Memories

I watched the needle cut through scarred flesh. The yellowish-brown liquid disappearing into his arm. He sat back with a satisfied sigh. Reaching up another hand grabbed the syringe. The ugly substance disappeared again. Make it. Stab it. Repeat. That was what we have become- mindless, controlled by the pleasures that will surely kill us. I watched my parents bodies slump and felt it as they fell over the edge into oblivion. It was different this time.
I shouldn’t have to do this. I’ve been nine for two weeks now, but they don’t know that. I’ll be parentless before I turn ten at this rate. Maybe that’s okay though. Maybe the pain and the worry will also disappear. Closing the door to their bedroom I walked to the kitchen. I’m not sure what for. I know there’s no food. There never is now. Maybe the false hope that one day it will be how it was. I’ll wake to the sounds of hushed laughter and sizzling of chocolate chip pancakes. My parents will be ready and smiling. Rushing to get me up for school and themselves to work. Laughter and love would be back. To before daddy lost his job and to before mommy tried the bad. To before when I wasn’t alone. I had only been six. What could I do?
I was forced to learn to survive on my own. The love was gone and laughter was dead. Just like pluto. Just like Grandma. I was seven. I carried the bag holding my best friend to the dumpster after his neck had been snapped. I didn’t realize yet that it would hurt so bad. The puppy was gone and soon after so was grandma. I had answered the phone when the call came. Mommy and Daddy were busy trying to feed the monster and dying love they so desperately needed now. The words ‘She’s gone’ will forever haunt me. The funeral numbed my heart and chilled my soul. How was I supposed to know that grandma left a will and my  whole future within it? I was only seven. My inheritage was drained, used to feed the monster not me. But then again how could I know?
I was eight when people in suits came for the first time. Mommy smiled from behind me as I held open the door. She talked and laughed and offered drinks we didn’t have. She gave me a hug and kissed me on the head. I was overjoyed. Mommy was back. Then they left happy with what they saw. The burn on my cheek will always permanently be stained into my memory. Mommy was gone. She was never here. I let the tears fall and tuned out the screaming, turned off the pain. How was I supposed to know not to open the door for them? I was only eight after all.
I closed the fridge door, turned on my heel and walked to the monster's lair. The door creaked as I opened it. It was quiet. The only sound was my breathing and steady heart beat. It was different. It was expected.
       I slowly walked to them. The hollow shells of my Mommy and Daddy. I cleared the bad stuff, tossed it into the corner. I sat between them holding mommy’s hand. Reaching up I closed their eyes.
        I talked to them. I told them about how I missed grandma and Pluto. About how I had a single cupcake on my birthday. I told them how I missed them and how much I will miss them. How I wished they’d get to see me grow up, make them proud. I stood up and whispered that I love them, hoping to hear it back because I couldn’t remember the last time I was told I was loved. Throwing my arms around their necks I gathered my strength to make it to the couch. Turning the TV on I let the tears fall. I screamed and cried the pain too much for my little body, until I fell asleep. I knew someone would come get me soon before it was too late for me too.






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