As Red as Blood


Slowly getting out of the car, I slammed the door to my old pick up truck behind me. The hot summer sun blazed down on me as I made my way to the apartment entrance, taking one long final drag of my menthol cigarette and crushing it under my thick leather boot.

Swinging the door open, I made my way through the entrance and anxiously pushed the elevator button. Waiting impatiently for my ride up, the dim gray doors creaked open and an elderly couple started to make their way out. Not caring about the dirty looks they gave me, I brushed right past them and selected my floor.

Arriving on the third floor, I made my way to apartment 305 and fished my keys out of my black backpack. Roughly shoving the key into the lock, I entered the apartment and quickly realized that it was hotter in the apartment then it was outside.

"Red? Red, is that you?" I heard my mothers croaky voice call out for me.

Ignoring the call, I entered the kitchen to grab a cold refreshment and sighed angrily as I spotted two large coolers sitting on the counter.

"Great. Another weekend of bullshit," I muttered to myself, ripping open the fridge door and grabbing myself a chilled cola.

"RED?!" I heard my mothers call approach closer.

"My name is Blanchette," I muttered to myself. I hated how the nickname stuck to address me throughout my family, it was given to me by my grandmother when I was a natural long red hair, key word being was, because I dyed my hair jet black a few months ago.

"Why the hell did you not answer me?" My mother demanded as she stood at the edge of the kitchen.

"Who the fuck else would it be?" I coldly replied to her as I cracked open my cola.

Sighing deeply and rubbing the side of her temple, my mother continued, "Dammit Red! It's Saturday afternoon, you know you were supposed to leave Friday night to deliver meals to your grandmother and take care of her while the nurse is off," she pointed towards the coolers.

Slouching over on the gritty counter, I took a sip of my cola and didn't look or respond to my mother.

"Well?" She demanded, crossing her arms, "Where were you?"

"It's summer vacation, I was out having a life," I snapped back, "I wasn't there for one night, she will be fine."

"Damn it! You know the nurses don't come at the weekend and it is your responsibility to go there on weekends to help care for your grandmother."

"I don't see why you just don't hire a weekend nurse," I shrugged, "Or better yet, you can go the fuck over there yourself and do it."

"Don't Speak to me like that," My mother scowled.

"Sorry," I weakly replied, in all reality not caring.

"You know I can't afford a weekend nurse and you know I'm busy working multiple jobs to keep a roof over our heads," She began to rant, "You shouldn't take your grandmother for granted, she was the one who raised you while I was away."

Remembering the horrible truth behind being left in my grandmother's care, I slammed my cola down and sprung up as anger flushed through my cheeks.

"No," I snarled, "While you were out being a Junkie, I was left with some old bitch who did nothing but neglect and abuse me."

"RED, how dar-"

"STOP CALLING ME RED," I quickly cut her off, continuing to raise my voice, "What a stupid way to address me."

Tears begin to well up in my mothers eyes, "I thought it was a cute nickname," she mumbled.

Clenching my fists, I angrily stared into her dull brown eyes, her gray roots standing out from her short dusky blonde hair.

"You had such pretty red hair," she continued, doing her best to hold back the tears, "Then you just run off and stain it with such a hideous dark color."

I rolled my eyes, here we go again with this bullshit, I thought to myself.

"Then you go out and get that horrid nose ring, and your clothes...." She trailed off, wiping her eyes real quick, she asked, "What happened to my Little Red?"

"Maybe if your child was more important than drugs, you'd know," I coldly answered her. I almost hated my mother as much as my grandmother.

"I'm packing my shit up and will leave to Grandma's shortly," I sighed pushing past her and heading to my room.

I didn't know which was worse, hearing my mother trying to be a parent to me, or spending every weekend with my wretched grandmother.