Tamika Wood’s Birthday Party

& Other Stories by Le Kendall

2 Sunset

Content Notes apply to this chapter.


Dad is always cranky now.

He says it’s because he’s not sleeping very well.

Pa is quiet. He spends a lot of time staring into space and he says he can’t concentrate well enough to help me with my homework.

Dad says he can, but he’s irritable and cranky and I don’t want to ask him.

I can do the work itself but it’s just hard to sit and do it. I get so bored and if I have Dad to sit with me and keep reminding me what I’m doing I can focus much better. And Pa is good at explaining anything that’s tricky or confusing, and he can explain things much better than the textbook.

But now I don’t have either of them and I have to try and make myself do the work. Dad used to keep track of all my due dates and remind me like he keeps track of Pa’s schedule and appointments, and reminds him when it’s time for him to leave. But he doesn’t do that anymore.

But now I’m trying to do all of that myself as well. I don’t want to add more stress. I’m trying so hard to do everything on time and as soon as I am asked. But Dad still yells at me because I haven’t put the dishes away yet or tidied my bedroom or I’ve left something on the floor. He didn’t used to… yell at me.

Pa doesn’t yell at me. But it’s somehow worse. He sort of just looks through me.

They’ve always been so different, but they complemented one another. Dad is good at some things. Pa is good at other things. But since we moved it just feels like they’re both off balance and they’ve stopped supporting one another, and I feel like my family is spinning out of control.

Is it my fault? My new bedroom is right next to theirs and ugh. I heard their bed bumping against the wall one night. I told them about it, and they talked about maybe moving me into the other room downstairs, but then it never happened. But I don’t hear them now, and I think it’s because they’ve stopped doing it, and somehow that’s worse than hearing the noise of their bed in the first place.

They used to kiss and cuddle. I would cover my eyes and tell them they were grossing me out. I bought a spray-bottle and I used to squirt them with water if I caught them kissing. Like trying to train a cat not to jump on the table.

I thought it would be funny.

It was funny.

But the bottle’s full of water.

It’s not that I want to see them making out all of the time. I told them to stop. But.

I didn’t mean for them to… stop.

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One response to “2 Sunset”

  1. Diane Avatar

    Oh god this poor child…