Hanna is sitting on the floor in her studio apartment. Photo albums are scattered around her and a cup of cold coffee stands forgotten outside the circle of memories. Memories of her brother.
Hanna and her brother were orphans, but a man adopted them only a few months after they lost their parents. The man raised both her and her brother to always be kind and caring towards everyone. They were a happy family, but her brother just disappeared one night when she was about ten and he was sixteen. They searched and searched for him for years, but could not find him. Slowly, life just returned back to normal.
Now, eleven years later, Hanna saw a brother and sister, and thought about how wonderful it would have been to have a brother. Then, she remembered that she had one.
For a few hours, she has searched for a picture of his face, for she cannot even remember it. To her dismay, she only found pictures of him where he is either turned away from the camera or only a piece of his face is visible.
The doorbell's soft twinkle interrupts the silence of the night. Hanna sighs and gets up to go and answer it. She steps over a few albums and walks to the door. Taking a deep breath, she opens it.
"Hello. Can I help you?" She frowns slightly.
The man in front of her is dressed in black clothes and has a hoodie that darkens his face.
"You ordered a pizza, Miss." His voice is nasally.
"No, I didn't. You are at the wrong place."
"This is the adress that I was given."
"No, I did not order a pizza. Maybe it is supposed to go to Wendy. She loves pizzas. Her apartment is two doors on."
"No, this is for you." His voice loses the nasally sound, and is now clear and sneering.
The man pushes Hanna into the apartment before entering behind her. He closes the door softly and locks it. Removing the key from the lock, he slips it into his pocket and throws the pizza box onto the ground.
"I beg your pardon, but what are you doing?" Hanna feels in her backpocket for her phone, but it is not there.
He takes out a gun and points it at her chest.
"If you move from that spot, I will make sure that it is the last thing that you will ever do."
He goes over to her handbag that is standing on the kitchen counter and rummages around in it while still keeping an eye on her.
"What are you looking for?" Hanna asks.
The man ignores her and continues his quest. He turns the bag upside-down and allows the contents to tumble to the floor. Kneeling down, he removes her wallet from the mess. He opens it and throws out its contents on the floor as well.
Hanna watches as coins roll into the most impossible of places: under the sofa, under the kitchen counter, and under the stove.
The man gets up and strodes over to Hanna. He puts the gun to her throat.
"Where is it?" He sneers.
"Where is what?"
"Don't play games with me."
"I really don't know what you are talking about!"
The man remains in the same position for a few seconds before turning his back on her and putting the gun in its holster. He pulls the hoodie off of his head before running his hand through his hair. As if an idea just entered his brain, he walks back to the handbag's contents on the floor and takes the small bottle of hand cream. He enters the kitchen area and pulls open a few drawers until he finds a sharp knife. Satisfied, he places the bottle on the counter and cuts it open.
Hanna watches in amazement as the man removes ten green stones from the white lotion. The man takes out a small bag and throws the stones into it before closing it and putting it into his pocket.
He turns around and Hanna's eyes grows wide as she recognizes the mischievous smile from one of the pictures.
"Whoever you are, woman, you just did us a very big favor."
With this, he goes to the door, unlocks it and exits the room.
"What did they do to you?" The hoarse whisper escapes Hanna's lips.
She stands at my doorstep, frizzy brown curls, standing up on edge around her face as she stares at me with pain glistening in her crinkled charcoal eyes. Her bright red lipstick contrasts starkly with the state she’s in, completely disheveled. Her violet jumper hangs lazily off of one shoulder exposing fair freckled skin and the pale pink scarf around her neck barely hangs there in a loose knot, showing off irritated patches spreading beneath her chin down to her chest.
I stare at her in complete silence before the reality of what she did kicks in and I shut the door in her face.
Took you long enough to remember me, mother.
“Brian! Brian, please open the door. I’m- I’m sorry I left you Brian, it was a mistake, I was angry and I didnt know what else to do I had nowhere to go,”
She begs and pleads but I don’t care. She left me with him. Someone who couldn’t give a damn about my life and what I was going through in college. Someone who drank his sorrows away lying under a heap of beer bottles, day after day drowning in himself, slowly and steadily losing himself and becoming a horrible, monstrous being who spewed the vilest profanities at me, degrading me to nothing. And I believed him because I knew people spoke their heart out when they were intoxicated. So he must have been right. I was gangly, and ugly, and stupid. No wonder I got bullied every single day of my life. I deserved it.
Can you believe I thought that same thing for 12 years of my life? What a waste. But not anymore. I’m free now. This old dorm, my best buds and my new job at the Pizzeria is all I need. Which reminds me, my pizza has probably gone cold. I check the box to see if its still warm. Much to my surprise it is! I take out one of the stretchy, cheesy slices and take a big bite. Heavenly. Its times like these that I’m ever so grateful. Even my estranged mother’s persistent knocking fades away into silence and the shadow beneath the door disappears too.
Good. Its pizza time.
Daniel wanted pizza.
I couldn't deliver what he wanted.
Vying for solutions, I tried to order,
Only all the places were closed because of COVID.
Reveling in my creation, I take the pizza out of the oven.
Crying because the pizza is cold.
Estranged; he'll never let me stay now.
Dying over a simple demand.
static on the tv
I'm looking at the phone and daring it to ring
There's cold pizza on the table and dirt on the floor
I haven't turned on the lights in three days
Momma complains of migraines every time I speak
You said you wouldn't leave
I'm afraid to go into the kitchen, shards of broken glass on the floor
Sister left the day after you did
She had twenty dollars, a backpack, and an extra pair of shoes
She cried walking out the door but didn't say goodbye
Where are you?