|For All Your Freaking Life
Author: Satoshi Nakamura PM
Upon the death of their beloved father, two young sisters find themselves in the care of their step-mother. Through it all, as long as we have each other, we still have a family and everything will always be okay. A dark short story.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Friendship - Words: 1,172 - Published: 04-23-12 - id: 3016226
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The excited shouts of children echoed as the school day came to an end and they rushed outside to the playground.
Michelle and Maria met up and headed out to the playground. At ages 8 and 6 respectively, they were very close and did everything together. Every day, they did this same routine while they waited a half hour or so for their dad to pick them up after he got done with work.
It was always the same everyday…except today. A half hour came and passed. The playground began to empty out as parents arrived to pick up their children or the parents who had stayed to watch their children play for a bit decided that it was time to go.
Michelle and Maria didn't think much about their father's lateness. Sometimes he would work up to two or two and a half hours overtime.
As they waited, they met a girl at the playground. She was of Asian descent and older than Maria but younger than Michelle. They met her as they waited to play on the slide. The little girl was ahead of Michelle and Maria in the line for the slide.
Like all kids do, the three made small talk while waiting.
"What's your name?" Michelle and Maria asked together first.
"My name is Lilli. What are your names?" the Asian girl, Lilli, continued the impromptu conversation.
"Michelle! And Maria!" the two girls answered, saying their own names.
Not paying attention, Michelle thought that the line had moved so she began to move. However, Lilli didn't move quick enough and Michelle ran into her. Lilli fell, hitting her head softly on the slide tunnel as she did.
As many young children tend to do, Lilli was quick to start crying from the pain.
Michelle felt bad. She had not wanted to hurt their new friend. She glanced between the slide and Lilli and figured out a way that could make the younger girl feel better; if nothing else, it was at least worth a try. "Do you forgive me?"
Lilli, startled by Michelle's quick question, stopped crying and rubbed her eyes. She immediately nodded silently.
Michelle smiled and then she grabbed Lilli's hand and sat down behind her at the top of the slide. The they rode down the slide together and Michelle could hear Lilli's laughs of excitement. As they got to the bottom, they got off the slide so Maria could come down. Glancing at Lilli, Michelle saw a large smile.
Within minutes, Maria joined the girls down on the ground. However, their fun time together came to an end.
A small Asian woman with a gentle face walked up to the girls. With a pretty smile that showed perfect white teeth, she ask, "Di you make some new friends, Lillian?" The response to her question was a nod from her young daughter. "Well, it's time to go home now. Say goodbye, Lillian," she told her daughter with a sweet voice.
"Bye," Lilli said in a soft voice. She grabbed her mom's hand and they headed off toward their home.
Michelle and Maria watched them go. By now, the playground had all but cleared out. A few children continued to play, but, within 15 minutes, their parents made them leave as well.
The sun continued to dip lower as it closed into the horizon where it would rest for the night. The sisters were alone and still their father had not come. Now they were beginning to worry because their father had never been this late before.
"What do we do now?" Maria asked, "No one's here anymore. It's almost dark and it's getting cold."
"We walk home," Michelle answered. Dad gave us the address for a reason. I know that he prefers that we walk home with him, but he's obviously not coming."
Together, the sisters headed in the familiar route toward their house. They had walked this way many times so they knew that they were going the right way.
"Do you think he forgot about us?" Maria asked suddenly.
Michelle sighed as she replied, "I don't know. I doubt it, but he usually comes. I really don't know what to think about all of this."
It did not take very long to walk home because the sisters did not live too far from the elementary school. As they stood in front of their house, they noticed that there were several lights on in the house, including the one in their father's study. Exchanging glances, the two sisters walked through the gate, closing it again behind them, up to the front porch and into the front door to a foyer.
Deeper into the country-style house, in one of the other rooms, they heard a voice. "Yes, I understand. That is very unfortunate. No, No, it'll be okay. Thank you, officer, goodbye."
"Girls! Come here!" The sisters heard the yell immediately after the phone was hung up. They exchanged glances again and then walked to their father's study.
Walking in, they noticed that their father's big leather computer chair was turned and faced away from the door.
The chair turned around, almost as if on its own and revealed the sisters' step-mother. Michelle and Maria's mother had died when the sisters were very, very young. Their father remarried, but the woman who became the girls' step-mother had never liked kids and had no intentions of ever having any of her own. However, she knew that her husband adored his daughters so she feigned love for them to stay with him.
"Your father has been killed in a car accident."
Though they were still so young, Michelle and Maria knew the impact that these words would have on their lives. All of their relatives lived very far away and, now, with their father gone, there would be no reason for their step-mother to hide her hatred toward them.
Michelle, being the oldest, spoke first. "Since Dad's gone, you're supposed to walk us home from school. He hates to have us walk home by ourselves."
"Now why would I do something like that? Just cause he wanted it that way?" their step-mother spoke, emphasizing the pronoun that stood for the now-deceased man who had so deeply cared for the girls. "You seem to forget that I don't care what you two do. You both clearly know the way, seeing as you insignificant brats are standing in front of me now. Therefore, you can walk the way on your own. Now, get out of my sight."
The girls slunk quietly out of the study and went to their bedroom. They knew that their lives were going to change and that the changes were more than likely not going to be good, but they knew that, no matter what, and come what may, they would always have each other.