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Lowlife

By @punkybookster83

The funeral

Funeral homes don’t smell like anything. Not a single thing. Not even the flowers around the casket. Life really has stopped , people stop using perfume, flowers stop smelling, and the world is muted out by the sheer awfulness of the situation.

Aunt Peggy sniffles loudly next to me and it pulls me out of my thoughts.

I give her a small smile trying to assure her everything is okay. That I am going to be okay. He is my father after all. But my phone buzzes in my pocket and I can feel that angry twitch he incites whenever he bothers me when I tell him to leave me alone. I’m too young to have a tumor so I know its just an anger twitch. I slide down in my seat and take the phone out of my jacket pocket.

I glance at the text and grit my teeth. He wants tacos.

Aunt Peggy looks at me when I laugh out loud.

I lean closer and apologizes before she thinks I’ve really lost it. “Sorry. I’m really sorry.”

She squeezes my arm. “Are you sure you’re alright, Sam?”

I nod. “Of course, Aunt Peggy. I just need to use the bathroom. These contacts are killing my eyes.” I get up and squeeze past my mother’s side of the family and go out the double doors into the hallway. I keep moving until I make it to the bathroom and once I’m inside I lock the door and look at my phone.

He’s always been selfish. Since the day I was born. I grit my teeth even harder when my phone rings and his stupid face shows on the screen of my iphone. I think of all the lovely cuss words he taught me and the ones I could use to tell him how much I loathe him. And I answer.

“You know the dead usually don’t call during their own funeral,” I say. But that would be him—he has only ever thought about himself. And what he could do to get what he wanted.

“Sam…” He’s been drinking. “You’re the only one I can count on.”

“No, Dad. I am the only one who still puts up with your ****. And I also am the only person who knows you are not in that coffin.” I really don’t even know how he figured it all out. I also don’t want to know. Because the less I know the better off I am.

“Did you see her?”

“Who?”

“Mom?”

I make a face. Another person I despise. “Yes. And I am pretty sure if she could have it her way she would open the casket and set you on fire to make sure you are dead.”

“Sam, I told you everything is going to be fine. Quit being so uptight. Just imagine the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Like I always told you when you were a kid.”

The only reason I am doing this is so that I don’t have to deal with him ever again.

“Oh yes. The rainbow.” I turn on the faucet when I hear footsteps in the hallway and sigh. “And then I’m out of this **** hole.”

Somebody pounds on the door.

“Be out in a second, hold your horses.” I turn off the water. “I have to go. Don’t call me again.”

I fluff my hair and unlock the door. But I can’t get out because there is a little girl and some guy standing in my way. The little girl pushes past me and the guy he just stands there staring at me. The least he could do is apologize for the rude brat shoving her way into the bathroom.

“I’d ask how you were doing…” he doesn’t finish.

I shrug, I don’t care either way if he asks how I am doing. I’m sick of acting sad or upset about the death of my father. He’s not dead and he’s always been an *******. Most of them just weren’t lucky enough to know it. The other half I am sure are only attending his funeral for whatever they can get their hands on after he’s in the ground.

“Well…sorry for your loss.” I start to go around him. But what he says next catches me off guard.

“Oh I barely knew the guy,” he says. “My mother’s car was shot and she was a big crying mess. She says he’s the father of my sister.” He points toward the bathroom. “I say she’s full of **** and just wants the guy’s money but whatever.”

Now I wish I got a good look at the little ****. “My dad didn’t have any other kids. Just me.”

He rubs a hand through his mess of brown hair and shrugs. “Well ****. I didn’t mean to spring this on you.”

“You have got to be kidding me.” There goes that **** twitch again.

“I’m Cole.”

And I’m ******. He extends a hand but I wave it away. “I really don’t know what you want me to say.”

The little spawn of possibly satan himself comes back out of the bathroom. I study her pale blue eyes and her sandy blonde hair. If she’s my dad’s kid things just went from bad to even worse.

“Sorry for your loss,” Cole tells me. If I wasn’t so angry I could appreciate his blue eyes. But I’m angry and who knows he could be my brother too at this point. I slam into my Great Uncle Jerry on the way back into the holding room.

This day could not get any worse.

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