Playing Patience

Playing Patience by Tabatha Vargo

Book: Playing Patience by Tabatha Vargo Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tabatha Vargo
to see my dad and I knew as I crept down the hallway on padded feet it wouldn’t be much longer before he came and said his peace or did something else.
    I passed my mom’s nurse, Patricia, on the way to my room and she smiled at me and mentioned how Mom had a great day. Once I saw her disappear into Mom’s dark room, I knew I was on my own.
    I closed my bedroom door behind me and slid under my blanket. I rolled over onto my side and stuck my arm under my pillow for support. It was then that I saw my dad sitting in the chair by my window, looking back at me. What kind of crazy person sat in a dark room and waited? A predator, that’s what kind.
    “Who dropped you off?” he asked calmly.
    I knew the minute I said Zeke’s name that calm exterior would crack.
    I swallowed hard and sat up on my elbow. “Zeke Mitchell.”
    I could have lied, but somehow I knew he already knew the answer to his question. Lying would have made it worse, so instead, I was honest.
    It was dark in the room so I couldn’t see his reaction, but I’m sure it wasn’t good.
    “Why do you constantly ignore my rules, Patience? Where did your mother and I go wrong?”
    He sighed into the dark room when I didn’t answer his question. I knew it was a rhetorical question. Anything I said at this point was going to piss him off even worse.
    “You used to be such a good girl, but not so much anymore. I’m not very happy with this change.” He stood and adjusted his robe.
    I waited with bated breath for him to untie his robe and come to my bed, but instead, he walked across my room and opened my bedroom door. The light from the hallway spilled into my room and landed on his face. I could see his flushed cheeks and bloodshot eyes and I knew then he’d been drinking his expensive scotch. I loved that damn bottle of scotch. Whenever he drank he got tired, and once he fell asleep he was out for the night. It was beginning to look like I definitely would be getting some rest tonight.
    He turned to leave my room, but suddenly turned back toward me.
    “Stay away from that boy, Patience. I mean it. Stay away from him and that girl Megan. You have a car. I suggest you use it. I better not catch you around them again. Do you understand?”
    He didn’t even wait for my answer. My room went dark again as he shut my door. I heard his footsteps go down the hall to his office and then I heard his office door open and close. The office couch was where he slept most nights, so I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about him again. I closed my eyes and fell into a peaceful sleep.
    The next day I rode the bus to school. That was something I hadn’t done… ever, now that I think about it. Megan’s car was being worked on anyway, and I’d walk before I drove my car or asked my dad for a ride.
    The school day went by pretty fast and before I knew it, I was on the field practicing. I was sidetracked and missed a few goals, prompting my coach to lay into me about the importance of practicing and getting a good night’s sleep. I thought that was funny considering the night before I actually slept pretty damn good.
    I hitched a ride with my teammate, Casey, and had her drop me off at the Boy’s Club for my hour of volunteering. I knew I’d have to call my dad to get me and I remembered I wasn’t supposed to go around Zeke, but I’d made a commitment and I meant to follow through. If I had to jog all the way home I would.
    Casey drove like an eighty-year-old woman and by the time I made it the Boy’s Club I was already twenty minutes late. When I walked in, I was met once again with the loud echoes of the boys wilding out around the gym. I narrowly missed a basketball to the face as I made my way across the gym to my group and Zeke.
    My group wasn’t where they were supposed to be and I scanned the room until I found them. Tucked away in the corner behind the bleachers, Zeke was sitting in one of the small plastic chairs with his back to me. He was playing a guitar as

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