This book goes out to Diane, the badass musician known as GrandMAH, catch her mixtape online.
My back pains have gotten worse lately, maybe I should see a doctor, but at my age that would only make things worse. An old man like myself has got better things to do with my time, like feed my dogs.
I roll out of bed slowly with a groan, these damn back pains. My dull grey pajamas have stains, they’re a bit wet. I must’ve pissed myself again.
“Dammit!” I slipped on my blue slippers, the grooves inside fit perfectly on my toes, well after years of wearing them.
I make my way down the hallway, birds are yelling outside. I wish they would stop their yacking. I look to the left, it’s my living room. My comfy chair and television are by my bookcase. There’s mail on the floor that I can’t bend over to pick up, so I leave it, piling up.
I walk to the right, through my kitchen and open the back door, “Pop! Nugget! Come get some food!” I stare out into the backyard overgrown with weeds, it’s so silent. “Come eat!” The backyard remains silent, and I stand there. I forgot my dogs have died a long time ago. How dumb of me. I stare at my slippers, I should really get new ones. I shut the back door and make my way back to my room.
A nap sounds nice. I get back in my bed, the spring mattress really hurts my back. At least I have my teeth safely in a cup. My vintage digital alarm clock says 6 a.m., why am I up so early? I go back to sleep.
I dream that I’m young again, and can do everything that I used to. I feel free, until this loud banging noise rings through my ear. Tap! Tap! Tap!
I wake up, my back hurting. I roll out of bed slowly with a groan. I think I pissed myself again, “Shit!” I slipped on my blue slippers, they fit perfectly in my toes.
I make my way down the hallway, the door keeps tap tapping. “I’m coming! Hold your horses!” I step on a mountain of letters I haven’t been able to pick up. My hands tremble violently as I try to unlock the door, curse my old age. After some time I manage to unlock and open the door. The sunlight burns my eyes, “Who is it? Whaddaya want?”
A blonde babe is holding her daughter’s hand, the daughter’s wearing a green girl scout uniform. “Hello Sir, would you like to buy my daughter’s girl scout cookies?” She stared at me, I think she wants me. She looks at my mail, “Oh dear Samantha, could you pick up this man’s mail?
“I haven’t been able to pick it up due to my bad back, oh thank you miss.” I smile, but Samantha begins to laugh. I hold a pile of mail in my arms.
“Look at him mommy! He has no teeth!” She puts her fingers and plugs her nose, “And he smells pe-ew!”
The blonde woman ushers Samantha towards the sidewalk and grabs a pack of cookies from her red wagon and hands it to me, “I am so sorry Mr. Coal. She didn’t mean it, honest.”
I think she wants me, “Oh it’s alright, kids will be kids. Thank you for the cookies and my mail, I have to feed my dogs now. Thank you.”
She shoots me a nice smile, “Bye. Sorry, thank you.”
I scoot the door shut and walk into my kitchen and put the stack of mail and box of cookies on my wooden table. I fumble through the mail, but it’s all junk. I open my kitchen cupboard and pull out a glass cup and set it on the table. I open my fridge and grab the carton of milk. I fill up the glass cup, my hands shaking some milk spilling onto the table. I close the carton and put it back, then shut my fridge. I pull a spoon out of my drawer and place it by my cup. I grab the box of chocolate cookies and try to open it, but my nails aren’t long enough and the pointy cardboard edges hurt my fingers. I grab the spoon and use it to lift the corners. Inside the box is a plastic bag, I rip it open triumphantly. I pull out three cookies and toss them into the cup of milk. I spin them around at the bottom, bubbles popping at the surface. After I crushed the cookies into much, I ate spoonful by spoonful until the box was empty.
Oh no I forgot to feed my dogs. I put my cup and spoon in the sink and opened my back door, “Pop! Nugget! Come get some food!” I should really mow the grass. I made clicking noises with my mouth, “Come on! Come on!”
I’m crying, I remember now. They died years ago. Everyone’s gone, and now I’m all alone. Why am I alive? Living for the sake of living. It’s the same as death. What the hell am I thinking? I’m an old man, I can get away with anything!
