The Only Exception

I can hear all their thoughts. I can’t take it anymore. I want the voices to stop. I hear them all. “Mickey,” I heard someone scream my name. I know that voice. I turned around to see Jordan running from across the street. Her golden brown hair glistened in the California sun. She was wearing a blue jersey dress and brown cowboy boots.  I loved that dress on her. Sometimes I wonder how she ended up with a guy like me. Jordan was beautiful, smart, ad kind. She was also studying to be a lawyer at Stanford University and was on the top of her class.

I was a high school drop-out working as a mechanic at Jorge’s Auto body shop.  My father had left my mother when I was 13, so I had to find a job and help pay the bills. Then, mom got sick, so I became the only bread winner and had to quit school.  Jorge is my mother’s best friend and he took me under his wing after father left. He showed me how to fix cars and gave me a job. I owe him everything.  Right now I can’t afford to go to college but I’m hopeful that one day I will. I want to be a writer. I had won awards in school for my poems and short stories. I even got one of my stories published in the local newspaper.

However, I did some stupid things that I will regret for the rest of my life. When father left, I was so angry. I couldn’t believe he did that to us; leaving us broke and all alone. I got in trouble in school for getting into fights, disrespecting teachers, and stealing food. Initially, they had suspended me three times during my freshmen year in high school and gotten detention so many times that I’ve lost count.  I met Jordan while putting in the hours for community service at the school garden.  She was wearing that same blue jersey dress and her hair was blonde then. I’m not into blondes so I didn’t pay much attention to her. Nevertheless, I just wanted to do what I had to do and go home. To my surprise, however, she came up to me while I was trying to avoid stepping on this huge slug while trying to dump the fertilizer into the rolling cart.

“What’s a guy like you gardening?” she asked. I was so startled that I slip and fell back onto the slug.

“Ah, gross!” I yelled.

“I’m so sorry. Let me help you.” She said.

“I think you’ve done enough,” I scolded at her. When I saw her face I regretted how I acted towards her. Of course, she didn’t mean for me to get all covered in dirt.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be cross with you.” I told her.

“Its okay” she smiled. “Let’s start over, okay. My name is Jordan.” she said. “Nice to meet you, Jordan.  I’m Mickey,” I responded.  We spent the day talking about ourselves, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. I hadn’t laughed in a long time and that was the highlight of my day. I had to work after school and wouldn’t be home till 12pm.  That night everything changed.

There was a gas leak in the stock room. I had smelled the pungent smell while on my way to lunch.  I went inside to check it out. Then the door got stuck and I couldn’t get out. No one could hear me because Tommy had the radio blasting. I banged on the door while screaming my lungs out. The smell over-powered me and I passed out. The next thing I knew I was in the emergency room.  I could hear voices. When I opened my eyes I saw my mom sitting on a chair next to my hospital bed. She was crying. “Oh my poor baby” I heard her say but her lips didn’t move. “Mom” I said.  “Oh, honey!” she yelled out.  “Thank you, Jesus!” I heard her say but I noticed this was not said out-loud. I can hear her thoughts.  No, that’s not possible I thought to myself.  Suddenly, a doctor walked in checking his blackberry.  “Tonight, I’m cheating on my wife with a 21 year old” I heard him think. No way, I thought. I can hear their thoughts.  I thought I was going crazy.  Mother saw the crazed expression on my face and I knew what she was going to say before she said it. “Is he going to be okay? He doesn’t look so good.” She asked the doctor. The doctor came closer to me and smiled. I got a look at his name tag which read, Dr. Skye.  Am I okay? I wondered. “We are going to run more tests on him but everything looks well, though” Dr. Skye told my mother.  “Thank you so much” she cried.  “They just cut off the lights-he forgot to pay the electric bill. My poor baby.” I heard my mother think. Shoot! I did forget to go pay the electric bill. I had been hanging with Jordan that I totally forgot my responsibilities.

