I remember my fragile little sister. The BANG, the crack. The crack that snaked its way from her tiny little head to my mother’s heart. The crack so big it’s cartoonish. The crack that I could have prevented.
I remember the doll that she held so close to her chest in the box buried deep in the earth. The box that my parents visit every week of every month.
I remember eating alone under the big wooden stairs that creaked so loud I couldn’t think straight. Eating alone because I was “the creepy kid,” and no one wants to befriend “the creepy kid.”
I remember how my parents wouldn’t let me near my newborn baby brother. The fear that hid behind my parents’ happy eyes that only I could see. In fear of what happened before. In fear of another crack. Another crack that would tear our family to shreds. In fear of me.
I remember my brother not having any friends because he lived with me. He grew into my shadow, alone. He spent elementary school alone, like me. It wasn’t right though. He was so full of joy, and no one gave him a chance, because of me.
I remember hearing my older sister’s cries as her boyfriend betrayed her. Each word, each slap brought me closer to him. My sister’s scared pale blue eyes as she watched me beat her boyfriend unconscious. Even my sister was scared of the boy that she used to call “squirt”.
I remember the coughs that racked my mother’s body as her cheeks lost color and her head went limp even though her kaleidoscope eyes stayed open. The eyes that I could still see in my dreams. No matter where I went they followed me, staring at me, staring through me.
I remember the cries that echoed through the hall long after she had gone. The cries that lulled me to sleep night after night. The cries of my father. The cries of the man that I have lived with forever. The cries that I have only heard one time before. The cries I could have stopped. Without the first crack, my father wouldn’t be broken.
I remember the pain.
I remember the terror and pain. So much pain. Too much for one family.
I remember the blood. The blood that haunts me every day, every night.
I remember endless nights of nightmares where my thoughts took over.
I remember even though it kills me.
I remember even after death.
Nina Mellor, Age 13, Grade 8, MS 245 the Computer School, Silver Key