Chapter 3: Teardrop
V-103 was rockin’ the box with “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. Dominique sang along with her, sometimes in the same key or a half a step below making the lead vocal into a tight harmony vocal. Either way, Dom sounded as good, if not better than the real thing. It helped keep her mind off of the fact she had to do dishes. She hated doing dishes with a passion, and promised herself that one day, when she moved out, she was going to get a dishwasher so she wouldn’t have to do dishes anymore. Dom figured that day would come a lot sooner than she thought because she was finally in a band that plays for a living. Her dream was beginning to come true.
“Stop all that damn singin’. Messin’ up Chaka’s song an’ shit.”
Dominique’s mother, Ava, could care less, however.
Dom stopped singing, but she hummed quietly to herself. She heard Ava open the beer and take a loud gulping sip of it. Dom could feel Ava’s eyes on her and knew that Ava was wondering why she was so happy.
Ever since Dom was little, she had the feeling that Ava didn’t like her at all. It was like Dom had done something to piss Ava off. It must’ve been because she was born.
Dominique barely remembered her father, Maurice. She was very small when he left, about five years old. The only reason she knew that was because Ava, who was drunk at the time, told her about how she cheated on him and he must have found out because he left her. Ava failed to mention how any of that was Dom’s fault.
“What’chu so happy about?” Ava growled.
“I got the lead vocalist spot in a local band today.” Dom answered. Tension danced along her shoulders as she braced for the inevitable attack on her good fortune.
Ava gulped down more beer and said, “You still on that singin’ shit ain’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Ya need ta quit tryin’ to be like Mariah and go back to school. Can’t pay no bills singin’.” Dom didn’t mention that Ava failed to finish school.
“That’s why I’m workin’ at Walgreen’s until I can.”
Ava burped. “Please. Yo high yella ass can’t sing anyway. You’d never make it.” Ava walked back into the living room and sat down in front of the T.V. as if nothing was wrong; as if her words didn’t cut Dom’s self-confidence to shreds or make her feel weak and small.
But they did.
Dom stood completely still, barely breathing. Her face was a mask of incredulity and shock. As tears slipped down her face, the mask splintered into a thousand pieces. Anger, fear and Ava’s words squeezed the tears out of her and into the rapidly cooling dishwater.