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I squint at the setting sun and mumble under my breath as I search in my handbag for my keys. I’m standing in front of my parent’s building, but as always, I find something to delay me and hold off going inside. I like to think I’m wary of my mother but deep down, I know what I really feel towards her and that is sheer, undiluted terror. Dad and I are pals and he, coupled with my beautiful niece, whom I love dearly, are the only reasons I still come here.
I focus on my handbag; there’s a lot of junk inside it and even though I keep saying I’ll clear it all out, I never end up doing so. I hiss impatiently, as my search turns up a scrunched up receipt for a cute, multi-colored pair of socks I saw in the department store window close to my apartment last month, and couldn't resist buying. I throw it back into the bag and dip my fingers inside again; out comes an old gum wrapper, a felt-tip pen that I haven't used in ages, my grocery shopping list, a tiny jotter I take everywhere I go, because you never know when a great idea will pop into your head like Jerry from Tom & Jerry - the jotter ensures I always catch the idea by its tail, before it darts out again -, an old earring, and finally! Ah, I can touch the keys. I drag my hand out triumphantly only to see it's not my keys, but the keys to my boyfriend's 2004 dirty Chevy.
“Urgh!” I exclaim, my breath wheezing out in disgust, as I slam the car keys on the hood of my boyfriend’s car. I’m about to go all the way and take my frustration out on the poor car by slamming my foot against its tires, but luckily common sense prevails and stops me just in time. The keys will turn up somewhere soon, but in the meantime, I get into the car and decide to not go into my parent’s house after all and drive over to my boyfriend’s house instead because I’m certain I gave him my spare keys, even though he has never used it I’m sure it’s in his bowl of things he needs that sits on his shelf. The excuse to avoid seeing my mother rings hollow even to my ears. I stubbornly shrug it off as I hear sounds of police sirens speeding passed me. It was quite weird. The neighbourhood is as peaceful as still waters, except for my parent's frequent squabbles. I wondered who the police had come for, and after I couldn't guess, I resigned to saying a silent prayer for them.