Porcelain

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She woke up in the bathtub of someone she didn’t know. Slumped down in the white porcelain fortress of the tub she slowly opened her eyes. Her skin came off as dirty, pale, and yellow looking to the naked eye. There, wedged under her nails; dirt. Her hair contained light brown and fell right to her collarbone. Side swept bangs glazed across her forehead and her hair, a beachy wave. Hazel eyes, a button nose, light pink thin lips and high cheek bones. Her face caked in dirt, smudged all across her cheeks, across her nose, and lots more at the bottom of her chin. She lay in the bathtub staring across blankly at the silver knobs and spout of the tub. She went through her mind trying to figure out how she got to this tub with gray and black shower curtains. She closed her eyes and found it easier to keep them that way, shut, seeing only the backs of her lids. Her brother, Landon, 6’11”, chestnut clean cut hair, big brown eyes like a basset hound, dimples deep and digging into his cheeks whenever he smiled. Known for being a goofy character, smiling at everyone he came across, and pitching for the baseball team. She opened her blood shot eyes as salty tears began to run down her dirt smudged face and seep into her mouth. She rubbed her greasy matted hair as things became familiar. Landon moved to California to pursue a career in baseball after he graduated. He habituated there for a year and things progressed becoming more and more wonderful for him. Playing college baseball was his dream and he excelled as the year went on. He came back for the summer. Her and Landon went to concerts together, talked about all the things they couldn’t make sense of, and of course there was baseball in the neighborhood park. She searched through the files of her mind and stumbled upon that August day in the park. Landon stood on the mound, pressing his baseball into his mitt over and over. He wore a navy blue cap, which sent a shadow down and stopped at his nose. White t-shirt and cargo shorts accompanied by his old beat up and yellowed sneakers.

“Ames?” he asked as he looked directly into the sun, squinting and chewing air. “Do you think I can do it?” he asked still glancing at the sun.

“Do what?” she asked looking up at him, her forehead glossed with beads of sweat and her ponytail hanging at the middle of the back of her head.

“This,” he replied looking at the batting cages and spreading his arms out to reveal the open field.
“Can I,” he emphasized the word I, “Can I seriously do this? Play baseball, sun beating down on my nose, sweat dripping from underneath my ball cap, possibility of throwing out my arm baseball?” he said all this with a chuckle.

Amy grinned wide and rolled her eyes to the sky.

“Landon,” she paused and looked him in the eye, “I think, I believe you can do anything, and you will.”
Landon swayed and bumped Amy’s arm. He put his arm around her neck and growled. He kissed her on the head and took the palm of his hand and rubbed her head so her hair peaked out of her ponytail holder and stood at the top of her sweaty strands of ponytailed hair.
Summer came to a standstill and Landon headed back to California. She’d always known, even in elementary school that Landon had a weak heart. He was born that way; there had been complications when he was born. He had to watch what he ate and drank and he had to be careful not to work himself too hard. He didn’t listen. In the middle of the mound at a game, his feet came out from under him and he collapsed, eyes rolling into the back of his head. He died. Right on that mound, that God forsaken pile of dirt. Amy hugged her knees in the bathtub feeling her heart beat loudly. Amy remembered bursting out the door, jumping into her car, tears streaming down her face, her face became hot and she couldn’t see through the foggy, glassy tears that jumbled themselves in her eyes. There, in the desolate green of woods; a party. Bottle after bottle, like a game in her mind. She remembered falling on the ground with the bonfire next to her warming and scorching the side of her body. She smashed her face into the dirt, breathing it into her nostrils, tasting it dry and warming on her tongue. Getting into her eyes and seeping under her nails. She drank more and more until she could feel nothing. She felt like a bobble head, lifeless, full of air like a balloon. She still had no idea who’s bathtub she was in, but she knew a little of why she laid there.





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