‘Geraldine! Open the door. Please, let me explain.’
‘Go away, Mum! I don’t want to talk to you.’
‘Please understand, Geraldine. I had to do it.’
‘That’s just so lame.’ Geraldine rolled her eyes. ‘You’re pathetic.’
Geraldine’s mobile phone played her favourite Red-Hot Chili Peppers song: Nobody Weird like Me. She grabbed her iridescent purple phone from the bed and checked the caller ID. Crystal’s photo appeared on the screen. ‘Hi, Crystal, I’m not really in the mood to talk.’
‘Geraldine, what’s going on? I was about to knock on your front door when I heard you screaming.’
‘Where are you now?’
‘At your front gate. Where are you?’
‘In my bedroom, but…’
‘I’ll come around to your window.’
Geraldine was about to argue but realized Crystal had rung off. By the time she opened the window Crystal was outside waiting.
To Geraldine’s relief, Crystal kept her voice quiet. ‘So, are you going to tell me what’s going on?’
Geraldine turned and threw herself back onto the bed. ‘I can’t believe she did it.’
‘Did what?’ Crystal raised her voice to a hoarse whisper to be heard from where she stood in the garden.
‘She threw Dad out.’
Crystal climbed through the window. ‘He’s been drinking again?’
‘Just because he likes a drink after work…’ Geraldine bit her lip and paused. ‘It wasn’t his fault that he hit her last night.’ She began to cry.
‘Hey, girl, you can’t possibly think he should stay if he’s hitting her.’
‘But, he’s my dad and it’s his home too.’
Geraldine’s best friend sat beside her and put an arm around her shoulder. ‘Do you remember when my mother threw my dad out?’
‘That’s different, Crystal; he was beating you and your brother. I remember going to the hospital with you when he broke your arm.’
‘Like, before that, he was hitting my mother. She used to hide out the backyard until he fell asleep, but then he started beating us instead. Yes, Geraldine, that’s why she threw him out, but do you think your mother is going to wait for that to happen to you? Your mother knows what we went through.’
There was a gentle knock on the bedroom door and Geraldine accepted a tissue from Crystal to wipe her eyes.
Her mother’s voice was croaky. ‘Geraldine, can we talk?’
‘OK Mum. Just a minute.’
Crystal gave her Geraldine a quick hug before she climbed back out the window. As she waved goodbye, Geraldine took a deep breath before opening the door.
© Chrissy Siggee