I walk back to my room and get clean boxers out of my wooden dresser, my favorite the green with orange polka-dots. Two long black socks, a pair of blue jeans, a white undershirt, and a grey coat. I place each on my bed and walk across the hall into my bathroom. The wooden floorboards are always cold, but the tile in the bathroom is ice. I turn on the water, and sit on the toilet as the water warms up. There’s a small painting of a dog and a dinosaur hung up in a frame on the wall. I don’t remember who drew it. Pooping is always hard in the morning, but when it comes out, it reminds me of an ice cream machine. Wiping is the worst part, my hands tremble so much, so I always manage to get some on me no matter how hard I try not to. I ease into the bathtub, the water feels good, the pee smell fading away. I wash my body with Irish Spring, leaving my body smelling fresh. I have to keep the hair that I have left silky smooth, so I use coconut scented shampoo and conditioner. Hopefully I can keep enough grown for a comb-over, but the top has been balding lately. How am I supposed to get the babes then? I finish up and turn my shower off, and grab a towel. I start to dry myself and hear a noise from outside, it’s probably the mailman. I put the towel back on the rack and walk out of my bathroom naked.
“Ah what the fuck! Damn cuh I thought you said no one was home? Why the fuck this old man here and naked?” There’s a black teenager in a grey hoodie holding a baseball bat, talking to a white teenager who’s going through my stuff.
The white teenager approaches the black one, “Dude calm down, I got this.” He walks down the hall towards me, I can’t run to my room fast enough, my knee joints are bad. He pushes me against the wall, holding a knife in his hand,“Grandpa we’re not here to hurt you! Just give us your money and we’ll be on our way.”
His eyes look scared, or are these mine in the reflection of his? “All of my money is in that wallet in my jeans. Take all of it please!”
The black teenager picks through my pants and takes all of my money, “There’s only ten dollars, and they’re all covered in coffee stains bruhh! What the fuck I thought this guy had more money!”
“Ten is more than nothing, let’s go!” The white teenager flashed his knife at me, “If you tell anyone we’ll come back and hurt you old man.”
“Come back sometime and we’ll have a great game of chess.” I’m still naked huh?
“Crazy ass old man, let’s go man.” The white teenager walked out the door.
“Fuck you old man!” The black teenager broke my television with the bat, say goodbye to saturday cartoons. He closed the door behind him.
I sat down in the hallway naked.
I stood in front of my mirror, my clothes are neatly pressed clean. The creases of my pants align perfectly with my shirt. Well I might as well buy myself a new t.v. today. I guess I should thank those boys for breaking my old one.
I put on the bluetooth on my phone and clipped my bluetooth speaker on my belt. I turned it all the way up, my hearing aids can only hear so much. I turned my music on, Slayer blaring World Painted Blood. I walk down my hall and out my door, locking it behind me.
Fucking assholes. What the hell am I wearing? I look like Mr. Rogers. This blows.
I walk down my shitty sidewalk in my shit neighborhood, I glance back at my old tattered house. The tiles chipped, some missing. My front yard is a mixture of dirt and overgrown weeds.
The song ends and I pull out my phone to play some Suicidal Tendencies, Self Destruct. I find my black handkerchief in my pocket and tie it across my forehead. I see these two shits standing on a corner listening to music.
I walk to them slowly, “What the fuck you want old man?”
I smile innocently, “Oh could you please help an old man out and point me towards a television store?”
“Why so we can break it again cuh?” The black teenager didn’t have his bat.
“No you little bitch! So you can buy me a fucking new one!” I punched that little shit in the nose and he started crying, blood covering his bitch ass shirt. He rolled on the floor and I kicked him in the face. I punched the white teenager in the jaw and he fell like a bag of marbles, lights out. I took both of their wallets, one had a pocket knife. I opened it and pushed it against the black teenagers throat,“If you ever come to my fucking house again I’ll kill you!”
His eyes were filled with fear, he was crying like a little bitch, “We won’t I swear!”
I closed the knife and put it in my pocket, free-dumb started playing. I walked away dancing. Fuckin’A man.
Damn these prescriptions they give me just keep getting stronger and stronger.
I continued down to the target down the block. As I walked through the automatic doors I turned off my music, gotta be respectful to them working folk. I made my way to the television section. A small flatscreen was on sale. Damn I remember so much in this place, it isn’t fair. The past lingers like a relenting shadow, never letting me forget. I begin to have flashbacks.
