I wish they would stop yellin. I try to hum real loud and put my hands over my ears but I can still hear them. I hate them so much sometimes, I wish they would just die. No,… I don’t want Daddy to die. Just Mommy. It’s all her fault.“I don’t care what your Dad says, you’re not takin my kids back to that God forsaken church!”“Well the’re my kids too Dan and Daddy thinks that…,”“What did I just say?” “What did I just friggin say?” “Okay, then well then I think that…,”“You know what Sherry?” “At this point I don’t give a shit what you, or your self righteous, crazy ass, family think.” “Well I like that Dan!” “After all they’ve done for us!”“Now don’t go gettin started on that again.”“All I’m saying is…”“And all I’m sayin is that they’re not goin and that’s final!“Well, we’ll just see about that.”“What?” “What did you say to me?” Daddy slams on the breaks now and me and Bubby both jerk forward, me in my seat belt, and him in his car seat.“What did you say to me!”Mommy’s ignoring him now and looking out her window.“So help me woman, if you try and sneak them there behind my back, there will be hell to pay.” “You hear me?”“Did you hear me?” Daddy’s voice is so loud that it hurts my ears, but Mommy just keeps looking out the window like she sees something real interesting.The inside of the car is real quiet now. The only sound is that disgusting noise Bubby makes when he’s suckin on his pacifier. Daddy’s knuckles are all white on the steering wheel and I can tell that he’s holdin his breath. Please Mommy, for once please, just say yes.I jump when he grabs her, and pee my pants a little. His hand is on the back of her neck and his fingers are digging in. “Daddy don’t!”He holds on for another second before letting go, then looks back at me in the rearview mirror.“It’s okay Babe”, he tells me. “Mommy and I are just talkin.”His voice is all nice and soft again, the way I like it. Why does Mommy always have to make him so mad? It’s my fault really. I told Daddy that I didn’t want to that stupid ole church anymore. The kids there are so mean and the Sunday school teacher always asks you all these stupid questions, then shakes her head at you when you don’t know the answers. Then they tell you that if you don’t stop sinning and ask God for forgiveness that you’re gonna to burn in hell forever. It makes me so scared. I don’t know what my sins are exactly, but the teacher says that we’re all sinners in God’s eyes. After Sunday school is even worse! That’s when they take us all into the big church and make us sit on those long hard benches with the grown ups. I kinda like the singing but I hate it when they start jumpin up and down and acting all crazy and stuff. It makes me so scared! One time the nice old man sitting next to me jumped up and started jerking all over and saying words that I’d never even heard before! That night I had a bad dream about him and the next morning Mommy was all mad cause she had to wash my bed sheets.Now she is crying and tellin Daddy to kiss her ass again. Why can’t she ever just shut the hell up? Oh no! Did God just hear me thinking that? The Sunday school teacher said that he sees everything, and that he knows what’s in our hearts. Does he know that I called his church stupid and that I peed in my panties again? I hope not. I’m sorry God.Daddy pulls the car over and trys to get Mommy to stop crying. He keeps telling her that he’s sorry and trying to put his arms around her but she won’t let him. I hate them both. It’s their fault that I peed on myself but I’m still gonna get in trouble for it.I wish they would hurry up so we can get to Aunt Dehlia’s house. I bet Wendy’s already there. Wendy is my favorite cousin. She’s almost a whole year younger than me but she’s real smart and she’s got long pretty hair with curls on the ends. I wish I had pretty hair. Mine is short and ugly cause Mommy took me to the beauty shop and had it all cut off. I was afraid, but her and the beauty shop lady told me that short hair would make me look real cute. They lied. I cried when she was done and all my hair was layin on the floor. Mommy got real mad. She told me that it was all my fault anyway for whining so much whenever she tried to comb it.It’s super bright outside today. Mommy and Daddy both have their sunglasses on so they don’t notice. I try and tell Daddy that the sun’s too bright but he jes tells me to be quiet and sit still. He never listens to me or calls me Babe when Mommy’s cryin. It’s not fair. Whenever I cry they just tell me that big girls aren’t supposed to cry. Isn’t she a big girl?Bubby is wiggling around in his car seat and I can tell that he thinks it’s bright too, cause he’s rubbing his eyes and startin to get fussy. Good! Maybe they’ll pay attention to him at least. I look up in the front seat but Mommy and Daddy are sitting real close to each other and they don’t even look back at us. They’re talking real quiet now so I can’t hear what they’re sayin. Poor Bubby. Mommy likes him best now but I know when the new baby comes out of her belly he’ll be forgot about, just like me. I hope the new baby is a girl. I love Bubby and all, but a little sister would be a zillion times better. Mommy even let me help her pick out a name. If it’s a girl we’re gonna name her Haley and I’m gonna dress her up real cute and stuff. Mommy said that she saved up all my old baby clothes in the big cedar chest that Grama gave her. I guess she and Daddy are done fighting now cause they’re kissing and stuff. Gross! I bet I’m gonna have to go back to that stupid ole church after all.Now Bubby is trying to pull his blankie over his head but he’s having a hard time so I reach over and help him. “What are you doing back there Kayla”, Mommy yells at me. She leans over the seat and pulls it off his head again. “Are you trying to smother him to death?” “Did you see what your daughter just did”, she asks Daddy. Daddy looks at me through the rear view mirror again but he’s still got those shiny sunglasses on so I can’t tell if he’s mad or not.