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Bandaged

By , Fairfield, CA
Last week, Mommy and Momma told me that they are getting a divorce. Momma’s still here, though, lying in the bed. It feels funny to see her home but to know that her being here’s like a favor. Is she here now because they’re still friends? Or did Momma make Mommy promise to take care of her first? I stare at Momma’s bandage from the ear surgery. It’s clean and white, but I know it’s hiding a gash. I try not to think about that. The bandage makes me nervous.

“Honey,” Mommy’s saying. “Mm?” I say, still staring. It’s really an ugly thing. “Why don’t you go get some extra pillows for Momma? We can prop her up that way.”

I tear my eyes away, go out, forget what I’m doing, remember, and then come back with the pillow. I think I’ll peek behind the door and watch them before I come in.

Mommy and Momma both seem the same as before the divorce- well, except for Momma, but that’s because she’s on medication from the surgery. But Mommy still seems nice. She’s being careful around Momma so she doesn’t hurt her on accident. Everything seems the same, but I feel cold in my tummy, like I just drank some ice water. My tummy hurts. What if they’re acting the same because they’ve always just been friends? I hold my breath and stare at them really hard, trying to find something, anything to make this not true. If they never loved each other, they would have argued more, I think. If they never loved each other, Momma wouldn’t be here. I think harder. If they- If- If-

“Honey!” Mommy calls, and I jump. “Where are you?”

I come in and give Momma the pillow, wide-eyed. I feel frantic. Mommy says I have to go now and let Momma sleep. She looks at me funny and says maybe I should rest too. I go. I wonder if Mommy’s ever had a bandage. I hope I never need one.





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