Summer's Sand

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This is just too much for me. I am just so tired of this never ending heat, this never ending let down. Well, Dad is gone now. I should have seen that one coming. I wish he had said something to me. At least he said something to Mom. After he lost his job, he became more distant. He lived with us, but he was never home. I don’t know why he decided to not live with us anymore. Doesn’t he understand that this makes things worse? My poor mother had a hard enough time making money before, now we are alone.

I can feel mother standing behind me. I came out here to be alone, not to have her follow me. We all have things following us. More and more my mother follows me. I am sure that there are things following my mother. Guilt is following my father.

I want to run away. I want to go somewhere special. I want to live in a castle that has an enormous room filled to the brim with money. My mother and father could live there, and all my other friends and family could live there too. We could each have our own rooms with soft beds and huge feather pillows. It would be so happy. One happy kingdom, but that isn’t real. I cannot tell what is real anymore.

My mother’s hand is on my shoulder now. My pretend kingdom leaves me forever. I am brought back to this heat. Her hand squeezes me. I can tell that it’s the, “Come on, Margo.” grip. I am not ready to turn around and face what is going on, but I must. Like the Earth, I turn slowly, looking up at her face. What do I see? A tired woman, a beautiful woman whose gaze tells me I am loved.

I walk with her to the house, the soil and dried grass crunching under our bare feet. It feels grainy. I wonder what it is like to be this soil. To be stepped on, to be so thirsty, and to be baked hard by the sun. I am glad that I am not this soil. What a terrible life it must lead, but then I think more. The soil wasn’t always like this. It had lush grass. It had morning dew and midnight rain. Being this soil wouldn’t be so bad then.

The screen door creaks open. The heat crushes you in here. Almost like the roof has caved in, and you are trapped inside. Mother goes into the kitchen and sits with her coffee mug. I am sure it is long empty, but the feeling of it in her hands is like gripping the fractured bits of her life together. She is sane now. I guess she will be making supper soon. I cannot eat. I don’t feel like I could fit any food inside of me. A brick is in my stomach. No, a cinder block, solid, sitting inside of me. There is no way I am eating.

I flop myself onto the bed in the center of my room. The cracked ceiling looks down at me. Is this what my life will be, cracked? The peeled ceiling is a grim foreshadowing of what my life will be, but I guess the ceiling wasn’t always like this. When this house was first built the ceiling must have been smooth, new with high hopes. I used to be like that, smooth and new, but like this old ceiling above me I am chipping and flaking off into nothing. What if someone fixed the ceiling? Sanding it and repainting it new. Fixing the blemishes and making something great out of the old ceiling. That could happen to me, and I could be new.

Everything in my life has changed. I am surprised my name hasn’t changed, but alas I am still Margo. I plan on being Margo for a long time too. I think that is a good thing to be, myself. It would be hard to be anything or anybody else. I wonder what it is like to be my mother. She is a good person. So, I guess I would be a good person too. No one has anything bad to say about my mother. So, I would be loved by many. That is a really good feeling.

I stand up now, too quickly. I have to sit back down because the blood has rushed to my head. For a moment I am sick. The pressure in my head is too much to bare, but it slowly fades away. Again I stand, and make my way to the front room. I feel more at peace now. Today really doesn’t seem too bad. I am still here, and the world did not end. I guess that is a good thing. The heat isn’t so hard to live with anymore. It will be cool again soon.

The sound of my mother brings me to the kitchen. She has her back facing me this time. She is at the sink washing dishes. I place my hand on the back of the chair she was once sitting at. I peer into the mug she once held. As I had thought, it is empty. I clear my throat to let her know I am there. She doesn’t turn, like I had done. I walk up to her and wrap my arms around her waist. I give her my, “It’s okay mom, I am here” grip. She turns and looks at my face. By her smile I can tell she knows she is loved.





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