It reminds me that my mom is dead and my dad’s the one in jail for her murder.
I know he didn’t do it. The police are wrong. They never even looked for other suspects. He was railroaded from the day they came to our door when I was a kid, right through the courts and into jail.
I'm going to prove that he’s innocent someday. I don't know how, but he’ll be set free and then we’ll leave this filthy city that the foster system left me to survive in. We'll leave this city behind us, along with everyone and everything in it.
I break out of my anti-reverie to take a long and unimpressed sideways glance at the occupant of the couch cushion next to me.
It's a stale, half-eaten pizza from Goodfellas. A clever name for a restaurant in a town where the residents wear their mob roots on their sleeves as a symbol of pride. What they have in naming savvy is lost in product quality. Every time I order from there I tell myself it's the last time, but there's nowhere else in this town I can get a large pie with Italian sausage, onion and banana peppers for just $8. The toppings are thin, there's not enough sauce so it's dry and it's likely going to give me diarrhea tomorrow, but it will feed me for at least 2 meals. And it was $8.
I look at my couch companion for a few more seconds before I force myself to look away, toward the old picture tube TV in my living room where the colors in the top right corner don’t match the colors on the rest of the screen. I can catch the highlights of last night’s fight thanks to the free-to-air antenna I swiped from the surplus store.
“Fuck it, I’m goin’ out,” I mumble out loud to no one in particular.
I stand, slamming my bottle into the case of empties sitting nearby atop the footstool. The entire case rattles as the glass vibrates with the squeal caused by glass-on-glass friction.
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