My front door opens.
My front door slams.
I open my eyes.
Tee chucks the television remote at my head and I duck just before it hits me. “What’s fucking wrong with you?” she screams. “What do you think Ma would say if she saw how you treated my husband?”
The word sounds dirty leaving her lips. It reminds me of crusted over dog crap.
The fact of the matter is, I’ve built up this theory that no man would ever be good enough for Tee and now that she’s gone and found a man, one that I don’t approve of, well, it’s sent me over the edges of craziness. “What do you think she’d say to you?” I lower my voice and move closer. “Huh, Teagan? Do you think she’d be fucking elated over this? I’m gonna go ahead and say no. She’d be just as pissed off as I am.”
Tee shakes her head. “No she wouldn’t.”
“Yes she would.”
“No she wouldn’t.”
“Yes she would.”
“No. She. Wouldn’t.” Now I’m screaming. “She wouldn’t Teagan Rhiannon Reilly! She would not!”
Tee clenches her jaw and barks back, throwing me a curve ball, “Oh and what do you think she’d say about you, Sean?” She takes a step forward and I take a step back. “Do you think she’d be proud that you got mixed up with Uncle Connie and all of his fucked up criminal bull shit?”
“Shut up about that!” I raise my voice. “I had no other choice Teagan and you know it!” I’m trying to take deep, steady breaths, but they’re coming out nasally. Raspy. “I made that choice for you little sister! For us! So that you wouldn’t know what it’s like to grow up without the only family you had left!”
But she goes on. I swear if I had a magical vacuum that could suck out Teagan’s only irritating trait, her nagging, I wish I had that vacuum right now. “Bull shit, brother! You had a choice! You made the wrong one!”
“What? You wanted the government to separate us? You wanted to go to a group home then bounce from foster home to foster home and hope that we might see each other again someday? Is that what you wanted, Teagan?”
She waves me off and stares at me incredulously. “You know it’s just like you to twist everything around.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I snarl. I’ve reached the point where my anger is bubbling. It’s hot lava beneath my skin. I swear I can see the magma protruding through my skin. I feel like at any minute I’m going to erupt.
“It means that you made your choice too quickly and rashly!” She storms toward the door and stops. “You could have figured something else out! Instead you fed into Uncle Connie’s bull shit and look where you’re at! You’re just like Da and where did he wind up, huh, Sean? Dead and buried leaving a wife and two small children!”
“Don’t you talk about Da—!”
“Don’t you try and tell me I can’t talk about him! Don’t you dare!” She cuts into me with her cat-like green eyes. “Don’t you forget that he was my father too!” Her nostrils flare and she reminds me so much of Ma. All of her little ticks remind me of my mother. The way she wrinkles her nose when she eats something she doesn’t like. The ways she chews on her lower lip when she’s thinking really hard about something. Sometimes it’s too hard to look at her. “I might have been young when he died, but he was my father too and I loved him!” She swallows hard and sighs. “You know what Ma would tell me if she were here, Seany? She’d tell me that I might have acted rashly. That I was way too young. That she might not respect my decision to get married. But she would say that she’d love Emerson like he was her own son because I’m her daughter and she loves me.” Tee opens the door to my condo. “I at least expected the same from you.”
Her comment feels like a punch to the gut and it makes my anger explode from inside of me. I’m so mad that I’m grinding my teeth and I can feel all of the veins in my neck pop out. I pace the length of the kitchen, more like storm across, and try to calm down, but it isn’t working.
It doesn’t help either.
With that, Tee exits, slamming my door and I do the only thing I know how to do to release all of my pent up aggression…
I shove my left fist right through my wall.