Sometimes regret is all we can hold onto...
| Mama woke me up at the bridge of dawn with a cry.
‘What’s wrong Mama?’ I asked with concern.
‘My dear child, only the Lord shall know truthfully,’ she replies as her eyes shone wetly in the early morning sun.
My throat started to crack, ‘Is it somethin’ with Annabelle's bein’ ill?’
Mama nodded. My ragged breaths came out as disheveled gasps of terror.
I saw Doctor Miller standing by my door, his head hung low. I saw pity in his eyes as I watched the last of his brown irises. ‘She’ll be in a better place now.’
He left us be.
Then all I can think of is the rush of my mother’s sobs, her hands grasping on the back of my dress. I patted her light brown hair that was turning gray at the roots, consoling her so her sanity doesn’t go lost. Like I did.
Tabetha died in the fire because of me. It will always be my fault. It was my bad luck that has cursed me, my family, and my life forever.
Then, I found myself soaking Mama’s dress. I was finally crying. I wasn’t bleeding, but I was human enough.
I stood from my bed after having to shrug Mama off of me. I led her into the tiny kitchen, sat her by the warm hearth. I made her some tea, pouring it into one of the blue ceramic mugs Mama makes at her women’s group. Mama believed that everytime we sipped tea in these cups, we became one step closer to Heaven. I patted her shoulder before leaving to see my sister.
By then, it will be the last time I ever see my sister’s long golden curls, not bouncing that way when she walks; her liquid butterscotch eyes, but without the constant glee she brought with her, in place with emptiness; her freckled face, but so pale that the freckles seem like soil. The soil she shall be buried in. I shut her cold lids, making her sleep peacefully.
Even though she died sick, I hope she died happily.
And found her past five living years as joyous as she was.