In the parking lot, a child cries. I’ve locked her away in my head, about seven years old, hair stringy from the pool. A bead of sweat makes its way down my face and I slam the window, startling the cat. Everything goes red, then black. I let myself fall back on the bed and all the while the clock hums, its second hand chasing itself in dumb circles. All is not well–my home has no heart.

When I came back to Olympia, there was no one here. The faces of my former friends flash before me; they smiled until Molly but are now either absent or contemptuous of my choice to terminate. Since then, I’ve adapted to life on the fringes. I stay inside, avoiding the damp mist of morning and the junkies on the streets. They might feel guilty when they think of me, a sister abandoned to her misery. I take a breath, hot with the wrath of a powerless victim of circumstance, look down at my brown arms and sob. I’m paralyzed by indecision and am not quite sure how to move on.


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