Miranda paused just a moment before opening the door to her father’s car. Even though there was a good half inch of class and a couple of feet between them, she could feel his contempt for her radiating in all directions. She stepped in carefully, all the while trying to avoid making any unnecessary sounds. She took a deep breath, and as she sat down, she launched into her speech.
”Thanks so much for picking me up, the shift was running late and Victoria didn’t want to take over, and some kid was running around in isle 4 and knocked over all the paper plates and I had to clean them back up, and I’m sorry for being late and it-”
”One more word, and you’re walking home, do you understand?”
His voice was low, and even, and his breath reeked of whiskey. Not once did he take his eyes off the road, not once did the cigarette leave his mouth. The old truck shuddered to a stop at the last stop sign before they’d be out of the city, and miles and miles away from anyone and anything. This was the part of the drive that scared Miranda the most.
”Yes, sir,” she whispered.
The light turned green, but he didn’t press the gas. He just turned his squashed head toward Miranda. His eyes were sharp as daggers and black as coal. His nostrils were flared, and the messy beard on his cheeks jutted out in all directions.
”I thought,” he paused. ”I told you,” pause, ”That I didn’t want to hear some overweight, ungrateful, whiny bitch talking to me the whole ride back! You should be glad we took you in, you should be worshiping me on your knees, but no! All you do is take, take, take, just like your mother! Proud, insignificant, and completely, totally useless!”