Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Deserter to the Hauler

Someone is going away, aren't they?
She asked with heavy eyes.
I took hold her of fidgeting hands and sat down with her on the bottom step.
Yes. Someone is leaving.
Why must she?
I looked down at our hands resting limply on my knee and sighed.
Everything has to change. Even you, even I.
She turned towards the wall and folded her arms across her chest, and under her breath I heard her whisper,
I hate those words...
Suddenly there were footsteps and excited giggling. 
Two people entered the kitchen, clutching  one another.
There was the Deserter, her arms entwined lightly around the Hauler's neck.
They walked to the door.
We could see the edges of them.
Suddenly she got up beside me and shouted, her pink tongue pushing against her bottom teeth.
I hate you both!
Then she ran out of the kitchen and sobbed violently. 
I stood.
But the Deserter hadn't even noticed. All she could see was the Hauler.
I knew that she had already gone. 
The Deserter wouldn't return to us.
Even as the Deserter closed the door and let the Hauler go home, she had gone with him.
Even though she now stood in the kitchen near me, she was with him, gone.
I watched her nibbling at the cake, a flat humming escaping her mouth in puffed breaths.
Then she turned and jumped back at the sight of me.
I didn't see you there! 
I tilted my head and smiled sadly.
She chuckled and walked out.
No, I wasn't even here. 
And small rounded tears fell from my cheeks.
It was too late.
The Deserter had already Deserted.

-Joanna Grace

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