I Had No Words

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I never said it.

I never say it.

But it was a silent prayer in the air today as I watched her.

The skin just below her knees torn open and scabbing. Her face, bruising.

Her short hair, dry like mine, matted and knotted. Her lips, like mine, chapped.

The loose, white gown fragile against her. Tubes taped along her throat, hands, chest.

Her eyes darting the room blind to me standing stiff in front of her.

Her hands trembling in their place, the Bible, there, slipping from her grip.

Her eyes darting the room, unseeing.

And all I could think? They had the sea on the television behind me. Nature sounds.

Fish swimming to and fro and coral reef at peace in their natural habitat.

But here I was.

Standing on the cold, tiled floor. Shivering in the cool air.

Heart fighting against its cage as I stood in another one. They'd called it the ICU.

Like, I see you. Or Icy you. Or I. Sea. You. Or the-

 

Machines by her bed beeping, blipping.

Saying things to the doctors that I couldn't decipher the meaning.

Standing there, hands tucked behind my back afraid to approach.

And all I could think? There was a rain storm outside. 

It wasn't loud, but the windows were blurring whenever I glanced at them.

And all I could think? She had been perfectly fine.

I could still remember her hugs. Her homemade chocolate chip cookies. Her smile. Her-

 

But suddenly she's looking at me. Her sisters, my aunts, are still in the room. Sitting.

The friends of hers that I never remembered the names of taking in my entrance.

And she's staring at me. And all I could think? Mom.

And her eyes began leaking as they pierced straight into mine.

The machines beeping and blipping frantically. Her feet and arms tossing against the restraints.

They're all looking at me, trying to sooth her. Watching me.

And I don't know what to do...or what to say. Because I never said it. I never say it.

So I just looked away. And swiped at the tears in my eyes, thinking the only thing I could think.

Mom.

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