As I Sat on the Bus #5: Roxanne Goes into the City

This is a continuing story. To read subsequent entries go here As I Sat on the Bus.

Wow, what a weekend. I’m so glad to be out of the stifling apartment. I like the bus ride into the city. It gives me a chance to think, better yet, it gives me a chance to dream.

Momma had us a little cook out on Saturday and it turned out to be a real nice day with the four of us enjoying each other in the park; a rare event, indeed. We were supposed to do it Friday evening but we were waiting for Daddy to show up. Since when does he ever show up at a reasonable hour and sober on a Friday? I don’t know why Momma thought, after all these years, this night would be different. She sat at the kitchen table and drank a whole bottle of wine waiting on him.

Finally I fixed peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches for me and Sabrina. We were so hungry and momma kept telling us to wait. But she didn’t care when she saw me “fix a little snack” for me and my sister.

We were sitting on the front stoop talking to Maria and Anton from downstairs when Daddy showed up. Sabrina, always the joyful one, ran and jumped into his arms. I am not as forgiving of his bad parenting. I didn’t want to fight, though, so when he said “How’s my beautiful Roxanne” I said “I am fine Daddy, Momma is upstairs waiting for you”.
Let them fight.

A few minutes later we heard the predictable screaming. Sabrina buried her head in my lap and covered her ears. There was the sound of glass breaking and then silence. The same pattern I have heard my entire life. I am immune to it. I have been since I was five. Sabrina has a gentler soul but I know the next few years she will harden as well. I want to protect her and harbor her innocence for as long as I can.

I waited almost 40 minutes before I took her upstairs for us to get cleaned up. She was in the shower when my mother came out of her room in a silk robe, her thin body obviously naked underneath. She was smiling until she saw me. “Hi baby, say, listen” she stammered “We’ll do our cook out tomorrow for lunch, okay? It’s got so late tonight.” “It’s fine Momma” I assured her with the same phrase I had muttered 1000’s of times.

“We’ll go to the park!” she exclaimed “Get us a game of family kick ball going” she planned excitedly. I knew she wanted me to match her enthusiasm but I couldn’t. I had been disappointed too many times; and as much fun as that did honestly sound, I had to see it to believe it.

She headed to the refrigerator to retrieve the last bottle of wine and then back to her room. “Your daddy is gonna love this idea” she chirped on her way through. “Tell your sister, she will be so excited!”

I didn’t dare tell my sister, she would be excited but we could wait till morning. Instead we snuggled in bed together and I told her a story of a young woman who worked really hard to be successful and live a happy and full life. I made the story up, like I always do, but I have every intention of making it come true.


This post is in response the writing challenge As I Sat on the Bus.

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