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When I wake up there’s a hard pain in my chest and the mirror reveals a tear-streaked face. It takes a moment for me to register it as my own, which only brings a fresh wave of body racking sobs of grief and fear. I turn away from the glass and find something to hang over it. I don’t need it showing me my mother when I can hardly cope as it is.
The word tears through my mind and dismal thoughts sending me to my knees, delivering the blow I have been unconsciously waiting for since I woke up.
I go through the usual game of cat and mouse in my head again.
She couldn’t have. Says the part of me that still loves my mother.
The voice of reason and logic responds; ah, but she did. She left you with no one. She didn’t love you enough to stay. It was suicide.
I glance at the table beside my bed.
They’re still there.
The pills, the capsules gleaming in the dim light.
Sam’s voice rings in my head.
You could forget. Your mother could have died in childbirth.
But I don’t want to forget. Forgetting would mean never being able to remember all of the good times we had. Like, when I came home after the first day of kindergarten and mom was waiting there with a hot fudge sundae in her hands, telling me how proud she was of me that I was so brave on the first day of school.
I boasted that I had been one of the only kids that didn’t cry, even though I was almost the smallest. Or when I got really sick and had to go to the Emergency Room and mom wouldn’t let go of my hand the entire time, even when the doctors told her to leave. She showed me how much she loved me time after time, praising me for little things while the rest of the world was scorning me.
No, I don’t want to forget.
I walk back to my bed and lay my head down on my pillow. Mom always hated this pillow. It was way too soft for her. She always had firm pillows. She said that she didn’t like that her head sunk into soft pillows. She thought it messed up her hair more.
My eyelids flutter; heavy with the images of the life before. A slideshow plays in my mind; her smiling, her laughing, her reading me her favorite story, and then her beautiful body lying dead on the cold linoleum floor, an empty bottle rolling away from her perfectly manicured hand.
The last picture drowns everything out and the scene rolls out in slow motion inside my mind.
I reach over, open the bottle and swallow a pill.
My mother died of heart failure when I was 9.