I looked at my mother to tell her that I was sorry but her eyes glazed over and she dropped to the floor. All the color had drained from her face.  It was so scary how her eyes just rolled back like that.  “Mom,” I yelled. She didn’t get up. Dr. Skye had yelled for a nurse and they took my mother away. As Dr. Skye walked out I heard him say in his mind; “looks like leukemia.” I just heard his thoughts again. I must be crazy.  My mother has leukemia?! Then I heard them all. All those voices and thoughts integrating in my mind and I couldn’t handle it. “Make them stop!” I screamed. I think I had a breakdown of some sort because nurses came in and forced me down to inject a tranquilizer. Everything faded to black and the voices stopped.


Minerva Rapter’s Leprechaun

I lay in my bed, in the dark, twisting and turning because my back was causing me so much pain. I guess, I pulled a muscle or something. Finally, around one in the morning, I fell asleep. A loud noise woke me up two hours later. It was so dark and cold. My back still hurt and I heard a tiny squeaky voice laughing. It seemed like it was coming from my living room. I thought it might be a kid, but why would a kid be in my living room? I wondered. I wasn’t married, I didn’t have a kid, and I didn’t have any siblings. My parents were on their annual vacation to the Bahamas and I was left here at home all by myself. They had asked me to go with them, but I had just started my new job, at a trendy boutique, called Foals Perk, so I couldn’t go with

I heard more noise and that squeaky laughter again. As I pulled myself out of bed, the cold floor shocked me like lighting running through my veins. I didn’t really want to move any further, but I knew I had too. There was someone in my house. I grabbed my metal baseball bat and slowly opened my bedroom door. I peered to see if I could spot the intruder but I couldn’t see anybody. I realized that it had become very quiet; a very scary silence that seriously gave me goosebumps down my spine. However, I took hold of my bat with all the courage I could muster and stepped into the hallway. Slowly, I walked towards my living room taking in consideration of my surroundings. When I got to the living room I was flabbergasted to see that it was in complete chaos. Everything was over-turned and thrown everywhere. I turned on the light and that’s when I really got scared. Our Italian leather couch was slashed like it had been devoured by a wild animal. Our coffee table lay broken in half and magazines ripped about and scattered everywhere. I felt the hairs on my neck cringe and I knew somebody was behind me, but I couldn’t see them in my peripheral vision.

“Who’s there!”, I yelled. Then the lights went out. I heard that squeaky scary laugh again. I have a weapon, I said.

“That’s no match for me”, someone responded in a squeaky harsh voice. Then something grabbed my leg and pulled me down. “AAAAAAAAAh!”, I heard myself scream. I saw a small figure looming a few feet away from me laughing in that same high-pitched voice. “What do you want?!” I yelled. The shrill laughter grew louder and my heart was beating so fast I thought it would explode. The figure started walking towards me and I couldn’t move. By its size, you’d think it was a small child, but when it grabbed my leg I knew it wasn’t a child. It was strong. I just lay there frozen as it got closer. It had something in its hands. It looked like a small pouch. It opened the bag, and a golden light erupted from it. I screamed in horror as I got a look at the face of the intruder. Its face was so gross. It was like somebody had thrown acid on its face. It was wearing a red square-cut coat, richly laced with gold, and cocked hat, shoes and buckles. It had green eyes; they had evil in them. When it saw my disgusted expression, it smiled and I saw its rotten sharp black teeth.

“Get out!” I yelled at it.

“Now, Sarah, I can’t do that,” it responded. It knew my name.

“How do you know my name?” I asked.

“No matter, No matter” it said. You must help me find me gold it said.

“Why would I help you?” I screamed

“You want to see ye parents again, you will help me find me gold!” it scolded.

“What did you do to my parents?!” I yelled at it. It laughed, but this time it was harsher and colder. Suddenly, to my surprise it ambushed me and dug very sharp nails into my arms.

