Also appearing in the story:
Latricia opened the window of her sister’s room the moment she walked in. It was a nice day, spring had just begone, outside the flowers were blooming, the birds were singing, the sun was shining and she wanted to get a bit of that in this gloomy place, or at least to get the sickly hospital smell out.
She could pretend not to see all the equipment her sister had been hooked on, she could even block out the constant dull beeping of the machines that kept Rosie alive but there was that smell, that smell she had easily begun to hate and that always reminded her where she was.
She moved away from the window and took a seat next to Rosie’s bed. For a minute or two she just sat there unsure what to do, how to act, her sister had been here for a while now, weeks easily turned into months but still it was hard for Latricia to act normal when she came to visit. A part of her wished she wouldn’t have to come at all, a part of her hoped she could forget all of this and have a normal life again but she couldn’t. Her sister was here and that wasn’t changing. Also her mother insisted on someone being here every day and they all obliged, sometimes they would all come together, and sometimes, like today it was only one of them.
Latricia brought a book to read to her sister but now that she was here it seamed dumb. She thought of stuff Rosie liked, like TV shows, maybe she should watch some of her favorites and retell them to her, or ask them to move Rosie to a room with a TV but it seamed a stupid request for a comatose patient. Rosie also liked computer games, but taking her laptop and playing games in Rosie’s room didn’t sound like a good idea either.
Exhausting all of her options Latricia just sat there wondering. Was this really life? She asked herself as she observed Rosie’s sleeping pale face. Her sister looked calm and at peace. Her face was pale, as it had always been, and her hair had gotten a little long but their mum would bring a brush and brush it every time, make sure it looked well, better then it was when Rosie was up and about it sometimes seemed. But sill Latrica wondered if Rosie would have wanted this, whatever this was, would anyone? But then she would remember Rosie didn’t want to live at all…
When her friend Walter was here everything seemed easier. He had broken his arm on the job and was on sick leave for a few weeks. During that time he would come with Latricia to the hospital every time. They would sit here and talk, talk about Rosie, about other things, small things big things, and time would pass faster. Latricia never had to ask herself stuff like this and she wouldn’t feel so empty inside afterwards.
But she knew it was healthier that Walter didn’t come here anymore. He had removed the cast and was trying to get back to work. She also knew he felt guilty for what happened to Rosie. She tried to breach the subject a few times, try and dissuade him but he never seemed to really listen, or actually believe her.
Walter was a fireman and he was on the job that faithful day, the day that changed Latricia’s life forever. There was a big fire at one of the houses on the other side of town. Walter was first inside but he got knocked out and nearly died from smoke inhalation. Thankfully he was saved, by Blair Hoves, the town fire captain herself who found him and managed to get him out on time.
The very same day at their house Latricia’s older sister Rosie got out on the balcony, laid down in one of the lounge chairs there and swallowed a handful of pills.
It was their mother who found her passed out and called the ambulance immediately, however all paramedics in their small town were on the site of the fire and by time time they got there it was little they could do.
Fortunately Rosie’s body wasn’t as ready to give up as she was. She survived but never woke up. Latrica noticed that after all this time not even the doctors were optimistic anymore. It seamed only their mum believed Rosie would open her eyes again. Rosie was her miracle child. She had to believe.
Latrica steered in her chair. She leaned over the bed and gently whispered: “Wake up sister, we miss you, mum, Bran, me we want you back. Just open your eyes.” But Rosie stayed still. the machines continued on to beep as they did all the time. She felt like crying, although she had no more tears for her big sister left. “Why?” She said again, louder this time but still there was no reply. “Maybe one day you’ll tell me.” She said, leaning back again, not sure if she believed it herself.
But talking helped and she decided to talk more, to fill in the time, to brake the eerie silence of the empty room. “In the mean time I should get you up to speed with what’s been going on. Mum’s been bad. She barely pays attention to her looks anymore and you know how uncommon that is for mum… She talks to aunt Dina every day, she had been mum’s biggest support trough all this, like always you know. That what sisters are for I guess.” She said feeling her own voice shaking. Maybe she was not done crying after all. Suddenly she felt she had to go on. If Rosie could hear her she would know how much pain she caused them and how important, for all of them was if she woke up.
