Eggs, Ham, 'n Toast This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 1, 2009
By , Fukuoka, Japan
Some days I cock my head back, look up at the sky and wonder if there are people like me. People who wish and wish and wish.
Eggs, ham, and toast: things she was making on the day that I discovered the truth.
Mom was cooking breakfast. The scent wafted down the hall: sweet and thick and warm. Putting on my clothes, I headed to the main room. There she was scouring at the table with a rough, tattered rag and she told me, sit down. Her hands were red as prunes. When I sat down in a chair she stood across from me on the other side of the table and stared hollow and glazed and I don't think she was even looking at me. Then as if she was a red pickup truck she ignited and her eyes shot wide open, her hands shook, and she rushed to the kitchen.
The truth.
‘Cause I saw those pretty egg white pills hiding in your drawer.
Appearing out of the kitchen, she sauntered calmly past me, to her room—couldn’t even hear the door shut—and wept.
You sound like a walrus when you cry.
The truth. I didn’t know, I didn’t know. I didn’t take my bike; I ran to school. Eggs, ham, and toast. Eggs, ham, and toast.
School is safe. Every boy, girl and teacher saw in me a great friend and student. Multi-tasking here and there, no one really knew me but who cared? They liked me that’s what matters. I was the girl who raised her hand in class so no one else had to answer; I was the one who walked around with a horde of friends during break period and so that’s why they liked me. I didn't see what they saw. Mother’s shadow. I wanted to be like popcorn. Pop pop! And you smelled like rich butter and sometimes caramel. Nobody came to my house anymore; it was because: I have so much homework from my science teacher, or I have piano lessons, or I can’t go to peoples houses on weekdays because my daddy doesn’t like it. They whisper. School was safe.

She hunted me down. I thought I was safe; away from her at my aunt’s place with Celine, my dear friend, my only true friend. Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding! It’s raining big, white pills. Make it stop! I couldn’t show Celine. She would run away like I did. People don’t like different people. People teach people to stay away from different people. Crazy people. Insane. I know you’re in there! Mother is calling. I turn to Celine my face red, hot, and a gush of silent tears. Shaking my head slowly from side to side, side to side. Celine stares, not like my mother though. And she takes my hand, tugs me toward her and holds me in her arms and whispers it’s okay, shhhh.
Eggs, ham, and toast. Eggs, ham, 'n toast.

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