“Kayla!” “What in the hell were you thinkin?” Yep. He’s mad. I tell him that I was helping Bubby put his blankie on his head to block the sun cause it’s too bright today. He says that if I do it again he’s gonna spank my ass good.Now they’re fighting again because Daddy said ass to me. I wish they wouldn’t fight all the time. Today was supposed to be extra special cause we’re all going to a cook out at Aunt Delia and Uncle Henry’s house. Grama and Papa, and my cousin Wendy, and a whole bunch of other people are gonna to be there and I was so excited, and now they’re ruining it.I hate them. They always ruin everything.Daddy pulls out real fast and makes the tires squeal, then Mommy tells him to slow down or we’ll get a speeding ticket. Daddy says it’s okay cause he know all the cops in town anyway. We’re almost to Aunt Delia’s house now. I know cause I recognize that cute little blue house on the corner of their street. I love that house. It always has pretty flowers growing all around it. We don’t have any flowers at our house. Mommy says she’s too busy to take care of them and I’m too lazy.Bubby starts crying and rubbin his eyes again.“Can’t you do something with him ”, Daddy asks Mommy.“Kayla get your brother’s bottle out of the diaper bag”, she tells me. I tell her I can’t reach it with my seatbelt on so she tells me just to take it off. I wanna tell her that my teacher says you should always wear your seat belt in the car, but I can tell she’s getting mad so I don’t say anything. Grown ups are always telling you not to do stuff, then telling you it’s okay to do it. It’s so confusing. I unsnap my seat belt and try to pull the diaper bag up from of the floor but I can’t cause it’s too heavy. Bubby is crying real loud now. “For Christ’s sake Kayla, hurry it up”, Mommy says.“Oh listen to you Miss High and Mighty”, Daddy says, “takin the Lord’s name in vain.”“I did not.”“Did too!” “What did you just say?”“Kiss my ass Dan, just kiss my ass!”I crawl down in the floor by the diaper bag and pull out Bubby’s bottle. Then I see his little baseball cap so I get it out too. I give him the bottle then pull the cap down over his eyes, and he finally stops crying. My eyes are still stinging though.We’re pulling in Aunt Delia’s driveway now. At last! Uncle Henry is walking out to our car with a big grin on his face. He has one hand over his eyes and is squinting at us through the windshield. As soon as I get out he grabs me then picks me up then kisses my cheek like he always does. “Have a little accident Honey?” He whispers in my ear. I hate Uncle Henry. His whiskers scratch my cheek and he always smells funny. He finally puts me down so that he can put his hand back over his eyes. “It’s bright as the dickens out here today ain’t it?” He says to Daddy. “Now don’t you start”, Mommy says, and starts laughing. I know she’s laughing at me. She always laughs at me when other grown ups are around. Just like she always makes Daddy mad, then crys when he yells at her till he feels bad. She grabs Bubby and Daddy grabs the diaper bag then they both walk off and leave me. I don’t care though. I’m gonna find Wendy. I hope she doesn’t notice that my dress is a little wet. I look down but I can’t really see anything so I guess its okay. I walk around the front of the car and see her little brother Pokey on the other side of the driveway. Yay! That means she’s gotta be here somewhere. I run over to where he is but he’s squatted down looking at something and he doesn’t look up at me.“Hey Pokey, where’s Wendy at?” His name is really Matthew, but we all call him Pokey cause he’s kinda slow. He puts his hand over his eyes and looks up at me all stupid like. “Down there”, he says, then looks back down at the driveway again. I look down too, but all I see is this funny shaped hole in the pavement. I get on my knees beside him and try to see what’s at the bottom but it looks like it just goes on forever and ever. “Where did it come from”, I ask him but he just keeps staring down the hole like he doesn’t hear me. Stupid Pokey!Maybe I should go and tell Daddy about the hole. He’ll probably tell Uncle Henry that it’s dangerous to have big holes in your driveway. Daddy’s a fireman so he knows all about dangerous stuff. I stand up and wipe all the little black pieces of rock off my knees. Then I see the other holes. There’s bunches of them all around us. Most of them are real little but if you look at one long enough you can see it gettin bigger an bigger. I guess I didn’t notice before cause the sun is so bright that it’s hard to see them. Oh no! Did Wendy really fall through one? Oh God please let it not be true, anybody but Wendy! My eyes are burning real bad now and I can feel the tears coming out, but I put my hands over them and squint real hard. Now I can see that there’s holes over in the grass beside the driveway too. I look up towards the house but the grown ups are all just standing around on the front porch talking and stuff. Why don’t they see them? Grown ups are so stupid! I can’t see Mommy but I see Daddy with his hands on his hips, still talkin to Uncle Henry.I think it’s Daddy anyway. Everything’s so blurry cause of the tears in my eyes that I can’t tell for sure. I can’t let Mommy see me like this. She’ll think I’ve been cryin again and she’ll get all mad. Daddy won’t care though. Daddy loves me.“Daddy”, I yell as loud as I can.“Hold on Pumpkin”, he calls to me, then he just turns the other way and keeps on talking. I start walking towards him but all of a sudden my foot slips. I look down and see that there’s a hole under it so I jump back.“Pokey, come on, we gotta… Then I start to fall. There musta been another hole behind me. I throw my hands out real quick and catch myself but now one of my legs is stuck in the hole. I look up at the porch again but Daddy’s still looking the other way and didn’t see me fall.“Go get my Daddy, hurry”, I tell Pokey, but Pokey doesn’t know how to hurry.“Daddy! Help me Daddy”, I scream but I’m so scared now that all that comes out is a little bitty squeak. I try and grab hold of Pokey but he’s too far away. I can tell the hole is getting bigger, and I’m scared that I can’t hold on much longer. Is this how God takes you down how to hell? Please God no! I didn’t mean to be bad. I take it all back. I don’t hate anybody. Not really. Now the hole is almost big as me.“Daaadddyy!!!”, I scream again. This time it comes out but it’s too late cause I’m already falling through. I can hear Mommy screaming from the porch now, but all I can see is Pokey, looking down at me with that same stupid look on his face. I hate him!
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