“You will help me find me gold or I’ll kill everyone you love” it growled at me, and before I could speak it disappeared in a dark mist. I woke up the next morning hoping it was all a bad dream. The horror of last night was vivid in my mind and I kept seeing its face. “You will help me find me gold”, played in my ear like a broken record and I wondered why it specifically wanted me to help it find its gold. My parents! What did it do to my parents?! It wasn’t a dream. I looked at my arms and there were the scars from when it had dug its nails into my arms.

Chapter 1: The Perfect Happy Family

The Perfect Happy Family:

Chapter 1


My father, the celebrity plastic surgeon and doctor, Harrison Monroe, is a doctor by day and a drag queen by night. We rarely see him because he works about a hundred hours per week; traveling to his high profile clients’ parties and check-ups. He’s also authorized to perform Botox injections, so you know that living here in California, the land of beautiful people- business is always booming. He’s always been an ambitious man; having a doctor’s degree, being a star athlete in high school and college, and marrying a former supermodel, and my mother, Bonnie Cousteau.

My mother, Bonnie Cousteau, is a former supermodel, who is the epitome of a rag to riches story. She was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother was an alcoholic and she never knew her father. Her mother would bring an abundance of strange men into their rat infested apartment and sleep with them for money. On one very cold night in December of 1979, my mother was raped by a guy her mother had been sleeping with for a while. Her mother was passed out from a reckless binge drinking night while she was getting raped. She told her mother what had happened but she didn’t believe her. She accused her of stealing her man and kicked her out the house. Distraught and confused, my mother went to live with her grandmother, Natalia Cousteau, in Queens, New York.

Natalia Cousteau was a seamstress and owned her own bakery. She did everything she could for my mother. She even enrolled her into a modeling school in Manhattan. People always told her she should become a model and one day at the mall she was discovered by an agent when she was 15. In a few years, she became the IT Girl. She graced the covers of numerous fashion magazines and walked the catwalks of France, New York, London, and Italy by the time she was 21. She owned the catwalk. Everyone knew her name and designers loved her. However, the pressures of staying thin, young, and beautiful got to her. She started doing drugs; mostly heroin and marijuana. When she was 23 she accidentally overdosed on cocaine at a high profile party thrown by a top designer. That’s where she met my father, Harrison. He was the one that saved her life.

He took care of her during her time at the hospital. Natalia had died a few years back of cancer and she didn’t even know where her mother was. At first, my father had-had a bet with his other doctor friends that he would get in her pants. Nevertheless, after dating her for a while and getting to know her; he fell in love with her. To the contrary, my mother wasn’t a big fan of relationships and love. She liked having sex with different men every night and smoking weed with her model friends. She loved her glamorous life; the clothes, the money, the parties, the jewelry, and the champagne. Despite her reluctance to settle down with a man, Harrison was not one to give up. He sent her thousands of sunflowers, which were her favorite, and did everything he could to make her fall in love with him. Eventually his charm wore her down and they dated for a while. They broke up a few times because my mother cheated on him twice but he always took her back. Finally, they got married and had their first child, my brother, James, in 1990. I then came 2 years later and was named after my father’s great-grandmother, Lisabella, because she was the one who had inspired him to become a doctor. In 1995, we moved to Malibu, California because father had accepted an offer for a head surgeon position at UCLA. A few years later, he successfully established his own plastic surgery facility.

James and I had a very entertaining and strict lifestyle growing up. We had everything we wanted and more. We crossed the world in our own personal jet to France just because we wanted to. We rarely saw our father though because he was always at work. I guess that’s why my mother did the things she did. She made sure we looked our best even when going to bed. Our hair had to be perfect, our teeth had to be blinding white, and we always wore designer clothes. We had to be perfect in everything. We had to wake up everyday at 4 in the morning to exercise because she didn’t want us to get fat. Subsequently, after our exercise routine we would have to clean the house even though we had people that did that for us. Mother was anal about having the house clean. You would never think anyone lived in our house because it was spotless. In regards to school, only A’s and B’s were acceptable and we had to play sports or be in an extra-curricular activity. James followed in our father’s footsteps and joined the football team. He became captain his sophomore year; talk about star athlete! I joined the soccer team but mother wasn’t too happy about that. She wanted me to be a cheerleader and gave me so much grief about it.