“Sara is mad at us. She barely speaks to any of us, especially mum. I guess she blames us.” Rosie was always closer to Sara then Latricia. The two of them practically grew up together. They were more than cousins, they had always been as sisters. But not even Sara suspected something was amiss with Rosie and Latricia wasn’t sure if she actually blamed them, or herself but didn’t want to spend much time hung up on details.
“A lot of people come and visit though. Minissa Gradle came the other day, with her boy, Waylon. He and Bran are close friends. Do you remember Mrs. Gradle?” Latricia stoped there trying to think of the best way to describe their neighbor and their mother’s friend. She was a tall woman vaguely her mother’s age but you could still see she was once a really beautiful woman. She dyed her hair a dark brown color and walked with a cane, courtesy of some old injury that got her a police pension, or so her mother told her. She lived with a bunch of kids who all had different fathers, which must have been at least one of the things that brought her and their mother together.
What Latricia remembered best about her however was the way the woman always looked at her. Her gaze would always linger a moment too long on Latrica face and it would always make her feel startlingly uncomfortable. “Your father was Minissa’s first husband and you look a lot like him. Your face triggers all sorts of memories.” Her mother explained bluntly one time when Latricia complained to her. This explanation only made her feel more uncomfortable. She was aware of the resemblance of course, her father was a mayor rock star and it was hard not to come across an image of him. He did have the same light blue eyes, like hers, and the same hair color, at least before he went gray. She also knew his relationship with her mother came after his divorce and that there was no bad blood between Minissa and her mother otherwise they wouldn’t have been friends but still she didn’t like being around the woman. She omitted all this and went on with her story.
“Little Ty Hoves visits as well. Bran is friends with his brother but the little guy looks up at all them. You know what it’s like with younger siblings.” She didn’t get any reaction from her sleeping sister. Her face was as expressionless as it had been ever since she was in a coma and she went on. “Bran got on honor roll again and he wants to be a engineer now, I overheard him and Ty talking about robots that he is going to build someday. He is growing up so much… It’s his birthday tomorrow you know. Big thirteen, can you believe it? Brandon a teenager… He even has a crush you know. She is a bit older I think but I guess that’s normal for boys his age. She is in this study club Bran told me. They meet in the school library and I went just so I can check her out. She is pretty, blond, short hair. And she is like the neatest person I know. You should see her notebooks, and her handwriting. Pure calligraphy. Her father was our science teacher, remember, my first crush? Mr. Prentiss.” She smiled a little and then went on. “There was a dance this weekend. Mikha’il wouldn’t go with me. He hadn’t changed a bit. I didn’t want to go either but I changed my mind. Don’t know why… I had a new dress mum bought for Bran’s birthday party so I just wore that.”
She didn’t know why she was talking about this. Did her sister need to know the silly little details of her life? Her own struggle to be a normal teenager again? Should she tell her only the good things? Things that would make her want to open her eyes? But she decided not to. Rosie must face what she did to them. She took a deep breath and continued.
“Things aren’t as good in school… People treat you differently when your sister tries to commit suicide. Some look at you with pity, some are overly curious, some look at you as if you are about to off yourself as well…” She stopped there watching her sister’s face. If she could hear this it would hurt her Latricia was sure. But then again so would many other things she mentioned, like mum or Sara so she went on. “Chiqui and Brent are cool. Chiquita never cares what other people say and Brent is such a sweetheart. He lost a sister too. One he never knew but still… He gets it. In part. ”
It got hard to talk about school, about her friends. Chiquita always went of her way to find something fun for them to do and she was glad she had her, but she missed Vanessa, the girl who was once her best friend but they had one stupid fight and that ended. She tried to approach her many times and say she just needs someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on but she would always change her mind. The moment would pass, and another day of not talking would stand between them.
She paused there and looked out the window. Maybe it was time to go but she couldn’t end the story there, she needed to tell Rosie something positive as well so she turned back to her sister’s bed and went on.
/*I wanted to add this to the previous post but forgot. 😀 As you can see I have changed the story format, I still play three days per family but writing posts in the day to day format didn’t really suit me, I didn’t get to tell all the stuff I wanted to so I decided to change it. I hope you like it, because I do, it’s much more fun for me this way. Also with this change not all the rounds will have the same number of posts, i.e. the last update for The Hoves family had four parts, this one will only have two. All the rest will stay pretty much the same, I hope and any feedback would be much appreciated. 🙂 */