by E.B. Write
The news that a 12-year-old never wants to hear.
|I got home from the first day of school, exhausted and hungry. Then I remembered the muffins from that morning, one of those would just make me melt. I looked in my kitchen cupboard and found that those delicious blueberry muffins were still there. I grabbed one for a snack. I made my way back to the table and sat down. The phone rang, I started to get up when Mom yelled, “I got it!”
To stop those piercing rings, Mom picked up the phone and exchanged a few words with the person on the other side of the phone, “Hi… How are you… What’s up,” that was the first of the conversation, sounds like a normal conversation doesn’t it? Happy and all, that’s what she and I assumed. No one would guess what happened next. She listened for about a minute. Then screamed through tears, “OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH!” over and over again, she had lost it. My head sprang up, startled, Mom never lost it. My mind went to my grandma with cancer, Mom’s mom. That would make her reaction make sense. She went on screaming like that for 2 minutes when Dad ran into there and asked what happened, he lowered his voice and hung up the phone. Mom started screaming, “OH MY GOSH!” again. This time it went on for about half an hour. Before she stopped and just went to crying.
Then, my heart racing at what would happen next, Mom called all of us children into the Arizona room. I was ready to cry if she told us what I suspected. That wasn’t going to happen. The page on the computer screen confused me. It was on Facebook, the news had posted that three dead bodies had been found in a very familiar-looking place, but I didn’t recognize where it was. I was tremendously bewildered, why would she have the screen on that. Then I realized that this was in Queen Creek, we might know these people.
Mom looked at us with devastatingly crestfallen eyes. She said in an unsteady voice, “Emily, Kyle, and Mrs. Lisa are dead. They were found last night.” It took me a moment to realize and digest what she said, who she had said. Theatre friends, that's what they were. What to feel, how to feel, it was a mystery. I suppressed my emotions to comfort my family, “It’s okay. It’s going to be okay, “ I chanted over and over again, but what did that mean, being okay. That day I lost my mind, I lost my ability to ignore the bad in the world, I lost my will to live, my eyes as empty as my grave. Not the first I knew to die, but they were the first I knew to have murdered. The first time someone I knew was blamed for a murder. A murder-suicide is what it was called in the following months. Ms. Lisa was said to have killed her children and then herself. I knew she'd never do it, but I was forced to hear those claimed on her name every day for the next year.
That might have been the worst night I have ever had. My tears were drenching my pillow, my sheet smelled as saltwater. My heart was heavy in my chest, my mind hurt from thinking of what happened. I cried myself to sleep that night, hoping I would not wake up. That terrible, horrible night, that night of dreaded news that no child wants to hear, that night of the horrendous headline.