The Dishwasher

The dishwasher had been broken for months before anyone noticed. I didn’t want to tell my family because I knew what they would do. I knew I would have to pay for the damage even though I hadn’t been the one to break the dishwasher. I was the scapegoat – the black sheep – of the family and sometimes I wondered if they had watched the movie Matilda right before I was born. Because the amount of attention I got from my family was minimal at best so I spent much of my time reading and writing. The public librarians knew my name at an early age and I considered myself lucky to live so close. And the fact my school was also within walking distance. Half the time my parents forgot to pick me up from school so I walked to the library until they remembered they had a child. 

As I grew older and became more independent, I started delivering papers in the morning so I could save enough money for a car. Not surprisingly, it took my parents several months to realize I was delivering the papers. They only found out when I came home later than usual after suffering a flat tire on my bicycle toward the end of my route. The fact I had a job meant they felt they were no longer responsible for buying my food and clothes. That was the day I became completely independent and was no longer under any illusion my parents would help me financially. The weird part was the idea they wanted me to start helping them with bills and the mortgage. What they didn’t realize was I had a checking account they didn’t know about where 95% of my paychecks went and I only brought home my tips I made from any sort of job I had. I kept my paper route until I graduated high school and spent my summers working as many part-time jobs as I could. 

Now, the day before I was due to take myself to college, my parents had finally realized the dishwasher was broken. Could I get out of the house before they came knocking on my bedroom door? Could I get out before they demanded money? If they only knew the plans I had when I left, they would never let me leave. When I heard the groan from the kitchen, I knew it was too late. My hard-earned money would go toward a dishwasher I never used. Unless… I went toward the kitchen with the idea of sabotaging the whole event. For once, I would put the blame where it belonged. Deflect the damage I knew was coming my way. I just didn’t know how I would have to live with my one stand for years. 


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