Chapter 4

"There, that should do it." The doctor told her.

Emily gingerly touched the white bandage on her nose. "I look like a freak."

"It'll help your nose heal." He assured her.

"I won't wear it." She protested, stubbornly.

The doctor just laughed and walked out of the room.

She rolled her eyes, knowing very well that she would have to suffer with the bandage that made her look like a clown. She hopped off the table and started home.

By the time she got home, it was 4:30. She opened the door quietly, hoping that her mother was still sleeping. No such luck. Her mother was sitting on the couch with Emily's best friend, Cassandra.

"Emmy!" Her mother exclaimed, jumping up from the couch and rushing to give her a hug. Her voice was dripping with fake concern, obviously a show for Cassandra.

"Are you okay? When you didn't come home last night I was so worried." Her mother kept pouring it on.

Emily looked from her mother to Cassandra and sighed. She didn't want to get into it with her mother. "Sorry," She mumbled.

"What happened to your nose?" Cassandra asked, suspiciously.

Emily looked at her mother, who was narrowing her eyes. "I fell down the stairs." She lied. It was becoming a habit for her. It was a lot easier than telling the truth. The painful truth.

Her mother's expression relaxed.

"I should get going, get better." Cassandra said, closing the door after her.

Emily knew that as soon as the door closed things would immediately change.

"What the hell do you think you were doing?" Her mother screeched, right on time. Emily winced and turned to face her mother. Her face, which had once been calm and loving, was now angry and panicked.

"Would you have come home if you were me?" Emily hissed, trying to maneuver around her so that she could go upstairs.

No such luck, her mother blocked her path and stared down at her in disgust.

"Maybe if you started behaving better!" She yelled.

"It's not about my behavior, it's about your drinking!" Emily yelled back.

"You've missed to much school, they're going to take you away."

"Anything is better than living here." Emily muttered.

"What was that?" She snapped.

"Nothing, nothing at all."

Her mother sat on the couch and suddenly looked drained. "I do my best…"

When Emily didn't reply, she went on. "I try to do right by you but it's so hard. What do you expect from me?" She whined. She looked up at Emily with pleading eyes.

For you to be a mother She silently answered. Instead, she shrugged. "Sorry,"

Her mother relaxed and her eyes closed.

Emily took that as a hint and quickly ran up the stairs and quietly closed her door.