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Since our home was destroyed by the fire, we live in an old, two-bedroom trailer provided by the churches in town. It’s very cold and very dirty. People are giving us boxes of shoes, clothes, and make-up. Most of which is trash.
Daddy got the insurance settlement and bought us a brand new, three bedroom trailer. It’s white with green trim. He also has a new green, Chevrolet pick-up truck and a big, metallic green Harley Davidson ElectraGlide.
The trailer is set up next to the house. This trailer is cold too. Or is it me. Daddy leaves money for groceries on the kitchen table every day that he isn’t going to be home. I come in from school, pick up the money, walk to Dunham's Grocery and buy food for supper. No matter the weather, if we are going to eat I walk to the store. Sometimes my arms ache so bad from carrying the groceries that I don't think I can make it home. There is never anything extra. Just day to day food for breakfast and supper and then just enough to stave off hunger. I can’t cook much so we eat the same things over and over. We’re not poor but we’re always hungry.
I also walk to the laundromat every Saturday pulling a red wagon filled with dirty clothes. Usually Donna and Bobbi are with me and help steady the pile. Down the alley two blocks and left half a block. Dad has taught me how to fold things "correctly." From fitted sheets to his t-shirts and his briefs. I take pride in doing it right but I’m embarrassed to be seen with the dirty laundry.
I take care of things. I do all I can to make Daddy happy. I never waste money–something he says Mommy did. I work along side him on cars, lawn mowers, plumbing. Whatever he is doing, I help. I think that subconsciously I figure doing boyish things will keep me safe.
Daddy has been "dating" several women. We are often teased about his girlfriends. I always have to babysit the girlfriends' children and clean their homes while they are out. More than once I’ve found maggots in kitchen sinks or garbage bags. Yuk!
One of Daddy’s girlfriends is pregnant. I know because she asked me what I thought he would say. I say, "He’ll tell you to go to h***." He did. She is only eleven years older than me.
Daddy’s new girlfriend , Mary, lives in a nearby town. She has four children: Curtis, Eddie, Dennis, and Betty. They are all pre-school and the three youngest are all in diapers. Daddy stays overnight at Mary's a lot. I hate having to call him there. He should be here!
It isn't long before they merge our two families together. I have been taking care of my family just fine and I don't appreciate Mary’s intrusion into my territory. We have to move.
I love the way you write. This is great stuff.