Janie’s Endless Hour
by Mike Martinez
Janie stood just inside the rusting screen door surveying the damage. It was another Friday and she was not about to be forced into doing all the chores again. This time it was worse than ever. Both her parents’ cars were gone which could only mean one thing, they expected her to clean the place up again. Not this time she thought to herself. They complained no matter how hard she cleaned and it was their mess to begin with. They would turn back into a wreck in no time at all.
What goes on here while I’m gone? Do they intentionally dirty every dish just so I have to play the maid? And, how did they manage to break the curtain rod too? She saw the bottle; they had been drinking that cheap wine again. The place was such a mess, and smelled like an ashtray. Janie wanted to cry but didn’t have the time. She had to pack her tote and her homework and get over to Gina’s before anyone got back.
Suddenly she heard the tires on the gravel drive. It was time to move, and fast. Janie made short work of packing as the front door creaked. Then she heard her father’s boots on the wood floor. He was staggering to the couch beer in hand as she slipped out the back. She was across the fence to Gina’s as she heard her parents begin another fight. Good thing she packed enough for the whole weekend.