Convincing Constance (The Blow Hole Boys)(3)

By: Tabatha Vargo

“He’s not my uncle, and I can’t believe you’re letting him stay here,” I growled.

I swore I’d never let my mom get me all pissed off again, but every time anyone referred to that bastard as my uncle it made my stomach sick.

“Here we go again,” she said with a sigh. “I don’t want to hear any of your shit, Constance. I need the help with the bills. I’ve already lost everything in the house. I refuse to lose the house, too. Are you staying?” Her cigarette stuck to her bottom lip and bounced with her words.

The long line of ash hung to the tip waiting to fall onto the bare hardwood floor beneath her feet. The black shirt she wore hung from one shoulder, revealing aging skin and a sagging tattoo. She stared me down with over-lined eyes as she waited for my response. My mother hadn’t aged gracefully. In fact, she clung to her youth with greedy hands. It was embarrassing.

When I didn’t respond, she walked across the room with her arms crossed in aggravation. Her thinning eighties hair bounced with her steps.

“Are you staying?” she asked again, putting emphasis on each word.

I’d heard her the first time, but I hoped if I didn’t respond, her idiotic idea would just go away. It didn’t look like I’d be that lucky.

“I just came for my shit and then I’m out of here.” I casually ignored her words since I knew that pissed her off more than responding.

“You’re a bitch. Do you know that? You’re nothing but a piece of shit just like your father. As a matter of fact, why don’t you go to hell with him?”

I continued to ignore her. She knew my dad was my weak spot, and all my life she never hesitated to hit me there. My father was the only person in my world who ever gave a flying fuck about me—at least until he left us when I was sixteen. He was the one that bought my first guitar and sat idly by while the guys in his band taught me how to play.

I left the room while she continued to talk about my dad like he wasn’t six feet under. Drug overdose… such a cliché way for a rocker to die. Being the daughter of the legendary lead singer of Black Daze, Clarke McClaire, everyone thought I was the golden child. They had no idea what went on behind closed doors.

My father couldn’t keep the white rabbit out of his nose, and my mom had no idea how to function without her “special cocktails” that supposedly helped her sleep. Needless to say, my childhood wasn’t the thing dreams were made of.

I made it to the front door with a duffle bag and a few lose items and she followed behind me.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she called out.

“I’m out of here. I’m spreading my wings,” I said as I pulled open my car door.

“You’ll be back. You need talent to go anywhere in this world, and you play for shit.”

With my middle finger in the air, I climbed into my beat-up Chevy Malibu and took off, leaving a trail of smoke behind me. Most girls in my position were left tons of money when their rock star daddy died. Not me, I was left with nothing but debt, with the debt collectors walking around my house taking anything of worth to prove it.

It wasn’t the worst thing I’d been through. At least I had my piece of shit car, the clothes on my back, and my guitar. That was all I needed.

The heat baked the side of my face as I made my way toward the middle of Los Angeles, back to the three-bedroom apartment I shared with KC and Shay. My fingers tapped the chords of the newest Chevelle song on my steering wheel.

Music was a part of me, had been since I was a baby. It was the only thing that hadn’t failed me—the only thing that didn’t hurt me. I could depend on music to be there when I needed to feel better. It dipped into my soul and awakened the free girl inside me.

I turned up the music to drown out the interstate noises and drama in my head. When I pulled back up to the apartment, there was already a party in full swing. I didn’t want to go in, but I didn’t have anywhere else to go.

“It’s about time your ass got here,” KC shouted over the music when I walked into the apartment.

Her dark hair was pulled into a messy bun and she sat with her legs crossed on the dirty shag carpet as she pinched a blunt between two fingers.

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