Soccer is a man’s game darling she told me. She wanted me to be primp little princess in a cheerleading outfit just looking cute. She didn’t understand that I didn’t want to be like her. I didn’t want to be a Barbie nor a trophy to any man. I wanted to study law and become a lawyer someday. I wanted to play soccer and I did and I was good at it. After winning the championship game my freshmen year and becoming captain, she gave in only because I was a star athlete now. It was all about status with her. You had to be somebody or she would not talk to you.

Life was good until it wasn’t. My parents started to fight a lot; mostly about dad working so much. They started sleeping in different rooms when I was nine. I dreaded that meeting where they would tell me and James that they would be separating; particularly because mother did not cook nor clean. No one ever wants to hear that their parents are divorcing. I mean I had friends that their parents weren’t together and I saw how difficult it was for them. Shuffling back and forth from parent to parent would be a jarring transition for me. I didn’t want to be one of those kids. I just couldn’t handle it because I liked how things were and never wanted things to change. Somehow by some miracle that meeting never occurred. Things did get weird though. Each of us fell into our own darkness but yet we were still a family, I suppose. We had family dinner parties, we laughed together, we traveled together, and we cried together. Nonetheless, we kept up with our disguise to our community. Mother would always lie about her upbringing. She would say that she grew up with her grandmother in the upper east side of Manhattan, when talking to the other high maintenance housewives, at their weekly manicure and pedicure bash. She started cheating on my father when I was 12 years old. I caught her having sex with Mr. Dooley when I came from piano lessons one day. Mr. Dooley was a young man of about 27 years of age who married a filthy rich cougar named Veronica Constance. Mrs. Constance had inherited her millions from her five ex-husbands whom are rumored to have mysteriously died.

I had run up the stairs, to mother’s bedroom to tell her that I had been granted the headline act for the talent show. When I got to her bedroom door, I heard strange noises and sounds. As I opened the door, I saw them there in her bed naked. I’m still traumatized. She screamed when she saw me and yelled at me to go to my room. After she got Mr. Dooley out the house, she came into my room and made up some lie about what they were doing.

Honey, me and Mr. Dooley were just playing a game she said to me. She actually thought I was stupid enough to believe that calumny. I knew what sex was and what I saw them doing was definitely sex. I couldn’t believe she cheated on my father. She bribed me with money and extending my curfew to keep me quiet. Truth is, shamefully so, I did blackmail her for many years. I didn’t feel bad about it because in my head she was the only that was being erroneous. That isolated incident really messed me up. Like I said before each of us fell into our own darkness when we moved here. Malibu changed us for the worse and we were oblivious to the fact that we were falling apart.

Mother promised me she wouldn’t have another indiscretion but I didn’t believe her. She cheated on my father many other times. She thought I didn’t know that I knew what she really was doing when she said she was just going out for a bit. Darling, I’m going out for a walk she told me one October night. I didn’t want her to go because I would be home alone. James was at football practice and dad was at work like always. Our nanny, maid, and cook were available for my bidding but I knew my mother was up to no good. Can’t you stay? I need help with my math homework. I pleaded. I really didn’t need help; I had the highest grade in class. I just didn’t want her to cheat on my dad again even if it was just only for this night. You know I’m not good in math, darling my mother responded with a petulant expression on her face.

