Prolog- Life as I knew it
I stared down into her deep blue eyes - the very ones I shared.
Hers were far away, lost in some magical land which her mind had
created while mine were stuck looking at the horrifying reality.
I still held her hand that had long ago turned cold and limp; it
felt so weak and powerless clutched tightly in mine. Not a single
tear had fallen from my cheek nor had a single noise escaped from
my clenched throat. Nothing seemed real as I stared deeply into
her unseeing eyes.
"Robin…" I heard a sob come from the other side of the bed. I
didn't react and was unable to tear my eyes away from what lay
before me. Doing that would mean moving on, and moving on would
mean facing the one thing I was trying to avoid more than
"Robin…please…look at me." The person was almost impossible to
understand. Her voice was cracking and she was hardly able to
speak over the concealed sobs that were trying to rip their way
up from deep inside her chest. My eyes stayed unwavering, my body
unmoving, and my mind suspended in a never ceasing limbo.
I heard the sobs from the other side of the sterile bed become
closer together and more frantic. I let my eyes travel from the
deep blue ones I had been looking into and up to the dark brown
ones that were saturated in tears.
My older sister was holding a tissue up to her face trying to
stop her never-ending flow of tears. I saw her looking down
despondently at they body that lay between us. I bit my lower
lip, trying to hold back tears that threatened to spill from my
I felt a hand touch my shoulder in unwanted sympathy. A low,
calculated voice spoke from behind me. "How old are you two? Is
there anyone we can call?" his worried tone was annoying me. I
wanted to be alone; couldn't he see that?
"W-well…" My sister started but was unable to finish when the
sobs once again over took her body. I saw a white robed nurse
come over and put an arm around her while someone else got her a
chair to sit in. I loved my sister, but at that moment I hated
her for her weakness. I wanted her to get up, wipe her eyes and
As I watched her convulse with sobs on that chair, though, I knew
I would once again not be getting what I wished for most in the
"There is no one." I said in a flat voice. The small sentence
strained my clenched throat but it felt good saying what I had
been thinking since that little beeping machine had held out one
I saw the surprise on everyone face. I wasn't sure if it was my
announcement that had shocked them or the fact I had spoken at
all. "Sweetie…" a curly red haired nurse said softly. I realized
she had been the one to help my sister. "Anyone at all…an aunt or
uncle perhaps…?" she was speaking slowly like I was dumb. I
looked right into her eyes, giving her a death glare.
"There. Is. No one." I said slowly, starting to get aggravated. I
wanted to scream at these doctors for failing.
I wanted them to pay for letting my mother die.
They all swerved their heads around to look at my broken sister.
I fumed that they had not believed me and needed confirmation
from a person who was obviously incapable of anything at the
moment. My sister was able to give a slight nod of her head
before she once again doubled over with hopeless cries.
"Well…um…" the tall doctor who had his hand on my shoulder
stuttered. I pushed his hand off of me and spun around to face
"I told you. There is no one. We're alone." I said between
"Sweetie…" I heard my sister say. I turned my head to face her as
she looked up at me. Her eyes glistened with tears and her face
was a deep red unlike its normal fair color.
"Please…don't be mean…they're just trying to help," she said in a
I blinked once at her, and then exploded.
"How do you know!? How do you think we're going to pay for
everything? Moms dead and your falling apart Jessica!" I screamed
at the top of my lungs. I couldn't believe she was sticking up
for the people who had let my mother die.
She leaned over and started sobbing again while the tall doctor
pulled me out of the room and into the white hallway. I was still
screaming at Jessica; I was cursing her for not being here with
me when mom flat lined, for leaving home, for never coming back
The doctor leaned down so his face was level with mine. I looked
right through him as he fruitlessly attempted to make me feel
better. I blocked him out and along with him everything else; the
moans from other rooms of the dying, my sister's uncontrollable
sobs, and the curly haired nurse asking me if I wanted something
to eat or drink.
I'm an expert at blocking things out. I did it every time my
mother came home drunk or high and started sprouting nonsense.
Ever since I was little if I didn't want to hear or see something
I blocked it out and thought of my most favorite memory.
That's what I did now, with this fool doctor trying to comfort me
and everyone in this infernal hospital showing me unwanted pity.
I felt my eyes glass over as I thought back to a time before life
had taken a turn for the worse.
"Come here baby." My mother said, her arms open. I climbed
into them and sat on her lap as she rocked the rocking chair back
and forth. I laid my head against her chest and let the rocking
"Mama," I mumbled sleepily, "Can you tell me a story?" I
could feel my mother's chuckle when the rise and fall of her
chest had a slight hitch.
"Of course." She said in a quiet, sweet voice. I opened my
eyes and looked up at her as she turned her head and grabbed the
big storybook of the counter. I snuggled closer to her as she
cracked the pages of the book and began to read, "Once Upon A
"Miss?" a new voice broke me out of my trance. I cursed the voice
for making the sweet memory fade away and I looked angrily up at
the body the voice was connected to. Expecting to see another
white robed doctor, I was surprised to see a tall, well-groomed
lady in a suit. She was dark-skinned and her black hair was
pulled up on top of her head in a smart bun. She loomed over me
and her gaze was piercing. She gave me a look of incredible
condescension. I met her dark brown almost black eyes with the
"Yes, Ma'am?" I said making the ma'am sarcastic; sarcasm was one
of the few things I had learned from my worthless sister.
She leaned down so she was eye level with me. He lips were pursed
and she had the appearance of just having eaten a lemon. "Are you
Amber Black?" she said, her tone light but her eyes stony.
Unwilling to play her games I nodded my head once in response,
never breaking the stare. "Ah, good then." Her smile was
"Excuse me? Who are you?" I heard the curly haired nurse say from
behind me. I wondered what she was still doing here as I had made
it quite clear I didn't want her around.
"I am Ms. Dana Purdy from Child Protective Services. I'm here to
take Miss Black." She said calmly straightening up. The nurse's
eyes went wide and scrambled between the two of us.
"Oh, well, do you have any identification?" she asked, her face
flushed. The Ms. Purdy held out some sort of ID card and some
papers. The nurse stared at items for a few moments before
continuing, "Well…um…yes. Of course."
I looked between them for a second before frantically shouting,
"Jess! Jess come here!" I felt my heart speed up when no answer
"Your sister…well she left awhile ago Hun." The nurse said,
bending down. I looked blankly at her, wondering why everyone
assumed I wouldn't be able to hear unless they bent down to my
"You're lying." I said calmly. The nurse looked taken aback and
straightened her spine before I had a chance to continue.
"Take her." The nurse said before turning briskly on a heel. I
felt someone grab my arm and I started struggling on an instinct.
"Let go! Jess!" I started shouting hysterically. I felt a hand
cover up my mouth, turning my cries into muffled moans.
"I'm not going to hurt you but you need to quiet down! This is a
hospital, didn't your mother teach you any manners?" Mrs. Purdy
scolded. I stopped fighting and looked ahead where I could see
the room where my mother's dead body lay. There was a single,
white sheet covering her form.
The only part of her I could see was a lock of her long, golden
I stopped in my tracks and cried my heart out.