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A Small Tear (standard:drama, 947 words)
Author: timsterAdded: Oct 28 2005Views/Reads: 2187/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Often, we live so close to this...

Liz rests her eggshell head at the bottom of my stomach.  Nights often
end in this manner, with a gentle breath from her fragile mouth 
reaching for a different world, a quick twitch moves her legs and arms 
for a moment and then she slowly takes in the air.  God, she looks 
terrible now, bones protruding from her ribs, ankles. Liz's face is 
drawn in and the color is ghost white.  We tried to get help today.  
With no insurance, no money, no state assistance, help did not arrive. 

So here we are, in entranceway of an abandoned building on G Street,
trying to get through another night, so I can try again. Once it seems 
so long ago, I did have a good job and insurance that took care of my 
family.  My wife died months or even a year ago; I don't really keep 
track of time to well. Susan used to watch out for us.  One night a man 
tried to steal our belongings from the old grocery cart we used, well 
Susan would have no part of that and was stabbed to death.  The police 
did nothing, just another number for their books, I suppose. 

It is my fault though; I saw the contracts being shifted to the East
Coast, friends being laid-off.  This was our home and this is where we 
were going to stay.  My stubbornness put us here; there was an offer 
for me to move back east.  I could always find another job, yet they 
didn't come, over qualified, under-qualified, either way they decided I 
would not be happy there.  I wonder how others define my happiness.  
Damn, I would do anything to change what has happened to my family now. 

The overcast skies moves over us now, with a mist filling the
streetlights.  It breathes a sense of renewed strength and vigor, with 
a touch of hope, drifting from light to light.  In the winter the rain 
brings despair and hopelessness, but in the spring it all changes.  
Being from San Diego, the mist is a sign of better things to come.  Yet 
Liz seems to have some difficulty sucking in the wet air.  I whisper in 
her ear, that all will change tomorrow, and a small smile crosses her 
lips.  I'm not going to let those money hungry assholes let her live 
like this. 

A police car slowly drives by, taking a hard glance at the two of us and
continues on.  “To protect and serve” is written in the side of the 
car, what a laugh.  All they manage to do is move us from street to 
street, often I wonder who they are serving, yet they left us alone 
tonight, nine times out of ten we would be finding a new place to stay 
by now, but not tonight.  Perhaps they just didn't want to bother with 
us or had better things to do.  Of all the times I wish they would 
stop, it would have been tonight, maybe, just maybe they would look at 
my little girl.  Life goes that way on the concrete.  No one really 
cares about us. 

My girl's breaths are getting lighter, hopefully it is a good dream of
things to come and relaxation is felt within her.  I always breathe 
easier when my surroundings are tranquil.  It really doesn't happen 
much these days, begging for money to buy food for my girl, being spat 
upon or punched.  What is even worse is being called names such as 
loser, lazy or bum, hell I not any of those.  I used to work hard, 
harder than any on those bastards.  They built a new baseball stadium a 
couple of years ago, just a few blocks from here.  I used to go there 
to get a little money and at first was quite productive.  As time went 
on, my patrons became more aggressive and abusive, so I stuck with the 
bars.  After time being able to tell who was aggressive and who wanted 
to be left alone became an art.  Always go after the drunk ones who 
want to be left alone and they will slip you five or ten to stop 
bothering them.  We have managed to survive. 

The sirens are running through the alleys as they always do this time of
night.  It is an eerie sound and... 

“Daddy, can we go see Mommy tomorrow?” 

Liz startles me; I thought she was sound asleep. 

“Of course we can darling”, really I have no idea were Susan is buried,
but if it makes Liz feel better, I'll tell her anything. 

“Good, that will make her happy”, she drifts back into her deep sleep. 

First I will find somebody who will help Liz and then we shall find
where Susan is buried.  My day is getting quite full, but the most 
important thing is to find help for Liz.  I feel a new resolve in my 
disjointed state.  I will make a life for the two of us and give Susan 
a proper burial. 

“I promise to make everything better darling.” 

Her breaths have become heavy, I try to wake her, there is no response
and suddenly without notice, they stop. 

“Wake up”, I lift her off the ground and shake her, nothing. 

It is really not a surprise to me, yet the emptiness is.  A tiny tear
tumbles from my left eye, though I know her pain is gone. I lost the 
two people who made my existence plausible.  Liz, my sweet darling knew 
this was coming, but Susan wants both of us. 

Think I'll walk down to the ocean and go for a swim, perhaps I will see
them there. 


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