“Sometimes I never leave,
but sometimes I would.
Sometimes I stay too long,
sometimes I would.”
Essie never wanted to go on a family trip, not that Summer, not with her messed up family. No, Essie had made all her Summertime plans, had taken a job at the mystery bookstore two times a week, and another side job walking a few dogs in the building, for three piece suit singles, two women and one man, who seemed to keep pets as decoration, and had no time to do things like walk and play with them. Sure, Essie’s friends were all off somewhere for the Summer, off to places that required passports and three packed suitcases. School breaks were when Essie could really tell the difference between her scholarship status, and their money side of the tracks situations.
Their families were all messed up to, Essie had to admit, but she had to figure that money made messed up look a whole lot different.
Irregardless to what Essie wanted, they were going on this trip. Her Mom and third try at a Stepfather were on speaking terms, or to be more precise, on non-yelling terms, and her brother had actually passed all his classes – barely. Stepfather three had gotten some kind of “settlement” and her Mom, well she always wanted to take one of those “as seen on TV” family vacations. She’d bought some kind of package from a man giving out flyers to beachfront getaways in the middle of the mall, outside of Contempo Casuals. She’d even bought Essie a bathing suit afterwards – one that wasn’t even off a clearance rack.
Essie had tried to plead her case to her Mom. She needed the money her Summer jobs would provide, hell, they all needed the money. It would cost less if she didn’t go, and she could keep watch of the apartment, bring the mail in, feed her brother Roger’s pet turtle. Her Mom wouldn’t hear any of it, just smiled and said “we’re doing this Esther. We’re going to have a real family Summer vacation.”
If Essie only had known then how that Summer — last Summer — would change just about everything.