4. A Room of My Own

Dec 06, 2021 by Mr. Allen
 My room had a window that looked out onto a cobbled courtyard, where black clouds, like a layer of tar, spread tight over Paris rooftops.  It was raining, had been since the Air France jet touched down on the runway.  My own room.  First time ever. 
       I’d always been thrown in with Clymene, as long as I could remember.  It’s the most amazing thing, having your own room, your own desk, your own little desk lamp you can turn on and off without anybody biting your head off, even in the middle of the night; and nobody IM-ing all night with their toad boyfriend, keyboard clacking, and nobody sobbing under their covers when the toad doesn’t call; or throwing your underwear at you just cause you forgot to pick it up or throwing a book at you cause they’re such a klutz that they tripped over it in the dark, or playing some song over and over again because it reminds them of their toad and how lovely he is, or how mean he is, or both, or neither.   
       That’s not to say I didn’t miss her.  That’s the weird part.  I really, really, really missed my stupid, messed-up family, including Clymene.  It was like a dull pain in my stomach and shoulders, but I didn’t care.   Right after we got here, Aunt Mill said, “Do you want to call your family and tell them you’ve arrived?”  I said no thanks.  “Are you sure?  It’s okay,” she said, “I have unlimited international minutes.”  I said no thanks again.  Aunt Mill cocked her head, then sort of smile-smirked and said, “Okay, well, I’ll just call real quickly so Madge won’t worry.” 
      Knock yourself out, lady, I wanted to say.  And I could tell that she could tell that’s what I wanted to say.  She seemed pretty sharp, Aunt Mill.  She seemed like a mean old math teacher in a lot of ways, which makes sense, cause that’s what she was.  But no way I was ever talking to any of my family ever again.  They could just get whatever updates they wanted from Aunt Mill, with all her international minutes.  Pretty soon they’d lose interest and wouldn’t even pretend to care.  Ten years from now I’d meet Baby-X and they’d say, this is your sister, Daisy, and he’d go, “who?  I have a sister?  Really?”