The older sister walked over to the fridge and peaked inside. The last time she had eaten something was for breakfast, which was several hours ago. And in a half an hour she would have to go start her night shift, which meant she wouldn’t get to eat until morning. But as Dana peered into the fridge, she noticed they were getting low on food. They had a glass of milk left, one bag of ham and cheese, and a few slices of bread. The apple that was resting on the bottom shelf was starting to get wrinkled and brown, and the container of ice cream was falling apart. If Emily would just get a job they wouldn’t be fighting with food or bills. But being her stubborn, ornery self, Emily refused. With a tired and frustrated sigh, Dana closed the fridge. She decided not to eat anything because she wanted to make sure her irritating little sister had enough for supper. She would just go hungry and maybe have a granola bar at work.
“Alright, Em,” Dana began, grabbing her car keys. “I have to go back to work. I’ll be back before six to fix you breakfast.”
“Thanks,” Emily mumbled.
“Don’t go anywhere,” Dana pointed her car keys at her little sister. “I mean it. If you get picked up one more time, I’m done. Got it?”
“I get it!”
“Good.” Dana turned the loose doorknob and pulled the door open. “Love you.” And then she left.
Dana marched down the stairs and then outside to her car. She noticed a piece of paper blowing beneath her windshield wipers and so she cautiously walked over to inspect it.
“Please don’t be a ticket,” she prayed beneath her breath.
The girl gently pulled at the piece of paper and read it. $20 ticket for being parked in a no park zone. Dana quickly looked under her car and noticed that she was, in fact, parked over a cross zone. She angrily unlocked her car and yanked the door open. She balled up the ticket and threw it in the passenger seat to join the rest of her parking tickets. She fell into the driver’s seat and let her head fall onto the steering wheel.
“Shit,” the girl remarked. She gripped the steering wheel, getting her anger and frustration out on something. “Lord, help me,” she begged. “I can’t do this anymore.”
Filled with exhaustion, Dana pulled out of the parking lot and drove to the mall while Emily watched from their apartment window.