(A new segment of this story will appear every month in The Shamrock.)

The table made for six is placed offset in the middle of the floor. It sits closer to the left side of the room, to make space for the bodies to roam. The four of us sit at the table, but it seems as if there is a fifth member sitting alongside, or perhaps, it is the unwelcoming displeasure of us all sitting down, together. We sit quietly, for a moment, and then talking erupts from the person sitting to the left of me. She discusses miscellaneous topics; trying to devour every word she says is excruciating and merely impossible. I stare to my right at the man, whom I have given my life to, and wonder who he is thinking of. It surely cannot be myself. Another person begins to talk. The conversation, between the two girls, makes my mind go blank for a moment as my focus falls on the textured wood in front of me. Studying the visible streaks intensely, each one knowingly different, but all of the same kind. I can’t help thinking about the span of my life, the events that have occurred within it, and how I ended up in this place. I hold love for the people surrounding me, but so desperately want to get away.

"Mom!" I snap out of my daze.

"Yes, what?" is my reply to the girl, who is responsible for the noise replacing the silence.

She simply states that she was snapping me out of my daydream and makes a joking comment about how I never listen. I laugh and take part in the banter.