Your mom’s snores sound through the one room apartment you share, a familiar if somewhat irritating lullaby.
This summer has been not only hot but humid, oppressive and thick on your lungs. You’ve left the windows open–no fear seven stories up–but there is not even the slightest of breezes to alleviate the misery. Instead, the smell of weed and urine waft your way, and your nose wrinkles in disgust.
You’re writing an essay about a man long dead and cannot comprehend why this could possibly matter to your future.
Your goals are not so lofty or beautiful as to be considered dreams, but you one day want to have a stable, comfortable life. One satisfactory enough to share with your mom, one to show her how grateful you are and how much you love her. One in which she would be proud of you–and maybe a place with separate bedrooms and soundproofed walls.
Looking back, you realize that they were dreams: small and intimate, but still yours.
Now they’re as useless as that essay of a man long dead.
There’s a trick, you realize, to speaking to your aunt and it is, simply, this: make sure your victory is also hers.
There is no winning an argument against her, she’s a DA by nature and by trade–though the letters stand for different things entirely–but she is witty and sharp and, in this strange existence your father has doomed you to, fun in a reckless sort of way.
She is, oddly enough, the most stable thing in your life right now and you appreciate it. Being a teenager is already tough without throwing in existential crises on death and the afterlife and religious, supernatural heritages.
Last year, your biggest concern was whether or not you had enough lunch money for the week.
This year it’s trying to figure out what massacre will happen and if you can possibly prevent it.
Probably not–you’ve tried before, is the thing, and have yet to succeed–but maybe fate is exactly like your aunt.
You don’t need to overpower fate, you just need to outmaneuver it.