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Backwards Promises

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Mommy kissed me on the cheek when she left, whispering promises in my ear. When she leaves, Daddy hangs his head against the wall, and the tears flow freely. I won't see her again till later, much later.

Years of TV dinners add up, and I watch the television, looking for a glimpse of a face, a face so much like my own, the face behind the cracked picture frame glass.

When I am diagnosed, Daddy cries, praying his tears with draw away my pain, as the needles feed it into me. I know that I am going to die.

Treatments are futile when one has decided that death is definite.

Hospital rooms are so white, and so sterile although they always have a funny smell. I watch Daddy sleep in a chair, my guardian. He holds a letter in his hand, Mommy sent it when he told her of my condition. He worked hard to find her, find her for me.

Mommy fills up a hospital room by herself. On her wool coat I can smell a light perfume that leaves a residue on my blankets. Daddy watches her from a corner. I wanted to see her so badly, but now that she's here, I'm not sure. Once again she has whispered promises, backwards promises about me living. I cannot fulfill her promises, when I have promised to die.

Breathing is much too hard and I know the time has come. I can feel a single tear in my hair, and I know it is Daddy's, because it is the same tear I saw on his face when Mommy left. Daddy never left.



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