A Chapter by theladygraceling

I get more nervous
and I start shaking
as I get closer and closer
to the front of the line.

Will gently nudges me forward
and makes sure I keep moving.
He had gotten me
as close to the front as he could
so that I can get it over with.
But I would rather just not do it
at all.

There are only two people
between me and the family.

There's a churning feeling
in my stomach.
My feet feel numb.
My head feels hot.

I can't do this.

I try escaping
to the back of the line
but Will grabs my shoulders and keeps me in place.

"You can do this,"
he whispers to me, as though he can read my mind.
"They know it wasn't your fault.
It wasn't your fault."

I don't answer.

I see her parents first.

I haven't seen them
since the night we were all at the hospital.
That night they had rushed into the emergency room
in pajamas and messy hair and scared eyes.
Today they look even worse.

They look like they want to be here
even less than I am.
And I'm sure they do.

Their eyes are red and so are their noses.

Her dad has cuts on his cheeks from shaving.
His tie is crooked.
His shirt isn't buttoned properly.
His hair is uncombed.
He has shadows under his eyes,
so dark that they look like bruises.

Her mother, who usually looks so prim and proper,
looks unkempt.
Her hair is frizzy and bedraggled.
His lipstick is sloppy.
Her nail polish is chipped.
Her eyes have makeup smudges around them,
like bruises too.

She asks me if I'm okay.
But her voice is flat
and her lips are pressed together so tightly
that her mouth is just a thin line.
So I know she doesn't mean it.
She's just trying to be nice.

When she looks at me
I feel scared
because I know what she's thinking.
This is the girl
that killed my daughter.

I try not to think about it.
I try to push those thoughts to the very back of my mind.
But doing that
just makes me think of it even more.

I tell them both
in a whisper,
because that's as loud as I can speak,
"I'm sorry."

Her mom starts sobbing again
and her makeup runs down her cheeks even more
and her nose turns even redder.
She pulls me in close
until I'm smothered in her black clothing
and all I can smell is her flowery perfume.

I don't hug her back.
But she doesn't notice.
She says, "Oh, darling" a lot
and pats me on the back.

Then she leans back
and looks at me.
She brushes my hair behind my ear
and straightens the neck of my dress.
"At least you're all right,"
she says.

It's too hard
for me to tell
if she means it.

But I can't imagine that she does.

She hugs me
on last time
then she lets me go
and I move over feeling worse than before.

© 2014 theladygraceling

Author's Note

Please leave comments below and tell me what you think! Thanks for reading.

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on May 9, 2014
Last Updated on May 13, 2014



Hagerstown, MD

I am seventeen years old. I have always loved reading and have recently started writing my own stories. I also enjoy drawing and sculpting, have taken piano and violin lessons for 10+ years, and have .. more..

Empty Empty

A Chapter by theladygraceling