"Meaningless! Meaningless"

says the Teacher.

"Utterly Meaningless!

Everything is meaningless."

-Ecclesiastes 1:2

I think that Marshall and Shelby were afraid to leave me alone. That, of course, could only mean one thing: they knew where I had got my cuts. Did they plan on making me a pity case? The thought made me sick. I didn't want charity. I wanted to know what's missing. It certainly wasn't charity or pity. What could I say though? I didn't want to be rude. These people were paying my bills. That could also make me indebted to them. I was beginning to hat4 my options more and more. "Y'all don't have to stay," I told them drinking the juice that had come with my dinner.

Shelby smiled. "We want to stay dear. But if you'd like…we could call your family."

"Ha!" I barked taking another drink. "As if anyone in that house cares. I'd be surprised if they even noticed I'm gone yet."

"Why wouldn't they care? They're your family aren't they?"

"If you mean we share DNA, then yes. They could be called my family. Somehow though, I don't think that's what you meant."

Shelby didn't know what to say to that. Of course, I knew I had been maybe a little rude, but she had asked the question. This is the truth of it. My family isn't a family. We don't care about each other. You fend for yourself. The only thing we do is share a house. It's not even that great of a house. I mean if I came down to attempting suicide then do you think we were all that great of people? Mom walked out on us when I was three.

That was about the time when my dad remarried. That was also about the same time that life started to deteriorate…quickly. His new wife, Whitney, seemed very nice and sweet. Of course, I now affectionately call her Jezebel. It's the one character from the Bible that I know very well. Jezebel, the woman who brought idols and ruin to the people that she became queen too. That's Whitney in a nutshell, except it wasn't idols that she brought. She brought. She brought her brother and his friends…and their business. If you haven't guessed what it is, then I won't tell you.

"I could let you call them," I mused. "Maybe then you'd understand my lack of feeling towards my blood relations."

"I'm sure they're not all that bad," Shelby said putting her hand gently on my shoulder.

"You keep thinking that too." I muttered.

"So what's your home phone?" I managed to remember the string of numbers that I never used or even cared to recall most times and waited for poor Shelby to have a terrible wake up call.

I didn't have to wait long either. It was only a few moments before someone answered the phone. From the look on Shelby's face, they weren't being very polite either. I could even guess who it was and what was most likely being said. It was probably the man who spawned me. He was probably raging on calling me a whore, a slut, a druggie, a fucking waste of time who needed to get her ass back to the house no matter what condition she was in or else he would be likely to strangle her on sight. That's my family for you.

There are no limits. It doesn't matter. No limits are needed. No rules are required. What would be the point of them? They would get blow by anyways. We have other things on our minds.

Shelby seemed to sit on the phone forever, barely getting anything in before she finally hung up dazed. "I do believe that I told you so would be the right terms, wouldn't it?" I asked.

"Oh Ruth, you poor child," Shelby said, and before I knew it, she had enfolded me in a hug.

"Why do you care?" I demanded pushing away. "It doesn't matter. It's always been like that. It always will be. Nothing will change. It's just the way things are."