The faint smell of tobacco lingers on my vest, the cheetah print on my collar is falling off, I really should patch it up, but I’ve been lazy. I toss my cigarette into the sewer water below. I begin walking across the dirty cement bridge, birds are chirping but other than that it’s quiet. I stare down the sewer, nothing but backyards of houses. The light blue sky’s so clear, the sun hot. I start walking towards the church in the distance. Along my left side are bushes and trees. I hop the fence, staring beneath the bridge at some graph art me and my friends did the other night.
I made my way across a field full of trees, I call it my sanctuary. It’s a great place for meditation. There’s a tree stump at the far edge where I sit and relax, it’s a lovely place. I walk onwards through a fence and onto the street.
“What the fuck!” I’m brought back, some preppy white asshole in khakis is staring at me. Fuck you Kyle.
“May I help you sir?”
“No thank you Kyle, I’m just browsing.” I shooed him away with my hands and took a television to the cash register.
“Hi how are you today sir?” A short blonde girl was scanning my t.v..
“Kyle tried to sell me drugs, he’s a shit employee.” I was so angry.
“Sir, we can speak with Kyle right now,” She called for Kyle on the loudspeaker.
“Hey, what’s up Trish?” He had his hands in his pocket.
“Well this man here says you tried to sell him drugs?”
“He did! I remember!” Why is my handkerchief folded in my pocket?
“Sir with all due respect I didn’t try to sell you drugs.” I was furious.
“Fuck you Kyle!” I walked out of the store without my television.
Damn pushover, I swear this happens all the time. Why the fuck is my bandana folded? I tied it around my head and walked back in the store.
“Hi sir how can we-” I put my hand up to her lips.
“I came here for my t.v. sweety, and where the hell is Kyle?” I swiped my card and paid for my t.v., Kyle walked to the stand. I know he didn’t try to sell me drugs but fuck it.
I grabbed him by his tiny ass neck, “If you ever try to sell me drugs again I’ll kick your scrawny little ass!”
“Sir please stop!” The blonde girl was pulling me off of Kyle.
Kyle punched me in the face. I fall to the floor and pass out. Shit.
“Rob wake up!” I lick my paws, it’s bright outside, but the shade of my tree is lovely. I jump down and land on my feet, I shake my muscles awake. I stretch my tail and groom my whiskers. That was a crazy dream. Oh my, let me introduce myself, how rude of me. I am Robert Coal, I am a cat. Just kitten haha, I am a person, but I would rather live my life as a cat.
I scratch my head, it’s so smooth and bald. The chemo is kicking my ass, but I get edibles to drop the pain, it gives me weird dreams but I love them.
“Rob!” My wooden backyard fence flings open. I hiss at the skinny blonde-haired ten year old girl I call her Rex. Her real name is Trish though, but she’s my best friend in the whole world, the only friend I have, the only one I need.
“Hiss!” I run to my tree and climb up the branches.
“Rob! It’s the first day of summer and you want to spend it in a tree?” I layed there, clung to the branch.
“Raaawr! I am not Rob! I am a cat! Hiiiss!” I claw the air at her.
“Rob come on! Let’s go visit Diane, I’m sure she’s worried about you!” She was glaring at me.
“But I’m bald, everyone will laugh at me!” I start to cry.
“Wait don’t cry!” Trish digs in her satchel and pulls out a small black beanie and holds it with two hands to show me, “See look! It’s a cat, it even has ears!”
It was true, it has a cat face on the front, yellow eyes and pink insides of black ears that stick up. It has white whiskers and a pink nose. I climbed down and took the beanie, “This is for me?”
Trish gave me her goofy little smile where her freckles smoosh together, “Yup! Diane helped me pick it out! Let’s go see her!”
She put it on my head, I’m so lucky it’s not so hot today. I notice a burn on her arm. I grab her hand and point at the burn, “Is your dad hitting you again! You can’t let him do that Trish it’s not right you have to tell someone!”
She pulls her hand away, “It wasn’t him I swear! I burned myself with the oven!”
“Are you sure?” I really like my beanie. There was a time where Trish would come to school with bruises and she wouldn’t say why, eventually the cops showed up at her house, but her dad was never caught. I hate him.
“Yes I’m sure! Let’s just go okay? “ She grabbed my hand and we ran off down the street. My parents won’t notice I’m gone until I get home tonight.
