be. There was no reason to dream at all. She sat up, almost dizzy from the thoughts that crowded in on her. She stood up and put the last of her treasures into the trunk. At that moment she wondered if she would ever open it again. Her mother called from the kitchen and she answered. There was only to find a safe hiding place for the key. Taking it with her was risky. She could lose it or forget where she had put it for safe keeping. There was a small crack where the ceiling met the wall, and the key fit nicely. Out of sight but within easy reach.

Jen was red eyed, either from crying or drowning her sorrows. Trish really didn’t care which.

“Well, it’s final now. We will be having a full house. We’re moving upstairs. Mike and Mother will be in residence in about three days, so get used to the idea. Your father was adamant.”

“I thought you liked Mike he’s always here on important days. He’s almost like family.”

“I do like Mike. With Mother living here too it’s just……”

“That you can’t have a swig whenever you want it. Is that the real reason you’ve been resisting?”

Jenny slapped her hand across Trish’s face. “Don’t you dare start on me.” Immediately she cried and reached out for Trish. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. It’s just that you…..”

“You can’t stand the truth, Mom. And it seems to have gotten worse since that coat came into the house.” Trish put her hand to her reddened cheek. “Please, don’t do that again.” She was crying as she went back to her room. Saturday was a long way off and she desperately needed a friend.