Then she walked out the door in her gold Manolo Blahnik strappy sandals and red Dolce and Gabanna halter dress. I decided to follow her that night to confirm my suspicions. She didn’t stray too far from our house; just a couple of blocks down to Mr. Mathew Quinn’s house. Mathew Quinn was a successful movie producer and was also married to an oil heiress, from India named, Sane Sahib. Sahib’s car wasn’t there so I knew this wasn’t good. As I watched my mother go up the marble steps I fought the urge to tackle her down and stop her from ringing that bell. She had a gorgeous silhouette and I envied her for that. Even though she was in her late forties; she looked like she was in her late twenties. I mean guys thought I was hot in school but when they saw my mom I was just her shadow. Mr. Quinn opened the door on the first ring and they immediately started making out. When they got inside, they really went at it like teenagers. I felt sick. I couldn’t believe she would do this to my father; to our family. That’s when I saw James. He had gotten out of a car and there was this man with him.

I had a good time tonight the man told James. Yeah, it was great James smiled at the man. At first I wasn’t sure what I was witnessing, then to my shock James started to make out with the man. I couldn’t believe my eyes! My brother was a gay. I mean I didn’t see this coming. How could I have not known? Nobody could have seen this coming. He had brought girls over and I knew he wasn’t a virgin. This was too much for one night and I had gotten weirdly ravenous during this escapade. I slid away from my hiding place behind the bushes from across the street and ran all the way home.

Short Story 5: Black and White Reruns

Black and White Reruns


I saw her staring at me from her 5th floor apartment window.  Abruptly, I lost my balance on the curb and fell backwards onto the street. I lay there for a while nursing my head. When I finally decided to get up; I looked up to the window again, but she was gone. It was a cold Saturday night and I walked home with a heavy heart.

As I walked home, my mind re-played the events that happened that day. I had found out where my run-away good for nothing mother had been living since she had left me when I was only 3 years old. I had been pacing in my apartment, a few times, rehearsing what I would say to her. Eventually, I had put on my leather jacket and walked out the door. Her address wasn’t hard to find; for she only lived a mile away from mine. I was sweating profusely by the time I was standing in front of her door.  I stood there for a while. I thought I was going to black-out. spaceballilovelucy

“Get a grip!” I told myself. I knocked at her door. She opened after several minutes. When she saw me, it was like the color drained from her face. We stood there looking at each other in that inevitable awkward moment. Then to my surprise she smiled. “Come in,” she gestured. Her apartment smelled off cinnamon and tobacco. It was also very messy. She had magazines and books scattered everywhere. I was about to sit down on one of her brown leather sofas but she stopped me. “Don’t bother, this will be a quick visit” she said.  It was quick. She told me that she never wanted to have children. I was just an unfortunate mistake. She said she was sorry but she could never be a mother to me and then she kicked me out. I had pictured this encounter in a totally different way. I didn’t even say a word to her. I just walked out.

I fell asleep on my leather brown sofa that night with clothes and all. I woke up early to black and white reruns. It’s a shame that it wasn’t a dream.  “I hate you!” escaped from my mouth. I couldn’t believe she jilted me like that. The recollections I had of that day faded as the day progressed. I really didn’t cry much. I guess the bottle of Grey Goose numbed my pain. I took a cold shower even though it was 20 degrees outside. I wanted to feel something different. In the kitchen, I made myself an egg, ham, and cheese sandwich and planted my self on the couch as the colors faded from my reality. As the black and white rerun faded to black, so did I.

Short Story 4: Beauty of the Breakdown

officeromanceBeauty of the Breakdown


I fall once again on my already bruised knees. “Why do you cry?” he asks me with his hazel eyes piercing into my eyes. I try not to seem bitter when I respond to his facetious remark. “I’m alright, bloody hell-I’m a mess,” I say with a smile on my face.  He didn’t seem to hear what I said and just walked away. How could he deny me so vehemently? I wonder. I got tired of fighting the tears and left myself be unrestrained.  Somehow, I thought I would completely fall apart or even actually go insane but it was genuinely peaceful. 