We ran and ran down the street, past the church, past the sewers, past the elementary school, past old ladies walking their dogs. Through a tattered white fence and up an old cracked sidewalk. Trish knocked in the black screen door, “Diane! Diane! We’re here!”
“Hold yer britches I’m coming I’m coming!” I could hear her slippers scooting across the floor.
“Hurry I have to pee!” Trish always has to pee.
A few clicks and the wooden door opened, revealing the frail old woman we consider our real parent. A grin of teeth and dog slippers opens the screen door, “Well come in you two, breakfast is almost done.”
“Deee!” trish gives a quick hug, then dashes for the bathroom.
I hug Diane, She smells like cats. I like cats. We walk into her kitchen, there are eggs on the stove sizzling. Toast pops up out of the toaster. Three cups of orange juice are on her table, small beads of water dripping down the sides. Trish comes out of the bathroom and dashes to her favorite seat, “Diane do you have any stories to tell us today? Can you drive us to the beach?”
“Trish you know Diane doesn’t drive anymore!” I stick my paws in her face.
“Shut your face rob!” She bites down on my little finger.
“Ow!” I grab her drink and drink it.
“Now you two stop fussin. Here breakfast is ready.” Diane takes my untouched cup and switches it with Trish’s empty one. Then she scoots to her fridge and pours me some more.
“Thank you Diane!” I start making my plate.
Diane puts the juice back and makes her way back to the table and makes herself a plate, “So how is everyone’s day today?” She asks, putting a spoonful of scrambled eggs in her mouth.
“I got a new beany from Trish today!” I pointed to my head.
She squints and smiles, “Wonderful, just wonderful.”
“We got it yesterday remember?” Trish was smiling.
A surprised expression on Diane’s face as she remembers, “Oh yes!”
I begin to eat, breakfast at dinner time is so wonderful. I finish my plate, “I’m so stuffed!” I rub my belly button and walk my plate to the sink.
“I have this wonderful story to tell today!” Diane begins to scoot her way to the backyard, a beautiful garden with a few chairs.
The garden seems abuzz with life. Birds are chirping and ladybugs are flying around. I sit on the familiar blue carpet with white letters, “Home Sweet Home.” This is our home, this is where we live day after day, our sanctuary from cancer, from brutal father figures, from old age. In this garden we are free.
“Okay now well here it goes, once long ago I was watering my flowers late at night and I heard music, the sound of bells and drums. I slowly followed the sound to the rose bushes I have near the back wall. To my surprise I saw these little green people dancing in circles around a small fire. It was so beautiful, so every now and then I would leave sweets for them.” Diane smiles brighter than the sun.
Trish was staring at the bushes, filled with curiosity, “Can we leave them some sweets today!” Trish was wide-eyed and smiling, one of her front teeth missing, a mask full of freckles.
Diane grinned, reaching into her pocket, “Sure go on ahead!”
She put some mints into Trish’s hand and pointed to the bush, “Just set them down by the stem.”
Trish grabbed my hand, “Come on! You too!”
“Okay hold on!” I ran with her to the bush and we both knelt down.
“They can eat and be happy!” She put the mints down, I put mine too.
“What’s wrong Trish?” She was crying, tears falling onto her light-brown shorts, boogers dripping down her nose.
“Dummy! You dummy! Don’t you die on me okay! I swear I’ll kill myself if you die!” She hugged me and was crying so hard.
“I’m not going anywhere okay! I swear!” I squeezed real tight and noticed tears falling from my face onto my black sweater. I looked back at Diane, who was staring at the birds in the trees and whistling with her usual grin on her face. She thinks we’re still young children, we don’t mind. We’re ten, but we’ve been through so much, it’s like we’re teenagers already.
Trish’s arms are covered with scars and cigarette burns, “accidents” It makes me so sad. I just want her to live a normal life. I wish we could live with Diane, just the three of us, but our parents use us for taxes, it sucks, but for now we’re stuck in our own hell holes.
“Diane?” I stand up and dust off my black jeans.
Diane shoots a smile, “Yes?”
Her duck pajamas are so lovely, “Would you like to go to the duck park today?”
“Yeah the duck park Diane!” Trish was so excited.
Diane squinted her eyes, pondering so many thoughts in her mind, “Hmm… I think I have a loaf of bread! Aha! Yes! Let’s go to the duck park!”
