I hate my inattentive mother for having an affair while I’m navigating myself through raging hormones and a dumpster fire called middle school. And I am still dripping with fury after she picked me and my only friend, Sophie, up last week from school smelling of her lover’s cologne, her breath and body bathed in the scent of their intimacy. My obliviated mother had scared us enough that day that Sophie told her far more responsible mother. Then from that point forward, Sophie’s righteous mother insisted on picking us up from school to give my incompetent mother a break because “she really seems to need one.” And now, Sophie’s knowing mother looks at me in a way that makes my cheeks burn hot; perhaps I see pity, I don’t know. And then, I go to Sophie’s for dinner, and her prying mother keeps asking questions about my fumbling mother. I grow embarrassed and get defensive because, as it turns out, I love my struggling mother after all, and so I tell Sophie’s intrusive mother, “I want to go home.” And when I get home, I find my defenseless mother passed out in bed with her true love, the now-hollow vessel she had embraced and hoped would fill her gaping wound. I cover my loving and vulnerable mother up with blankets, pick up Mr. Smirnoff and dispose of him in the recycle bin alongside a week’s worth of her other empty suitors, hating my powerless self for never being enough to fill my depressed mother’s hole.