It is hard for me to let go of things or people. I’m still yearning for that connection that we lost a long time ago. He found somebody new and parades her around the office like the lead monkey in a circus. Many people advised me that it was foolish to fall for a guy at work, but as the rebel that I am-I did not listen to the warnings. When it blew in my face there was nobody to put out the fire in my heart. I acted like I didn’t care that he cheated on me with a younger woman. Nevertheless, everyone knew I was going to break sooner or later. They wondered. They stalked me with their eyes and haunted me in the bathroom. It was longer than I thought. Months passed and still I kept up appearances.

My roommate Stacy would liquor me up every night. “Drink up baby now-numb the pain,” she would tell me. I would adhere to her request and drink shot after shot of tequila. After getting wasted, I would jump in the pool and think what a tragedy my life was. These mess-ups keep happening like I don’t know what I’m doing. Sixteen years of dating and I have nothing to show for it. Have I not learned anything?! Am I not worthy of love? The pain he caused ran deep like a knife through my skin. I wished I could carve out my heart so it wouldn’t hurt me no more.

One day at the beach, I lay in the sand contemplating my assassination by way of drowning at sea. Obviously, I wasn’t going to go through with it. Suddenly, an epiphany, my realization was vivid. Everything that I had been holding in since that horrific day came out my mouth in screams. I screamed so much that I literally lost my voice and then it started to rain. After the rain stopped, the sun came out and I looked to the sky to see a newly formed rainbow. I hadn’t seen a rainbow in such a long time. It was magnificent. I had to comply with its beauty. I was so afraid of my feelings but that day I learned that there is a beauty in a breakdown.

Hello world and Welcome to the Daily Tales Of Minerva Rapter!

Short story 1: Loveless in New Jersey
People come. People go. I’ve come to make up excuses for the lack of a social life. Some people may categorize me as being just shy. I’m not really shy. I am perfectly able to articulate and express my thoughts. However, sometimes I just get these severe panic attacks or get really excited for no apparent reason. It just gets so awkward and frustrating when I get that way. I hate to blush so I get all mad when I think a guy is cute because I can’t and don’t take rejection well. Then, of course, this pet peeve of mine backfires and then guys think I’m mean.

High school was a nightmare but I guess thousands maybe millions of people will agree with my sentiments. I never felt like I belonged because I was so different. I didn’t have money to keep up with the latest trends, so obviously I wasn’t “cool.” I had acquaintances not friends. Guys didn’t find me attractive and reminded me of it every day. They called me “ugly, monster, monkey, he-she”, and many other cruel names. I’ve always been insecure though. All the guys I’ve ever liked since my first crush in 4th grade have rejected me. Sad, right? I’m 21 and never been on a date or had a boyfriend. Infinite humiliation, pain, and anger that weighs my heart down like an elephant on a string. I can blame it on my father who never let me hang out with boys; hence my inability to interact with them and understand them. I can blame myself for letting myself be influenced by his ignorance.
I should have, I would have, I could have but I never did anything. I let myself be socially oppressed by the ignorant beliefs of my father. I don’t even talk to my father; he’s a stranger to me. I know that he was just trying to be a good father and keep me out of trouble, but the consequences of his strict discipline emotionally scarred me. I don’t let anybody in because I’ve been hurt too many times. I have no real good friends so I have to hang out with my sixteen year old sister. How pathetic?! I cry about it all the time. Many times I have contemplated suicide only to realize my own cowardice. I haven’t changed much since becoming a young adult; I think I’ve gotten more unfavorable.
I get mad at myself for liking a guy because the fear of humiliation and rejection torments me. There are contacts on my phone but they rarely call me. I’m the fool always calling hoping for an invitation to party, movies, something… People come and go out our lives everyday. Some we cherish, others we forget, and some just linger. Many people have come and gone out my life and I have yet to cherish one. Loveless in New Jersey-that’s my headline. I got troubled thoughts and the low self-esteem to match. What a catch.