“Not it!” Trish glances at the red beach cruiser with a carriage in the back next to the fence.
“Ah! I’m always biking you two around!” I shrug my shoulders.
Diane scoots in her dog slippers and slowly climbs into the seat. She’s always wearing her pajamas around everywhere, it’s so awesome, “Come on you youngins!”
Trish sat in the back seat, “Hold up you two! Let me check if the front door is locked!”
I ran through the house and locked the door, and got the key from the holder on the wall. I ran back outside, “Okay let’s go!”
I rode the bike slowly down the street, past shops and people. I can see the ocean water shimmer in the distance. The amusement park is far away, but I can see the shops of the boardwalk over the water.
I make it to the park and stop in the shade of a weeping willow, we sit on our usual bench. Out before us is a lake with many colors, there’s ducks swimming and quacking.
There’s a couple playing guitar and singing at the bench next to us, they sound so poetic, “Hey!”
The guy wearing a matching vest, waves at me and motions to come over. The three of us walk over and wave at these long-haired friendly people, “Hi, my name is Jasper and this is Grace. We’re trying to start a band, but we don’t know if we suck. We don’t even have a name yet, so could you help us?”
“Yeah that sounds so cool!” Trish was so excited.
“I’m Robert, this is Trish and Diane. I’d love to hear you play!” Diane took a seat next to them, and I stood with Trish and watched as they began to play.
It sounded calm and elegant. The girl began to sing, “Gummy Bears was my friend, why’d you leave? Gummy Bears was my friend, I need you please, oh Gummy Bears where could you be?”
The girl started crying, I was crying, Trish was crying, Diane was smiling, “Oh my, you all have diamond eyes!”
“Diamond eyes!” Jasper smiles, “Thank you Diane!”
Grace smiled, “Thank you so much!”
`“Gummy Bears was my friend, so tall and so neat, Gummy Bears was my friend, I wish you could’ve met him.” Jasper played a rhythmic solo on the guitar, light sounding and beautiful. These people are so lovely.
The song continued, and it sounded so beautiful, I’m so happy. I wanted to feed the ducks, but I kind of forgot to bring the bread, oh well. The song finished and I smiled, I like it so much.
“Thank you so much for listening, it means alot to both of us.” Grace put her fingers through her long black hair.
“I’m glad you let us listen!” Trish walked around the bench, “Rob where’s the bread?”
I scratched my head, “I kind of forgot it.”
“Can’t feed the ducks, how sad.” Diane was staring out at the lake.
“Oh well, this is nice.” Trish took a seat and we all stared out into the distance at the lake, the dirty duck water.
Jas and Grace stood up, “Thank you for the inspiration!” Grace hugged us, she smelled like coconuts.
“It was so nice to meet you!” Diane was smiling.
“Thank you so much you guys!” Jas hugged us, he smelled like caramel.
I watched as they walked away, playing music and singing.
Life got so quiet, we sat there, looking up above at the tiny clouds up in the sky just floating.
“I’m so tired of the chemo.” Ducks are so lucky they can’t get cancer.
“I wish you didn’t have to go through that!” Trish was crying.
“More diamond eyes.” Diane was smiling at the clouds.
“It’s fine, I can deal with it.” I patted Trish on the head and she hugged me.
“Where to next?” Trish wiped her snot on her shirt.
“How about we check out the antique shop!” Diane was smiling at the clouds, she was wearing her sunglasses now.
Her bright-neon pink sunglasses, “Let’s goooo!” Trish runs and jumps into the back seat of the cart.
“Hold yer horses! I’m comin I’m comin, don’t speed off on me now.” Diane scoots her way and slowly sits in the back seat.
“Off we go!” I begin to pedal down the road, the leaves in the tree are bright, my beany keeps my head warm, I smile even though my body is really weak.
We leave the bike outside, no one touches it. As we open the door, the small bells chime, “Hello you three, how have you been!”
“Hello Tanya! How are you?” Trish ran to hug the elderly lady who wa kneeling down, placing tiny bells in a neat row on a shelf. She paused what she was doing to hug Trish.
“I always love this place, it’s so wonderful!” Diane waved at Tanya, who replied with a warm smile.
