An only child lived in a house in the woods. Her parents were young– the youngest of their friends to be a mommy and a dad. They weren’t cut out for parenting. They knew that, but not until after they had her. That’s why she was an only.
They were cut out for routine. They were cut out for parties and a local bar called Casper’s. They were cut out for laughing with their friends, sometimes at her expense. They were cut out for hard work. They were cut out for relaxing, reading, gardening, fishing, cooking, house projects, and taking care of the elderly aunt and uncle down the road when they called either because auntie had taken the car out again and uncle didn’t know where she was, or because they had run out of gin, or because one or the other had fallen down the stairs, however begrudgingly.
They wanted to be wonderful parents. They wanted to ski and ride horses, so, so did she. They told her that she could tell them anything as long as she always told the truth. They wanted to be hippies for a while, so she was naked around their house in the woods a lot. They went to buy milk from the dairy farm up the road. Then they baked their own bread. There were curtains where most houses had cabinet doors. The curtains were blue, a meadow scene, lots of daisies.
After they were hippies they were yuppies. She wore suits to work. He complained about his staff. They made money. There were cabinets with doors and family portraits with delicately placed gold chains with sweet pendants and a lot of consideration of hand placement. There was Nivea lotion to chase away signs of aging. There was Jim Beam and there were visits from family on Christmas or Easter or her birthday sometimes.
She grew. She had more freedom. They were well cut out for allowing her more freedom. She wasn’t lonely when she was with boys. It would turn out that always telling the truth wasn’t a sure thing. She stopped telling the truth. She got her own birth control. They didn’t like her boyfriend who was twenty-six. She did. He raped her and she decided to like him even more because if she loved him then what he did wouldn’t be rape and her parents would still be wrong.
She got on a Peter Pan bus. She put a box of pots and pans in the cargo hold below the seats. Her dad dropped her off and she left to live with her rapist. It wasn’t lonely living with him in the same way as lonely had been before. It was carefree.