It lurched in my stomach as I sat in the chair, shifting uncomfortably. Plastic chairs were so hard- I wish they had plush ones here.
My dad sat next to me, holding my hand. He knew I was afraid. I knew he was afraid too. So there we sat, both afraid, both comforted by the fact that the other person was afraid too. But being afraid would do nothing. It never did.
It was a typical, sunny morning, and I was on the front lawn drawing pictures. I sketched a tree with a squirrel in it, and long stalks of grass hiding a grasshopper. As I drew, I got drowsier and drowsier. Soon, I couldn’t even draw. I just sat in the grass, listening to the birds sing and the water churn. Behind me, in my house, something delicious was cooking. I smelled crisp bacon and scrambled eggs, but I was much too drowsy to get up and satisfy hunger.
I got up and filled my paper cup for what seemed like the four hundredth time. The seconds tick by like minutes, the minutes tick by like hours, and the hours felt as slow as one of my dad’s lectures. I don’t know how long I’ve been here. I don’t want to find out.
Someone cried my name, far away. It seemed so distant - like a long forgotten memory of someone I once loved. I shook my head to clear it. It was my mom, calling to me that breakfast was ready. But the grass was so sweet, so comforting, that I didn’t bother to move. That was my mistake.
We didn’t talk; after all, what was there to say? I’m sorry? The fear tossed around inside me again. Actually, it wasn’t just inside me. It was all around us, in the air, on the hard plastic chairs, breathing on my neck, whispering in my ear. It chanted one word- afraid, afraid, afraid. It got louder and louder, until it crowded my ears. I couldn’t breathe. I was drowning, drowning in fear.
She came out of the house, hands on her hips, storming towards me. She pulled me by the ear and stood me up, giving me the scolding of a lifetime. I apologized, now thoroughly awake, ear burning. She was yelling at me, and then she stopped. Her face looked stricken. I followed her gaze to see a squirrel, lying in the middle of the road. I knew what she was going to do.
My body was tense, my eyes weary. We had been waiting forever, and it seemed like the waiting would never end. An eternity was shorter than this! Waiting was the worst part of anything. It was the waiting that was really scary. It mounted tension, like waiting for a test to start. A wrenching feeling in your gut consumes your body. You don’t know what to do.
I watched, helpless, as she ran down onto the road. She had always been faster than me. She loved animals, all kinds of them. She couldn’t bear to see them hurt. But I couldn’t stop her, I was too late. Always too late.
There was one thing that weighed on my mind, that gripped my heart and spawned fear. Just one thought: This was all my fault.
A single scream shatters the air. The innocence I had always had, and always thought I would have, left me. And I was left on the lawn, staring at the blood that looked too red, staring at the car that drove too fast, staring at my mom who cared too much.
And I was alone.
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