Photo by Sarah G.
Reflection by Michelle Bryant
Vickie’s house was huge, but Nicole’s bedroom felt so small. The pale yellow walls mimicked the pathetic sun that gloomed over the gray clouds. Mom took us into the room because she told us she had news, sad news. Mom’s hair was in a ponytail with a few strands trying to fly away. Her eyes were red and puffy but were half hidden by her round glasses. She was trying to stay strong but her voice was shaky and her face showed that she was tired and weak.
She had a sweatshirt on. It was an old, purple sweatshirt. It had an eagle on it that was in the middle of flying. The eagle’s mouth was open and his talons were bent and ready to grab. Her capris were acid washed and loose on her thin body. Her socks were too big and fell down her bony ankles.
She sat us on the bed as she bent down to the floor. The carpet was a dark brown color. It looked comfortable until you sat on it and felt its harsh frayed edges on your bare skin. The bed was bouncy. The comforter was soft and had pink, orange, and yellow butterflies on it. The butterflies were clustered at the bottom but scattered at the top.
There were pictures of horses on the walls. Some brown, some white but all stood tall and strong. The pictures were magnified by the silver rectangle that framed them. A tan coat rack was in the corner of the room and it held coats, purses, and sweatshirts while a pink hat sat on top.
Rachelle’s hair was in a ponytail like moms but her fly-a-ways were from playing too much. She had on blue jeans that had holes and a couple of spots of mud from falling into Mother Nature’s left over rain that mixed with dirt. She had on a flannel plaid shirt with stains of dried paint of various colors.
Christie’s hair was curly and light brown. She wore fake glasses and a gray Tweetie Bird shirt. Her black leggings clung tightly to her legs with a loop around her heel. She had on pink socks with a hole in the right foot’s toe. Her blue toenail kept poking through the hole.
My hair was in pigtails. I had purple sweatpants on with a matching purple 101 Dalmatians sweatshirt. My nails were a sparkly pink with chip marks and imperfections. My yellow watch housed the fictional Disney princess’ along with a fictional time.
Mom took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
—You girls know how dad’s diabetes were making him sick?
We slowly nodded.
—Well, sweeties, it made daddy really sick… Dad died.
We stared at her blankly.
—Um, ok. Remember how we have talked about angels and how beautiful they are?
—Yeah, with their pretty white wings?
—Exactly. Well, a beautiful angel—and her pretty white wings—came to Dad last night and carried him up to heaven.-
—The angel said they needed Dad in heaven so he could always look over us and protect us.
—How long will Dad be gone for?
Mom stayed bent down. Her arms were out in front of her carrying her sunken head as her hands were fidgeting with her wedding ring. Her shoulders were tense and raised to her ears. When she looked up, a single tear came rolling down her cheeks. She paused and took several deep breaths in and out trying to form the one word that haunted her.
She took all of our hands and held them tight. She looked at us and pushed Christie’s hair out of her face. She forced a smile and said, "We’ll be okay."
Michelle Bryant attends Delta College and will be transferring to SVSU to become an elementary teacher with a minor in English.
© Michelle Bryant, 2011