Chapter III - KayleighA Chapter by Suze
A description of the death of Sam's niece, Kayleigh.
Kayleigh. God, I miss her. Kayleigh Samantha Reynolds-Winston. Kayleigh because Cassie liked that name, Samantha after me. Reynolds because our grandmother told us to never give up our maiden names, and Winston for that ballsy m**********r Timothy Reynolds, whose one good contribution to the world was the sperm he donated to make Tinkerbelle. That's what I called her, because she was so petite, with those blue eyes and that yellow blond hair. It makes my heart break to even look at her picture.
Cass, on the other hand, her house used to be like a shrine. Even before Tink died, you couldn't glance in any direction in that place without encountering little Kayleigh on her trike, or dressed as the "real Tinkerbelle" as she said, for Halloween. Walking the dog, roller-skating, getting on the bus for her first day at kindergarten. Her first school dance, at the end of fifth grade. Sitting proudly on a horse that first day she learned to ride.
After she died, in the first few days, it comforted me. To see her lively face, captured in time through the years. But after the funeral, after there was nothing to do but sit next to Cassie and grieve, those pictures were like torture. At every turn it was a stab through the heart, to see little Kay as she would never be again. Alive, eyes twinkling and laughing. Crying. Smiling. Anything other than sitting cold in an urn in Cassie's bedroom.
(We couldn't bury her, of course. Not Kayleigh. She had always been afraid of the dark, had needed to sleep with a nightlight up to her last night on earth when she was fourteen years old and much too mature for such things. But that was her thing, her last link to childhood, that Winnie-the-Pooh nightlight I had bought Cass for the baby shower.)
Those pictures of Tinkerbelle were the first and last thing that Cassie and I have fought about since Tink died.
It was a month after the funeral, and so far Cassie had added 18 new picture to the living room alone. I was concerned, and it was killing me inside. So I broached the subject, with no little diaplomacy.
But Cassie freaked anyway.
"What the goddamn hell kind of balls to you have, you f*****g b***h?" she asked. Or, well, screamed.
"I have every f*****g right to as many pictures as I want of MY daughter, as many as I f*****g want! Do you know what f*****g kind of pain I'm in? No! You don't! You barren f*****g b***h, get the f**k out of my house! Kalyleigh wouldn't be dead if it wasn't for you!"
Now, that last bit got me. The rest of it, well, she was grieving. And technically, I was barren. But Kayleigh's death my fault?
"It was YOU who got her into horseback riding, she never would have died if she hadn't of been on that horse!" Cassie began to cry; deep heaving tears. I tried to go and put my arms around her, but she shoved me away. "I said get the f**k out of here!"
I left. I called Cassie's best friend, Kelly, to let her know that Cassie needed another babysitter, and I went to the bar to get good and shitfaced.
See, I didn't kill Kayleigh. Right Ventricular Displaysia killed Kayleigh. An undetectable heart defect who's only symptom is death. God killed Kayleigh.
When it happend,though, she was sitting on her favorite horse, Thunder. She slumped suddenly, she fell, and she was dead before she hit the dirt. The fall from the horse crushed her nose, and split her lips. Dented her forehead slightly. A closed casket was advised.
Anyway, by the time Jenji came around I had stopped going to Cassie's except to pick her up in the driveway. I couldn't do it, I just couldn't face all those pictures anymore.
But Jenji, she took care of that. The day before I found the driver's license in her wallet, I pulled into the driveway and beeped as usual. But she was waving me in, standing in the back door wearing something Britney Spears would be ashamed to be seen in. I shook my head, motioned her towards me. Jenji held up a little baggie, crooked her finger at me invitingly. I fought with myself for a few moments before jerking my keys out of the ignition and throwing them in my purse. I ventured into the kitchen slowly. It was messy, that was new. She took my hand and pulled me into the living room, which was now painted brick red and had all new furniture. Not a single picture in sight. Not of anyone, and instead of being scared I chose to look at it as a positive sign. Because now I could come back in my sister's house without the whammy of seeing Tink's face everywhere.
I never claimed not to be a selfish, stupid a*****e.
And so it happened, my sister fled to a place unknown to me, and eight months later all I've got is Jenji. Jenji Benjamin, who smokes filter-less cigarettes to Cassie's Marlborough Lights. Jenji, who is a waitress at Hooters and bartends part-time at Michael's when my sister, Cassie, was an English teacher. Jenji who's lost my sister's house and now lives with me in a tiny duplex with moldy bathroom ceilings and f***s anything with genitals and a gram of coke.
Not that I'm doing much better. The last guy I dated stole our microwave and $75 in Jenji's tip money. I drink myself into oblivion every other night, and smoke $125 of pot every week. Thankfully Jenji hates pot, says it makes her head ring. It's nice to not have to share everything.
© 2012 Suze
The Split - A Story About Sisters
About~Hi, my name is Suze - thanks for stopping by!~ I am a fiction writer mostly but have found that I have a taste for essays lately as well. I'm here to seek the opinions of other writers on my work, .. more..