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Sandy Knauer

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Coddled Insanity
2/19/2006 11:36:05 PM

MATURE AUDIENCE CONTENT
Renee shoved the tank tops aside and pulled a long-sleeved tee shirt from the bottom of the drawer. The out-of-season lecture never lasted as long as the where-did-I-go-wrong martyr fest, and she needed to get out fast. She slapped a band-aid over the new gash on her wrist and poked her arms through the sleeves on her way down the hall.
On guard, on cue, on Renee’s last nerve, her mother looked up from the bible in her lap and hit Renee with the usual question as soon as she entered the room. “Where you headed?”
“To meet Mark. Gotta hurry.”
“It’s ninety degrees outside. You’ll burn up in that shirt.”
“So, I’ll burn up. My choice.” Why couldn’t she have a normal mother, with a normal job, or at least a life of her own?
“People will think I never teach you anything.”
“I’ll tell them I’m adopted. I have to go.” Renee skirted through the room and out the door before the tears or preaching started, wishing she had taken a second to flash the new cut before leaving. They could both suffer.
Worried Mark would sell the Vicodin to the slut at work if she didn’t get there before he left, Renee kicked up to a trot. If he dogged her with that bitch one more time, she’d never speak to him again.
As she rounded the corner and almost ran over Mrs. Lowry, she spotted Mark farther down the block, headed for his car. “Mark, hold on.” She called out, passing Mrs. Lowry without a word. A bonus for Mom. Sympathy when the busybody called to tattle, and an opening for the ever-famous Do-Unto-Others lecture. God, she needed drugs to deal with it all.
“You ass.” Renee stopped in front of Mark and leaned over to catch her breath. “You were going to leave me.”
He opened his car door. “That any way to talk to a friend? Hurry up and get it.”
She ran to the other side. “Is running off without me how you treat a friend?” She asked and slammed her door.
“Told you I couldn’t be late. Try being on time once.”
“Screw you. You sound like my mother. Where is it?”
Mark grabbed her arm and looked at the drop of blood spreading on her cuff. “You’re twisted, Renee. You cut yourself on f***in’ purpose and think I’m supposed to worry about getting your pain pills to you. That’s insane.”
“Look, ass. I decide when I want to feel pain and when I don’t. Not you.”
He started the car and backed out the drive. “Ever think people might treat you better if you acted like you care about yourself first?” He tossed a bottle of pills on her lap once the car was on the street. “Make 'em last. No more refills on that script.”
“Did you ever wonder what being a drug dealer says about you?” She stuck the bottle in her pocket and threw a wad of cash back at him.
He grinned. “Says I know what feels good to me and want to help my friends feel good too. You know, Love Thy Neighbor, and all that good stuff.” He pulled up in front of her house and she opened the door to get out.
“Yeah.” She giggled. “Love Thy Neighbor. Think I should go inside and bleed Mom to release her anger? Where’d that crap come from, anyway?”
“Bullshit cliches?” He shrugged. “More like coddled insanity, passed down from one crazy generation to the next, if you asked me.”



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Beneath The Surface: The Matchmaker 1 by Gracie McKeever

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