When I picked up the basket of flowers the first thing I noticed was how wretched they smelled. The flowers smelled bitter, like when my little brother hadn’t bathed in too long. He always complained, “She’s only a year older than me! Why does she get to take showers while I’m stuck with baths?!” It’s no wonder he was complaining, baths get to feeling claustrophobic if you’ve been in them too long. My mother always had the same response. “When you’re ten years old you can make the decision! You haven’t proven yourself to be responsible enough to take short showers, you spend hours in the bath!” My mother had always been sharp on saving money in almost any way possible. We had a drawer full of shopping coupons in the kitchen. I hadn't even turned ten until the day after that.
“Mother, I’m leaving to drop these flowers off with Dad!” I shouted before I left the house. There had been several missing kid cases then. I understood why my mother was so worried about it but most of the missing kids were from the city and we lived out in the countryside. “Okay darling, don’t forget to pray before you enter the ’yard!” My mother shouted out the window. She had been really cautious ever since Dad and she got divorced. Dad protected the family. My mother and I were left to fend for ourselves. Walking outside like that was so peaceful, listening to the birds, hearing cars pass over the highway, the breeze rushing through the cornstalks and the smell of freshly mowed grass.
If given the opportunity I would have never moved to the city. I loved it out there. I saw the stone fence around the cemetery and I took a deep breath, said the Hail Mary and took my rosary out of my pocket, put it around my neck. I had been told by priests that rosaries weren’t meant to be worn like accessories but my mother’s superstitions weren’t harming anyone. It was so sunny out and there were only a few small clouds in the sky. It was so quiet that I felt like my thoughts were screaming at me, the only chance of peace was when the wind blew through the fields of corn.
As I arrived at my father’s grave I felt my heart speed up, my breaths became more shallow. I took a deep breath and put some flowers on the pedestal in front of his grave. I took one more deep breath and as I looked up I thought I saw somebody looking at me from behind a tree. I dropped the basket and took a step back. Take a deep breath, Aurora... I’m okay. I took one more deep breath then picked the basket up and started to head home. It was just my imagination. Nobody was- Suddenly I heard running footsteps behind me and I didn’t look, I just ran as fast as I could, the basket dropped from my hands.
I was gasping for air, running and running, I didn’t even care about ruining my brand-new Mary-Janes. I felt a hand brush my back and it pushed me to the ground. I attempted to do a somersault and keep running like in the movies but I tripped and fell on my face. ”Aurora." It’s the deacon. It’s just the deacon. I sighed deeply in relief. “Oh, it-it’s just you! You scared me so much and-” Then he crouched down and slid his hand up my dress. "Happy early Birthday..." He said.
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