Chapter 1 I'm writing another letter to her. At this point I don't
know if she'll receive it but it's worth a try. I read back the
letter in a low whisper. "Dear mom, We hope to hear from you.
Things are slow here. You know the usual Gloucester summers.
Anyway, Lauren is talking about leaving phoenix for a while, she
wants to come back to see dad. We will see what happens. Tell Brian
I say hi. Anyway uh call me i guess. Your Daughter, Maddie" The
family has been hurting since my mom moved. She and her new
husband, Brian moved to L.A. to pursue his music career. I glance
to see my digital clock blinking 3:08 A.M. I put on a sweatshirt
and sat back down on my dark wooden desk chair. I hear the door
slowly shut and click closed. This means one thing, my sister is
home. I hear her footsteps. I shut down everything on my laptop as
soon as I can. The steps stop. I look up, she's standing there
biting her lip. "Hey, you're still up?" Caroline said. "Yeah, why?"
I said in an almost threatening tone. "Nothing, I just wasn't
expecting you up. That's all." She muttered. "Oh, well I am, I just
sent a letter to mom maybe shell actually-" "C'mon mom doesn't care
anymore. Can't you just accept it already!" Caroline turned and
began to walk away. I called after her "She'll change! Just watch!"
I don't know if this is true. My mom has never been keen on new
changes unless it helped her. I put the laptop on the desk and walk
into the bathroom. Caroline had her pissed off face on. "Get out
now" She said. "No. It will take me a second, I promise." I lied.
We both began to brush our teeth. I look at myself in the mirror.
My hair is a dark brown, same color as my sisters'. I look at
Caroline; we have a resemblance that everyone used to point out.
Caroline used to be my best friend. We did all of the usual kid
stuff together. Summers were always the best. We used to go
sailing, camping, anything we could do together, and we did it.
After my parents got a divorce things changed. Lauren moved to
Phoenix with her superficial boyfriend. His name is Chris. He
claims to be a model, though no one really believes him. Caroline
wasn't the same after she came back from camp last summer. She used
to be fun. We would always watch movies. Now she is always out and
never likes to laugh. I spit, rinse my mouth, and wash my face. I
look at Caroline in the mirror. She looks sad. "Hey, good night." I
say with a smile. "Night Mads." She said without changing her
expression. I walk out of the bathroom. On my way back to my room I
noticed my dad's light was on. I walked to his room and peeked in.
He is sitting on the bed in pajama pants and a white cotton
t-shirt. His eyes are red and wet. He has been crying. "Dad?" I
said. "Hey pal. Come here let's talk" He said as he looked up to
see my confused expression. "Okay" I walk over to the bed. My body
is stiff. "So, what's going on?" He said with an attempt to be
somewhat cheerful "Nothing dad. Why were you crying?" "Well," There
was a long pause. "Yeah?" I encouraged "Well, Maddie, I went to the
doctor's today." "And?" I said in a soft voice. "They found
something... I have another appointment on Thursday. "He began to
go into a rant. "Dad, what is it?" I said a little irritated. "Mad,
I have lung cancer." My face became hot, my eyes became swollen and
my throat started to choke up. I could feel wet tears start to
stream down my face. "Maddie, just listen to me. It's okay, It can
be cured." He started to talk quickly. I ran out sobbing. Caroline
was standing there. Her eyes were red and her face was blank. I
continued torush to my room. I heard Caroline's voice faintly in
the background. "Dad. I can't believe you ever started smoking. You
should have listened to mom." She said sharply. It made me wince. I
closed my eyes and drifted off into a deep, thoughtless sleep.
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