Momma's Little Girls

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When Poppa died, Momma made sure to take immensely good care of us. Chrissie, Payton, and I are all at our happiest lately. Momma often lets us help her in the family store since she spends most of her time there earning money. We are eating healthier and filling meals, which is much better than the gruel we had to eat. Since she works at the store so much, we have much more money than when Poppa first died. I guess that in her mind it made sense to go shopping. She got food for home and for the store, flowers for Poppa’s grave, and new clothes for everyone. Chrissie has gotten a green hat with an elegant maroon ribbon over the brim. She has also gotten a jacket in green with maroon lining and black buttons, black tights, and brown boots from the department store. I have a purple-latticed hat with a darker hue for the ribbon on the brim and a purple plaid jacket with small black buttons. I even got light gray tights, purple and black striped socks, and black boots. Momma has the most beautiful set of clothing of all. I usually see rich people in something like this. Her outfit includes a dark blue flowing dress with black high heel shoes, a silver heart necklace, a brand new designer ring, silver earrings, and a silver bracelet with five stars for charms. It must have cost a fortune!




Momma has been complaining a lot recently. She is saying she spent too much money on her dress and jewelry. She says it was a horrible thing to do, and that she was being selfish because she knew we did not have enough money to pay for it all. Payton, Chrissie, and I have tried numerous times to comfort her, but she must be inconsolable because it never worked. Now that it is the cold season of winter, Momma should be buying us scarves soon. She says none of us can afford to get sick this winter. Momma barely has enough money to feed us. What would she do with sick triplets besides having to let us wallow in our pain? We would have no way to pay for the doctor’s painful cure. I know it is strange, but I constantly have a coughing or sneezing fit that just will not quit. Momma says that it means we could possibly be getting sick. Yesterday, I accidentally sneezed on Chrissie. Today, I coughed on Payton’s arm. I did not mean to, but still it happened. Still, Momma scolded me before calling my Nana. Momma stays on the telephone for about an hour while Payton, Chrissie, and I read. When she gets off, it is time for everybody in the house to get ready for bed. Momma tells us we need to get some sleep, tonight especially, and she tucks us all in our beds. That night, I woke up to use the privy. When I got there, I heard something strange. A muffled and unusual sound seemed to come from Momma’s room. I peered through the hole under her doorknob and see Momma---my Momma lying with the pillow over her head and her stomach touching the bed. My Momma was weeping, and as she wept, I knew I could do nothing other than watch her lay there with tears in her eyes. By the time I stopped watching Momma it was too late for me to use the privy. I had already wet myself. I swiftly grabbed moist cloths to clean my waste. I dried up the water and went on my way back to bed. When I got to the bedroom, I woke up my sisters. I told them of what I saw. We promised each other to be on our best behavior for Momma’s sake.


The next morning, everyone woke up a little bit later than we usually do, and every one of us lingered to get ready for the day. As we ate breakfast, the tension in the air began to thicken. Momma began involuntarily crying at the table with her upper lip quivering. She is saying that she has influenza and cannot take care of us anymore. She says we must go to Nana’s house immediately, and says that our bags are already packed. Then, all at once, I understand everything. I understand why Momma was so depressed. I understand why Momma was talking to Nana for so long last night. I understand why Poppa died. I understand it all. Having to deal with this harsh reality was too much to bear. I stood up and stormed out of the house, Payton and Chrissie following behind. We ran. We ran and sprinted until our legs became numb. I could see Momma following us in the distance. I needed to get away, but I could no longer run. I tried and tried with all my might, but I stepped once and fell. When I fell, I began to get dizzy and I became unconscious.



In what seemed like an eternity later, I woke up nauseous, dizzy, and confused. From an obvious feeling, I can tell Momma is the one who carried me back home. I see Momma, Chrissie, and Payton encircling me as a lie on the couch. I quickly stand up and walk, almost so slow that I am not moving, to the privy so I can vomit. Momma follows close behind and asks me if I feel like I am going to be sick. I make no effort to answer because I feel that if I open my mouth I might throw up right where I am. I force myself to stop moving so I can signal ‘No.’ to her so she will not keep coming after me and hear my retching. As soon as I turn my head, I have a vomiting spasm and it does not stop for what seems like forever. When it finally does, Payton begins making crude remarks. Why does she always have to do that? I got so annoyed that I actually slapped her from an impulse. I did not mean to hurt her, and now I rue it. Now that I am immensely embarrassed I flee, disappointed in myself. Chrissie checks on Payton to makes sure she is all right, but I cannot hear what she says because I slammed the door of our bedroom shut. I can hear her muffled cries in the living room. I can hear Momma trying to relive her from her distress, and I hear Payton screaming horribly vulgar things about me. From what she says, I know she will be on the rampage for an hour or two. I rapidly barricade the door with my bed just in case she comes after me in a sudden rage.