Lies in my head

Short Story 3: Lies in My head

I am sorry. I have been regretful for the most part of my life. Constantly dreading what tomorrow will bring because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Sometimes I feel like my life is a reception of lies where the truth seems to lay hidden in maze. I can’t seem to find my way back to that time when I knew who I was. Nevertheless, I got to hither and yon in search for an answer to my many questions.

My insecurities keep me perplexed and oppressed while I stare at myself in the mirror. I ponder why I haven’t met the right guy. Why can’t I be the beautiful one instead of the hot girl’s friend? I just want to be in love with somebody. People tell me to be myself and I’ll find somebody, but I’m 21 and never been on date, never been kissed, and never had a boyfriend. In my head, the word, ugly, swarms my mind causing my heart to explode with pain. The tears run down my face like waterfalls and I fall to my knees like in a dramatic scene in a love flick. I’m not a drinker but when I get like this the two Bacardi Mojito wine coolers sit nicely in my stomach, warm.lies
Passed out in my bed, I wake up to the sound of pots in the kitchen. Mother must be making dinner about now. This depression has me confined to filthy clothes, messy dry hair, and ghastly breath. I spend most of my time in my head rambling on about the many things that are wrong with my life. I seriously need to get out of my head! I get these sick thoughts in my mind like thinking somebody is monitoring my every move so that they could manipulate me. I am crazy, right?! Late at night, when hormones are at their climax I fantasize about an unidentified man in my head. In my dreams, I dance with the devil and drink with the demons. They tell me, “just be pretty but naïve and anything you hear is what you believe.”

Black circles around my eyes because I can no longer sleep. My mind keeps haunting me with the lies that keep me a prisoner in the unknown. I grind my teeth and try to fight this corruption with a twist of my tongue, I challenge my mind. I find myself again looking at myself in the mirror but I don’t recognize the person looking back at me. It’s the coming before the storm and death lies in my bed undressed and says, “Just be pretty but naïve and anything you hear is what you believe.” So begrudgingly, I succumb to the lies in my head.

The Perfect Happy Family

hpShort Story 2: The Perfect Happy Family

People in my town assume that we are this perfect happy family because my father is this big shot doctor who married a supermodel and had two beautiful, popular, and smart children. However, things are never what they seem. We might be the “Joneses” but we are definitely not this perfect happy family.
Father may be this successful doctor who’s married to a former supermodel, but at night he dresses like a woman and smokes pot. Mother is a former supermodel who walked the catwalks of France, London, Italy, and New York. She also graced the cover of numerous fashion magazines. Now she cheats on her husband with various men from our neighborhood, which can be presumed to be also married. My brother, the popular football captain, is secretly a homosexual. He sneaks out to gay clubs on Friday nights to have sex with other men and also do drugs. He can never tell my parents because they will disown him and kick him out. If people knew what he was; his life would be over. I’m the normal one, I suppose. I mean I have my secrets but nothing overly-dramatic.
I know my family’s secrets but they are oblivious to each other. They keep up appearances, as do I, because we can’t afford to unveil our disguise. Smiles pasted on our faces like dummies we greet the neighbors and share neighborhood gossip. We buy and stay up with the latest trends. We drive expensive cars, use high-tech phones, and wear designer clothes. Nevertheless, behind closed doors each of us falls into our own darkness. My parents haven’t slept in the same room since I was 9. I’m 17 now.
Come Christmas time, we will throw our annual Christmas party with all its glamour. Father will joke around with the other suburban fathers; while planning to borrow my mother’s Manolo Blahniks for tonight’s rendezvous. Mother would be gossiping to the other suburban housewives about the latest neighborhood scandal; while contemplating whose husband she would have sex with tonight. My brother would be making out with an unidentified man in his room and nobody would know. That is if no one yet again wants to praise him for winning the championship game. A picture will be taken of us together with our pasted dummy smiles while the other families envy my “perfect happy family.” The camera man aims and we say, “Cheese!”