Chapter I: A New Home
It has been four days since dad and I left San Francisco to move to another city. Funny I don’t even know its name. It’s somewhere on the East-coast in the good old USA. I am upset and feel lost now that we’ve been out here for what seems forever. Right now we’re on the road in this smoldering, humid heat. This old clunker has a broken air conditioner and dad says we’re not financially able to make those repairs right now, so I sweat. No wonder I feel like a grouch.
Auntie told my father it would be quicker on plane, but he told her, “oh no, I can’t do that! I have important valuables that I don’t trust others to transport for me, besides there are some that the airlines won’t allow me to use as carry on.” Those special collectables of his are hand guns and rifles from his father who served in the Korean War.
I mention that we really ought to stop for a while and he replied that it’s not far to the city we’re heading to, but he said that yesterday also. It kind-of makes me wonder what his idea is of not far.
Last month he told me he was interested in a new job he was given in Rhode Island. I’d never paid much attention to the east coast so I really didn’t know where Rhode Island is. I figured it had to be an island, but when I looked it up I found out I was wrong. I begged to stay, Auntie also to him that I could stay with her as long as I kept up my grades and held my steady job. I’ve been working at the soda shop for over a year and my boss said he’d keep me on. My real reasons of course are the same as hers. I’d been raised here in San Fran, and I loved it there. I know my way around, and I have close
friends that I love. Dad didn’t want to hear it though; he told me that it was for the best if I were to stay with him. Since I didn’t have a mother to raise me, now I don’t need to lose a father also. For me… well, my Auntie has always been my mother figure and dad well he’s just dad.
There have been a few glitches in the story of what happened to my mom but apparently soon after I was born my mother left my father as she just disappeared one day. Since then he has never heard from her again. Auntie told me that he was devastated on that day and at first he cared for nothing, not even his own life, so she had to take care of me for the first three months the best way she cold. She never married or had any of her own so it was a learning experience. All-in-all, I’d say she did quite well. We’ve been close as long as I can remember so I think of her as mom even though she always insisted that I call her auntie.
After the third month Auntie got fed up with my father’s gloomy mood and told him that he had me, and that he was my father, so he had to take care of me. Since then he has taken care of me like a real father. At least I suppose it’s what a father should look like. Any way he supplies all my needs and even talks to me once in a while.
Oh have I forgotten to say that today is my seventeenth birthday? What a birthday, a trip on the road, and no presents. How gloomy can you get?
“Dad I can’t stand this any longer! Today is my birthday and we are still driving to only God knows were! Please can we at least stop at a Wal-Mart on the way so that we can get me a present? Please!” I dragged the last word out hoping to sway him as I begged from the passenger’s side of our sedan. “It won’t take long and I promise not to be so depressed.” I threw the depression part in the hope it would sway him into allowing for a break.
“Well, I have your present in the back, but I am hungry, so instead let us stop for something to eat.” He countered.
I groan with acceptance. Usually dad’s presents are lame, and sometimes embarrassing. At least Auntie always bought me something cool. Of course since I’ll get this new present and won’t have to show it to any of my friends that will be a plus. I’m trying to look on the bright side.
“Where would you like to eat hon? McDonalds, Burger King, how about we try out a Sonic!” He was trying to be enthusiastic, but I could tell he was trying hard to choose some of the cheapest places available.
“Oh daddy, you’re such a penny pincher! Isn’t this new job supposed to pay twice if not three times as much than your last job? Why not treat me at a real restaurant this year for my birthday!” I whine. I know daddy doesn’t like it when I do, but he never says no either because he knows that I will just keep doing it.
“You know my sister spoiled you too much.” He mumbled. He says that every time he gives into me.
“Nu-uh” I deny it even though I know it is totally true, but who cares? I will be able to get more when daddy gets his new job, and a nice house to live in also! Aunties’ house was small and comfortable but not like a real home with all the extras. I had friends who had swimming pools and big yards with a lot of things that I only wished I had. Yet when I was told I had to move, I whined like if it was my favorite place. Come to think of it, it was.
He said that the house is being paid for by the company he will be working for, and that he saw picture over the internet. He said it was just like his home when he was younger. So I know it will be a nice house, except I never seen his home as a boy, so I really don’t know.
After about another thirty minutes we drive into a small town, and I see an Olive Garden and point to it for my father to see, “I want to eat there for my birthday please!” Again I draw out the “please” as if it was the last place on earth and we really needed to go there.
He sighed and turned into the parking lot and parked near the entrance. “Alright” he said but nothing more than fifteen dollars.” He said it with absolute authority and exited the door.
I yelped in excitement and followed him inside. There was a long line of about seven or eight families ahead of us waiting to get seated. Dad shakes his head, “I think it would be best if we were to go somewhere else, this place is packed, and we are short on time, I don’t want to be waiting here for an hour or so.”
I did not like the fact we could not stay, but he had a point. If he is to get that job he was offered, we have to get to that city before eight O-clock tonight.
We headed out and I had a brilliant idea, “why don’t we go thru drive-thru for today, and you treat me tomorrow instead!” I said with a cheesy grin.