“I enjoy your visits Diane, I really do.” Although Tanya was talking to Diane, her eyes were fixed on me, “Rob come give me a hug, I’ve missed you dearly.” Her arms wide open, I couldn’t help but run into those loving arms. She reached in her pocket, “Here, I have this good luck charm for you.”
“Thank you so much Tanya!” I opened my hand to see a gold necklace of a hawk, I put the necklace on.
“Keep the hawk next to your heart and one day you will turn into one and soar through the sky!”
Her blue eyes are watery behind her huge glasses, the purple flowered dress match her purple earrings, her hair long and silver, “Thank you so much! I’ll wear it every day!” I give her a big hug and she squeezes so tightly, and for a minute I forget I’m slowly dying.
“Well take a look around and if there’s anything you like just let me know okay?” She smiled, but looks away quickly to hide her tears.
“Thank you so much.” Trish and Diane are looking at different sun hats. There’s so many of them.
“Rob look at this one!” Trish is pointing to a huge red sunhat on her head.
“It looks really nice!” She smiled, Diane still has her glasses on, and now she has a light-blue sun hat on her head.
She’s staring into the mirror on the wall, dog slippers, duck pajamas, her hat and glasses, she should be on a magazine cover. Her grin is priceless, “I love it! I’ll take it! Yes!” She rubs her chin like a old movie detective, “Yes!”
“It looks really nice Diane!” Trish was looking at dresses now.
I walked around and looked at the cameras in the display box. There are just so many, “Those ones are all rubbish, here take this one, a gift from me.”
Tanya held a black camera that looked really expensive, “It looks expensive though!”
“Oh don’t worry about that dear, just make sure to take many pictures and videos for me, to remind myself to be happy whenever I’m sad.” She hands me the camera and smiles.
“You get sad Tanya?” I take of the cap and press the power button. It makes a noise and the screen pops up.
Tanya makes a bird with her hands and I snap a photo, “Course I do, everyone does. Such is life, just some people hide it better than others.”
She takes the camera from my hands, “I see.”
‘here Rob, this button is for recording videos. This is how to look at them after, and here is how you put a timer.” She presses a few buttons and places the camera on a shelf, the light flashing she puts her arm around me and smiles. I smile and the camera makes a little clicking noise, “So lovely, a moment frozen for all time.” She takes the camera and shows me the picture, “Ah! One moment, please come with me Rob.”
“Okay Tanya.” We walk to her desk where her computer is on. She takes the card out and puts it into the computer.
“This card holds all of the videos and pictures.” She clicks a few times and our picture pops up. A few more clicks and she puts the card back in the camera, “Look here, now I can always be happy.” She points to her computer screen. The background is our picture.
“We look so happy!” She smiles as I take the camera back.
“Yes we do Rob, always! I’m always here okay?” She gave me another big hug, I felt so warm, so secure. I didn’t want to let go, it’s as if my body knows this will be the last time I saw her, the last time we hugged.
Trish and Diane got to the counter, “Tanya? How much for these hats?”
“These are some rather dashing hats if I say so myself!” Diane looked so happy.
“No charge, consider it a gift from me to you, here Rob why don’t we take a picture?”
“Sure! It was this button right?”
“Yes just like that Rob.” I pressed the timer button and placed the camera on the shelf. The light flashed a couple of times and me and Trish made funny faces. Tanya put he picture on her computer and handed me the camera.
“Bye Tanya!” She knelt down and hugged me and Trish.
“I love both of you so much okay, be good and remember I’m always here, if you’re ever feeling sad I’m in your pictures okay.” She was crying as she kissed our foreheads.
“I love you Tanya!” I hugged her so tight.
“I love you too!” Trish squeezed as hard as she could.
“Aw more diamond eyes. How sad.” Diane’s lips were curving downward.
“You two are so strong, so very strong.” She let us go and we waved goodbye as we walked out of the door. She’s crying really loud.
“Nothing to take away the sad like some ocean and water! Yup! Let’s go put our feet in the water!” Diane was smiling again, climbing into the back seat.
“Let’s go Rob!” Trish was ignoring the sad, but then again what else are we supposed to do?
“Okay!” I climbed into the bike and started pedaling down the street. I can hear screaming people at the park. I can see all of the shops on the wooden walkway over the ocean.
“Woah! The water’s so nice!” Trish was standing up.
“Trish sit down or you’ll fall ya big dummy!” I had to keep looking forward.