When it is time for dinner, my stomach feels its own empty void. It screams for food now. I move the bed to find Payton sleeping in front of the door. I try to jump over her because I know if I step on her, she will only be angry with me again. I walked backwards six or seven steps, hold my breath, and jump. I just barely make it, and I am glad that I did not step on Payton. I get a colossal bowl of food for Payton, Chrissie, and I to share. Before I wake up Payton, I asked Chrissie if she was still acting as if she was demented. Chrissie told me she was not demented and that she was no longer angry with me. I gently shook Payton’s shoulder as I told her it was time for dinner. With the mere mention of supper, her eyes opened extremely quickly. I grabbed her hand as I led her to the bedroom, which was not the room in which we usually ate. We closed our eyes to say grace over the food, and began eating our gruel. It tasted like dirt combined with a horse’s manure. Gruel is so disgusting! Who would actually want to eat this rubbish? I covered my mouth to prevent another vomiting spasm as I grabbed my spoon to get ready for another spoonful. When the gruel was finally finished, all of us wanted to purge. That was one of the most undesirable, impure, horribly rancid meals I had ever consumed! We suddenly realized that we had probably been awake around an hour or two after our bedtime. Since we are going to Nana’s house tomorrow, Momma says we need to get some rest.



Today is the day. Everyone has highly anticipated this day. That is, everyone but me. If going to Nana’s house means that I would have to abandon Momma in her time of need, then I hate it! I linger in getting ready to go to the train station. Momma says she will drop us off there, but she has to leave as soon as we get there. I have wanted to visit Nana for a while, and Momma knows I have always wanted to go on a train with just Chrissie and Payton accompanying me. Maybe I should go. Besides, Momma even said she did not want us to get sick because of her. I can do this. I begin taking in deep, heavy breaths. If Chrissie and Payton can do it, so can I! I can do this! I step out of the bedroom, fully dressed, as I am a reformed girl.


When the time came, Momma was too sick to walk us to the train station. She was complaining of being hot and then cold. She had shivers running down her back, and she her joints were weak and achy. I assured her that we would be fine going by ourselves to compensate for Chrissie and Payton’s sad faces. Luckily, she believed my false confidence. What she did not realize was that in my heart I knew something horrendously dreadful was going to happen. Momma packed our suitcases and lunchboxes. She even tucked a sweetly written letter in each lunchbox, each with a different message. Momma said that we were officially ‘big girls’ as of the moment we walked out of the door. She said that ‘big girls’ could handle themselves while acting ladylike and she sent us on our way. Chrissie, Payton, and I shared a sudden glance at the door. We kissed Momma goodbye. Then, as instructed, we went on our way. I counted the steps from Momma to the door. “One, two, and three,” I thought to myself. It only took three steps. Three steps until I became a representative of what my mother had taught me. Three steps until I had to face the real world.



I took my first step out of the door as I took a deep breath to calm myself. It took about a half an hour to get to the train station. I took the train tickets out of the pocket of my dress. I suddenly hear a loud sound. It is something I can only hear when a train is within half of a mile of me. It is the sound of the train’s engine. The train is arriving. The girls and I join hands as we step on the dock and board the train. I give the conductor the tickets, and we go on our way to find our seats. When we find seats in Section C, we sit down. We read, talked, napped, played with each other‘s hats, ate, and finally arrived at our stop. I wake up Chrissie, who is a heavy sleeper if I say so myself, and we leave for Nana’s house.



When we are at Nana’s house, we knock on the door. There is a note that reads, “If you are reading this, you are probably waiting for me to answer the door. Instead of knocking on the door, please ring the doorbell so that I can hear you better. Thank you.” I ring the doorbell instead. I see the blinds by the window moving. Then, the door opened. All I can see is the phone in Nana’s face. It seems to have a disappointed, sad, and anxious expression. At first, I thought Nana was disappointed to see us, but I saw the phone in her hands. She waved her hand as a signal to come inside as she walked inside. We all took a seat on Nana’s couch as we waited for her to hang up on her phone call. After about five minutes or so, Nana walked towards us.


“Girls, I am so sorry. I don’t really know how to tell you this,” Nana began. I remembered this phrase from when Momma had explained that Poppa died. From the cracked and deteriorated sound in her voice, I could tell this was not going to be any good news. I tried to send telepathic messages to Payton and Chrissie to brace theirselves, but from the looks on their faces, they had not received them. I probably had the same look on my face because of this news. My heart began pounding and I began having a cold sweat. I could not believe what Nana had just told me. I could not believe that Momma was actually dead! I did not want to believe, but sadly enough I knew it was the truth. Influenza had killed my poor mother. Everything in my world is gone. Both of my parents are dead. I have nothing anymore. The anxiety was killing me. I needed to do something to stop it.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

D..j.. said...
Jan. 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm
glad u guys liked it plz check out more of my work n ill keep reading yours
 
Trucksy said...
Sept. 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm
It was sad, but really good. I just can't help feeling that it was a little rushed at the end in the last paragraph, but t was still really good.
 
Jamie W. said...
Sept. 12, 2009 at 6:41 pm
That was so sad, but it was also so good i look forward to reading more of your stories
 
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