An Ending to Remember

November 18, 2016
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An Ending to Remember
“I’m coming!” Harriet yelled as she tried to get up from her wooden wheelchair. A sharp pain surged through her left leg. She let out a yelp and quickly sat back down.
She winced as she poked at her sore leg. She turned and faced toward the family’s grandfather clock. It was 5:00. Normally, she would have been called to come down to the dining room to set the table and would have bounded down the stairs, ready to devour some delicious meat pies and bread rolls. But now, in her condition, she needed assistance from the nurse, Mrs. Weasley, who was hired to take care of her until her leg healed. She wished and wished for there to be new technology to heal broken bones quickly, like a hard casing around the leg to hold in place until the bone regrew. Alas, she could only dream of such futuristic things.
As she was carried down the stairs, she saw her sister feverishly attempt to maneuver past her, almost knocking them both down.
“Grace! Go apologize to Mrs. Weasley and your sister right now!” Her mother chastised in an extremely harsh tone.
“I apologize, dear sister, who must be superior to me as I have not ascertained an injury such as thine!”
Harriet glared at her. The sarcastic discomfiture in Grace’s voice had struck a nerve.
And yet, in some odd way, a small pang of remorse had tapped into her empathetic heart for Grace, as lately, she had noticed her sister being chided by their mother more often than she.
She quickly disengaged that thought as she remembered how much of a thorn in her side Grace was being, hounding her and acting like a brat.
This is preposterous, Harriet thought. To think that I felt guilty for being hurt. Ugh, she is such an impudent child. That is preposterous indeed.
Her thoughts were interrupted by Mrs. Weasley setting her down in her specially modified dining chair, which had cost the family dearly.
“Thank you,” Harriet mumbled.
“You’re most certainly welcome, deary.” Mrs. Weasley shifted a little in her seat. The hard, adamantine chairs this family owned were not to her finicky liking, but she did not dare complain. She was being paid, after all.
Throughout dinner, Grace had contended with their parents quite loudly over a subject Harriet did not care for, so she continued chewing in silence. Needing something to occupy her time, Harriet looked wistfully at her leg and cringed as she subconsciously reveled in a flashback.
“Oh, Harriet, hurry up! You’ll spoil the game!”
“Grace, I don’t want to fall, and if you keep telling me to hurry, I’ll go even slower.”
The two girls had been balancing on a log 4 feet over a mud puddle. Yesterday there was a huge downpour, so it was slippery.
“Stop pushing me! You’ll dirty my Sunday dress!” Harriet snapped in a miffed tone.
“Oh, pish posh. What’s the worst that could happen?” Harriet’s warning was not heeded, and Grace gave her shoulder a friendly shove. She slipped, and she heard something snap. Oh no, she thought to herself. This is bad, this cannot be happening. But it was. She knew it was happening.
Harriet remembered her screams of agony; the expression of pure guilt on the face of her sister; her father’s calm, unaltered face as he rushed to her aid, along with her mother; the smell of grass after a morning mist; the grotesque bone peeking out through her leg; her salty tears of hurt; the intense pain in her leg.
Suddenly, the sound of a hand sharply coming down on the mahogany table broke her flashback.
“Mother, I am tired of your scrutinizing every single thing I do. I have had enough of your abuse, and enough of this family!” Grace trudged out through the backdoor and into the woodlands that framed the family’s residence.
Harriet started to worry. She wouldn’t run away, Harriet began to worry. Would she? Grace has attempted to run away before, but for miniscule reasons. This seemed serious to Harriet. Grace had annoyed her, but she didn’t want to lose her sister!
“Mrs. Weasley, please help me back into my chair.”
Harriet wheeled herself as fast as she could to catch up to Grace. She found her leaning up against a tree, staring into a lake.
“Grace, can you tell me what’s wrong?” She asked worriedly.
“No, you wouldn’t understand.” Grace retaliated.
Harriet lightened the mood with a little sarcasm. “Oh, come on, just tell me. In case you have forgotten, I am your older sister, so yes I do too understand. Now please, just tell me.”
“Alright, fine. This may seem quite childish Harriet, but it feels like Mother and Father have been neglecting me lately, and when they actually do pay attention, it is only to reprimand me for something that I’d done.”
“Why, that doesn’t sound childish at all, I mean, you are quite bothersome, but I have been noticing that as well. Perhaps if we both confront Mother and Father, then we can figure this out and reconcile peacefully instead of running away from our problems.”
“Oh Harriet, I was never going to run away. While I am furious about this, I would not make such a rash decision as leaving. I just needed a break for a bit, that’s all. Now then, we have a solution, so let’s go back home.”
“Good idea. Watch out for that lake.”
           “Oh, pish posh. What’s the worst that could happen?” Grace skipped along the lake bed filled with glee.
What she said sounded familiar to Harriet. And then, all too late she realized where she had heard it before and promptly screeched,”Look out!”
“Huh? what do you mean look out-” Again, Harriet’s warning was not heeded and Grace tripped over a rock, falling into the deep lake.
Grace couldn’t swim, and Harriet, both temporarily paraplegic and paralyzed with fear, watched her sister suffer in utter terror, frame by horrible frame.
She saw her thrashing around, trying desperately to grab onto anything she could, but each time, she failed to find anything but water. She heard the howls of fear uttered from the top of her sister’s lungs, filling with water. Harriet wishes she could do something, stand up, help her, but try as she might, she couldn’t do anything but wince in pain from trying to stand. She cries out, screaming will all her remaining strength until her voice shakes.
Grace went under for an entire minute, only to resurface into the dead man’s float. There was no hope for her.  An emotional wave of horror, despair, guilt, and self-hatred washed over Harriet, her mental strength depleting. Harriet began to sob uncontrollably. To see the sister, whom she adored from the bottom of her heart die before her very eyes.

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