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don't forget that

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We got stuck behind a tractor while driving home from the funeral. Dad just tightened his grip on the wheel & continued to not see. I drifted in-between alive & functioning. It had been a tractor's fault, & I read on my father's face that he was remembering everything. I didn't blame him, nobody did. Somethings are simply accidents.

When we got home I fixed us a pair of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, they used to be our favorite, I remembered. Hers too, it stung to remember a time when the house wasn't so deathly silent. In the past week I'd lost the foundations of my life, for Dad was past gone. I tried speaking but could not find my vocal chords. Neither one of use was in the "let's talk" stage.

So I went out to my sole comfort, my Appaloosa pony dubbed Lucifer for her temper. As I touched her neck she seemed to say "I'm here for you Ember." My selective hearing made Lucifer's words sound like my mom. But I didn't cry, not then, not ever. I didn't see the point, so I just leaned against my beloved pony & remembered.

That summer I got Lucifer, the time I broke everyone of Mom's nice teacups because I was mad at her, the day I first saw the ocean, when I learned every star in the sky from my mom, & her teaching me family recipes dated from before the Civil War, her chasing me around the yard when I was 8 & she has a giant spoon & was threatening to eat me.

I remembered everything, but Dad came to the rescue before I could remember this week, when he tapped me on the shoulder, I must have been near sleep while leaning on Lucifer. We walked back in silence, I was forgetting his voice. Time evaded us & every minute lasted hours. Neither one of us would let the other alone, but the quietness seeped into our bones.

Still in our funeral clothes, we had a casserole for dinner, made by my Aunt Judy. While we picked at our food I couldn't help but notice the absence of family in the past week. They'd been there at the hospital , & at the funeral. But our house stayed silent. Grudges against my father remained even though we were all suffering the same loss.

There was no reason to prolong the now slightly awkward silence that enveloped my home, so I went to bed. As I laid down I felt it immediately, there were a thousand hands pressing on my chest, crushing my hopes of quietly slipping to sleep. I closed my eyes & hoped it would all end soon. Hours seemed to pass.

The door opened nearly silently & my father's shell crept in, he tucked me in thinking I was asleep. He spoke for the first time in a week. "I love you Ember, don't forgot that."

I cried.





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