I could still hear my mom yelling at me from the kitchen, Maddy! Come clear these tables, please! It was the early dinner lunch rush at the diner, so it was packed as usual. Every afternoon after school, I’d start my shift at Maddy’s, and every afternoon I got picked on over the fact I worked at a place that shared my name. I mean, it wasn’t my fault that my grandmother had such a huge impact on my family; kids were just mean.
Regardless of all of their mocking, I still came in after school and set all of the unoccupied tables and sat down in my designated “homework booth” that my parents made for me. It was set in the back near the kitchen and it was the perfect little nook. Complete with an outlet for my mom’s laptop, a printer in case I needed to print anything, and a booth that opened up like a chest, so I could keep my backpack out of the way. My favorite part though, was the window that overlooked the little strip we were on. This way, I could watch the outside world and all of the animals scattering around… although, I wasn’t necessarily allowed to keep the curtains open if I had a lot going on.
For a kid who gets easily distracted, working next to a window was definitely a no-go, but it was my favorite booth designed just for me. After all, how many twelve-year-old’s can say they have their own booth in a diner specifically for them? As far as they’re concerned, they can all suck eggs.
I mean, the last time I reached out and tried to make friends, it didn’t go so well. She was nice to me, until she wasn’t. She broke my trust and I wasn’t really able to recover—I never had time to. I just kept pushing past it. Reading was more important, school was more important, better yet, moving on was more important. So, I did.
My parents always seemed concerned that I never had friends with me, they always asked what happened to “whatshername”, but I just didn’t care to get close to anyone. Everyone thought I was weird for staying at home, but they just didn’t know how hard school was for me. No wonder my booth was my little sanctuary; it’s the one place I didn’t feel like the weird kid.
Yet, three years later, my parents decided to sell it. I can still remember just how devastated I was. “How could you?!” I screamed and yelled at them, I couldn’t believe the fact that they would betray me like that.
“Now what’s going to set me apart from all the other kids?” I asked. “I need a place to do my homework and God knows the house isn’t quiet enough with dad home all the time. High school has been kicking my ass lately, what am I supposed to do now?”
“Madeline Joanne MacCarthy! Watch your mouth! I realize you’re fifteen, but you cannot talk to me that way. You don’t need a booth to set you apart from them. It’ll still be there,” my mom told me in the middle of my breakdown. At fifteen I wasn’t sure what to call tantrums, so a breakdown would have to work.
“That’s not the point!” I let out an exasperated gasp. “I can’t believe you would sell it. What would grandma say!?”
“As far as me and your father are concerned, your grandma is fine with it. She wouldn’t want us to hang onto something that takes so much out of your father,” she said calmly. “So, you’re just going to have to get over it. Maybe I can talk to the new owners about you using the booth after school.”
“Whatever,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I’ll just go to the library or something,” I said a little too aggressively. I’ll never forgive them for this, and I don’t understand how my dad could just give up. Now my sanctuary was gone. My little home away from home practically demolished.
Disclaimer: I’m not sure if I’m going to keep this as a prologue, or as a flashback in another chapter. Alexander and Madeline are still VERY much a WORK IN PROGRESS, so stay with me! Thank you all for reading, I appreciate all of the support!