Janice has withdrawn into herself again. She’s setting there on our yard sale couch staring into a TV that isn’t even on. With the old quilt, that our grandmother made, wrapped tight around her; though it’s eighty degrees in our trailer. Her face is sunken and her skin hangs lose from fragile bones. Like all the emotions have been sucked away from her and left her deflated.
I sit down next to her and she leans into me, resting her head on my shoulder. We set for an eternity in our silence just staring at the floating specs of dust in the sunshine. It’s like we’re frozen inside a snow globe.
“I hate Fridays,” she says to me. I smile because I know she’s trying to push away the ugliness that is shrouding her.
“I know Jan.” I tell her, because really I do.
It was three years ago on a Friday that I found you huddled in the woods, just off the path that we used as a shortcut from school. We took that path everyday together…except that Friday. That Friday, I wasn’t there for you because that Friday I tried out for that fucking school play. I found you there, shaking so hard I was afraid your bones would shatter. Your head was in your hands and the tears burning the scuff marks on your cheeks. I heard you whispering between your sobs, “No, no, please no.”
You were only twelve years old and collapsed into a pile of flesh and bones. Left discarded in the woods like some wounded animal. I found you there, with your clothes covered in your own blood. Your innocents ripped from your soul. You wrapped your fists tight into my sweater as I picked you up. Your eyes squeezed shut because you never wanted to look at anything again. There would be no beauty left for you in this world. I carried your trembling body in my arms. Your convulsions were so heavy that you vomited onto my cloths; your tears so large they washed it away again. Your short wisps of breath floated into the night sky along with all your dreams. All I could do was tell you that it was going to be okay…but I knew it never would.
While you searched for some answer, you cried, “Oh God, why, why?”
I don’t think God will ever give us those answers my dear sister, but I will always hate him for taking your childhood away.