The coolness of the faded t-shirt sooths my swollen, feverish skin, but I can’t help but flinch as the fabric brushes across the cuts and bruises. I bite my lip and whimper as the small cut at the corner of my mouth starts to bleed again. If it weren’t for school I’d leave it to bleed, but I can’t let people see. I can’t let people ask their empty questions which in the end would only make things worse. Charlie says he’ll kill me if I tell anyone and I’m not going to test that theory.
“Go away,” I tell the reflection in the mirror. It stubbornly yells back with its hollow listless eyes. “Go away!” My hands shake in uncontrollable tremors as my shoulders bend under angry sobs. The glass is ...view middle of the document...
“I’ll be home soon.” She coughs and the sound rattles in her chest. Mommy has been sick for a long, long time, but Daddy said we couldn’t pay for a doctor. Except it rained and rained for days on end and the roof started to leak. It made Mommy worse, lots worse, so one day I came home from school and she was gone. Gone to the hospital where doctors kept her in a room and wouldn’t let me in.
She wheezes, but reaches for me with a slender, shaky hand that’s far too delicate for this life. I think it’s beautiful though, like a leaf or peddle of a flower.
“I promise, but you have to promise me something too, okay?”
Another round of coughing, this time longer and more powerful sends another jolt of fear through my heart. Her shoulders sag beneath an invisible weight as her body is shaken with the struggle to take in a breath. When she finally speaks, the words are rushed and I start to cry.
This isn’t the Mommy I know, not the one who plays tag with me in our little overgrown yard, not the one who takes me to the beach to collect shells, not the one who convinces Daddy to take a week off of work to go camping in the summers. This isn’t my spontaneous, willful, nature loving Mommy at all.
I cry, big fat tears that are salty like the ocean. That’s what Mommy used to say when I was sad, ‘tears...