COMING HOME FROM THE PARK by Nicholas Garton
Swing sets creak, a water fountain trickles, freshly mowed grass fills the air. I can hear all the other children laughing and playing. Everyone is merry. I’ve got no one. No friends to swing with, no mommy to smile at me from afar.
“Time for dinner” I tell myself as I stroll slowly across the street. My shoulders feel so heavy. Got to get dinner started for Eleanor. That’s my sister. She’s three. I’m eight so I get to boss her around sometimes. Dad can’t do it. He died two years ago from cancer or whatever it’s called. Mom’s probably home but what can she do? Those sharp needles she uses all the time make her act all weird. Then she has people over to the house. They smell like they haven’t had a bath in a long time. They use the same needles as mommy. Then they act weird too. Gets worse every day.
I can’t cry. Other kids in my grade run by me going to their next game. I wish my legs moved that fast still. I walk past our neighbors’ house. Their dad plays with them all the time. Even now I can see them playing a board game or something. I can smell what they’re making for dinner. Don’t know what I’m gonna make for Eleanor. Maybe some beans from that can again.
Home at last. All the noise, the mess, and it looks like mom’s friends are here again.
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