“I am not a dummy Rob!”
“Ouch! Okay stop screaming in my ear!”
“I am not a dummy!” She screams in my right ear. I get dizzy and stop pushing.
“Ow!” My ear hurts.
“Are you okay? I’m sorry Rob!” Trish puts her arms over my head, hugging me.
“Yeah I’m fine, that just hurt.” I grabbed the handlebars but she stopped me.
“You sit now, I’ll push!”
“No I’m fine Trish!”
“No! Sit now Rob, I’ll push!” She hops on and smiles at me as I take a seat next to Diane.
“Yup! Not a cloud in sight. Not a single cloud!” She was staring at the sky.
“Off we go!” Trish zoomed down the street.
“Woah! The waves look so nice!” I yelled, the water calmly falling to the shore.
Trish pushes the breaks and parks the bike next to the ice-cream parlor. I climb out and help Diane get out. She’s staring at the distant ocean, her smile is priceless.
“Water is endless.” She grins as she scoots on the sand.
“Water! The ocean Rob! Come on let’s go play!” Trish is jumping around.
“Stop jumping you’re gonna get sand in my shoes!” I held Diane’s hand as Trish does cartwheels in the sand up ahead.
We make it to the edge of the water, Trish dashes through, running as fast as she could with her face full of freckles and big shining teeth. She’s happy. Diane’s burying her toes in the sand, the ocean water kissing her feet. Our shoes and slippers are in a pile on the sand. The water feels nice and warm, “I want this moment to last forever!” I scream into the distance.
The waves crashing block out my voice. Trish turns around and smiles. Diane frowns, “I wish this could last forever.” Tears fell down her eyes, Trish ran over and hugged us. We started crying, “Diamond eyes everywhere. I believe my time is almost up you two. Why don’t you two head on home.”
“Where are you going?” I stare into the endless ocean.
“Yeah Diane where?” Trish holds my hand.
“Doc says I don’t have much time, so I choose to go without pain my kiddos.” She points at the cliff in the distance. “I’ll see you kiddos in the afterlife, heck! I know you two will grow to be wonderful, so wonderful! I love both of you so much. Honest I do.”
“I love you Diane!” I squeeze her tight, my eyes endlessly crying.
Trish is wiping her snot on her shirt, “I love you Diane!”
“Adios! Haha! I’ll see you two eventually! I’ll be waiting! Oh take care of Natasha and Miraya!” She chuckles, putting on her slippers.
“Who’s Natasha and Miraya?” I’m still crying.
“My washer and dryer! They came with the house!” She chuckles and walks along the shore into the distance. Me and Trish couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I love you Diane!” We both yell. We stare at her as she gets smaller and smaller, fading into the distance. I see a speck on the cliff, near the edge. I grab Trish’s hand as the speck starts to fall, we run across the sand crying, “Don’t look back Trish! Don’t look back!”
I wake up in my bed, it’s dark. I don’t know what to do, the funeral’s today, but I really don’t want to go, why does life have to be so cruel.
It’s raining outside, “Rob, are you ready honey?” My mom stands in my doorway.
“Yeah, one sec mom.” I fix the tie on my suit.
“Okay Rob, I’ll be in the car, your father had work, but he says for you to be strong okay?” She sighs and walks out.
The house is so quiet. I walk into my living room, the wooden floorboards creak. I grab my umbrella and lock my front door.
Outside it’s raining so hard, there’s thunder in the sky, not really though. it’s so sunny outside, but in my mind it should be stormy. My mom drives down the road to the cemetery, there are many people there. I don’t want to go. My mom parks on the side of the road, but I refuse to go out, “No! I can’t go!”
“Rob, please you have to be strong.” My mom puts a tissue to my nose, there’s so many boogers and I’m crying so much.
“No! I won’t go!” She holds my hand and I walk out of the car slowly. Why is this happening?
The grass is dry beneath my feet, I keep my head to the floor, my cat beany covering my eyes. I look down into the big hole in the ground, at the bright-pink casket, “Trish! Wake up you dummy! I know you’re just faking it! Trish!” My face, I can’t see. Her dad did it. “Trish please! You’re my only friend! I have no one now Trish! Trish!”
I can’t breathe. I clutch at my mom’s hands. I can’t talk. I’m dizzy. Everything goes black. Am I dying?