Janice Cotton had no words for her daughter's actions.
Another five days of detention with possible expulsion.
Frustrated, the woman tossed the Korrs in search of a
"You know those things cause cancer?" Heather’s tone
"Right about now, raising you is gonna kill me first so
while I have a choice in how I die, I'm going with a ciggy
in my hand." Janice hissed at the teen while rummaging
at the stop light for salvation.
Hands shaking, the woman seized the pack and lit up
like a seasoned professional. Taking a long drag off the
white cylinder, she knew the call from the ex would stress
her even more. The two did nothing but shout and push
each other’s buttons since the breakup. Janice, often
amazed at her own virility, usually found a way to have
the last word.
Then, there were moments when memories of the early
days and the reason for the split compounded the
agitation. Pulling onto Main Blvd, Janice tried not to
think of the horrible night in question. It always seemed
to haunt her memories and rule their problems with the
out of control teen.
Turning off Main, Janice headed towards their turn off
and approached iron gates that lead to their division. As
the SUV approached the electronic gate, Janice tugged on
cigarette number two as her cell phone began to buzz.
Grabbing it in disgust, she knew it was Troy. Clicking the
black box to life, his angered voice filled the cabin of the
expensive family car.
"I just got a call from the provost, about Heather’s
suspension. I knew this wasn't going to work, I'll be there
in the morning first thing!" The phone silenced.
Troy, hot headed as usual, didn’t want to hear excuses
or explanations. In his mind, Janice was unfit to raise the
young girl and only he knew what she truly needed.
Releasing her tension, Janice threw her phone to the floor
and screamed a host of obscenities. The ex had a way of
bringing out her worst tantrums and biggest regrets in
the woman. In addition, he hung up, not giving her a
chance to shout back.
Janice approached the garage and once docked, raced
inside. Heather sat in solitude for a moment knowing the
two would continue their individual tirades without the
other being involved. The melancholy teen would retreat
to the comfort of her gothic room and reappear when her
father arrived the next day.
Heather knew that living with her father was an even
worse idea than staying with her chain-smoking mother.
The problem was she had no choice. There were no other
relatives willing to accept her and no matter what, Troy
was on his way.
The teen squeezed her pillow tightly while securing her
ear buds in place. The mumbling and thumping of her
mother fumbling for dinner or a drink from the cabinet
fell into the back of the girl’s mind. Heather drifted off to
sleep and soon the dream would return. The screeching of
the wheels, the steady pour of rain, and the slick road
were all she could see. Before she knew it, morning
awakened her as her mother knocked on the door.
“Your father is here. I don’t know if you packed, but he
will probably toss anything I bought you anyway.” Janice
disappeared to another room as Troy stood in the living
room downstairs. Taking only her comforts, the teen said
her goodbyes through a closed bedroom door. Heather
could hear her mother sobbing on the other side.
“I do love you. I think things are gonna be okay.”
Janice’s tone was one of a woman struggling to be a better
mom. There had been a number of tough decisions that
she and Troy had made. Ever since that night, they had
not been able to recover.
“I love you too, mom. I’m sorry.” Heather shuffled
downstairs and out the door.
An hour after she left, Janice reappeared from her
tomb. Her mind filled with scenarios that only she had
witnessed and soon Troy would learn as well. Well, she
didn’t want this. He’ll learn soon enough. Janice thought
as she chuckled to herself and poured a glass of bourbon.
For the next few weeks, the gothic teen settled into yet
another sprawling home in a neighborhood complete with
snobby, unlikeable inhabitants. Troy, a busy account
executive, catered to her every whim. He enrolled the shy
girl into a prestigious prep school and refilled her
wardrobe to fit the stringent requirements. Troy called in
the best make up and make over people that money could
buy. The teen, revamped to fit in with the rest of the
world, would be a symbol of what he felt was good
parenting. Happy with the accomplishment, Troy’s final
act of being the good parent consisted of a brand new
Mercedes E class equipped to the hilt. Heather, still
brooding over her makeover, forgot her doldrums and took
the sleek machine for a test drive. Smooth as silk on the
road, the machine was perfection, just like daddy wanted.
The first few days of school went about with no
setbacks. Heather seemed to settle in quite well and even
started to make a few friends. However, Troy would soon
notice his daughter’s strange behavior as she began to
withdraw. Heather often stayed up late, music blaring in
the background. Sounds of laughter and conversation
with what seemed to be a good friend echoed from her
room. Having her private cell, she had no restrictions.
Then one night, voices. Troy heard another voice coming
from the room and since it was past curfew, he burst
through the door but found no one there.
"Honey, who were you talking to?" His voice stuttered
"Death." She said with a firm tone.
Surprised and disgusted, he whipped out his cell and
"Death, really" He screamed into the phone as if that
"Welcome to my world." The phone silenced in her
Hearing voices once more, he turned to find a young,
handsome boy standing in the room. With short, moussed
hair in soft peaks, black jeans and a t-shirt, he seemed a
bit pale but his pink lips and large brown eyes gave way
to an all too devilish and familiar smile.
"You again." The father announced with fear. "We
performed an exorcism for Christ's sake. Stay away from
my daughter." His roar shook the room as he advanced
towards the lad.
The boy smiled. "You had no right to bring her back.
She belongs with me."
Stopping in place, the father sobbed heavily and sunk
to his knees. Flashes of the accident played in his head
like an old movie. Crumpled up metal and slick, cold rain
pelted Troy as he approached the scene. Heather had not
survived. Twisted in the front seat, her father pulled her
lifeless body from the crash. The distraught parents not
wanting this to be the end, made a deal to bring her back.
However, Death had fallen in love with the teen and
decided he would not exist without her.
"Father, I do not belong here. You can’t keep me.” The
sound of a soft footstep and the opening of a window
alerted him from his dreamlike state. Once again, he
would not get to her in time as Heather jumped from the
second floor and landed on the iron light post below.