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Hospitals were always filled with movement, the sound of footsteps, voices and cries. Or so Latricia learned having to spend a lot of time there following her sister’s suicide attempt. The coma ward however was a different place. Sounds of life on this floor were the sounds of machines that sustained the people seemingly asleep in their assigned hospital beds.
Most of her time here Latricia blended in the surroundings and tried to be as quiet as the patients here but not anymore. She started talking to her comatose sister and soon found out she couldn’t stop.
“I have been spending a lot of time online now, I read about people who went trough similar things, losing loved ones, especially by suicide. I met a lot of people this way. It helps I guess. I also started chatting with Irene Hoves. Do you know her? I guess not. We never hung out before but she is cool. People dislike her because she is brash and brutal but I think I needed someone like that right now…” Someone passed trough the hall, Latricia heard footsteps but she went on. “She came to the dance as well, remember, I told you about the dance a while a go. The one Mikha’il didn’t want to go to and I had to go alone… She has a new look. It really suits her… I wish I was more like Chiquita or Irene, I wish I never care what people think…” Latricia went on. It was the truth, especially after her sister tried to kill herself and she became a victim of all kinds of gossip. She sighed and she continued.
“I came up to her and we talked in person, it was the first time we did in fact. She was so at ease and I felt nervous.” She laughed a little. “I don’t know why… Anyway I asked her to come over sometimes and she was a little taken aback but she said yes. So she came over. I made mac and cheese and Bran was really sweet, he stopped his chess game on the computer to come over and introduce himself. Mum says he would be a real lady killer soon enough but I just can’t imagine that. He would always be our little baby brother.” Latricia got tears in her eyes again. It was hard imagining any future without Rosie there.
“Sometimes I watch that family from across the street.” She continued to blab her voice shaking. “They have a new baby. She had just started crawling, and she is running away from them all the time, they had to catch her. She doesn’t look a bit like them you know, they both have blond hair and hers is brown. Pretty strange, huh?” She tried to smile but couldn’t. “Remember when Branden was like that…” Her voice finally broke and she couldn’t keep back the tears.
Without thinking she grabbed her sister’s hand not moving her eyes from her face. Please wake up. Please. She said to herself as tears flowed down her cheeks.
Rosie didn’t even stir. Latricia sat there for a while crying and when she was too tired to do it anymore, too weak for everything she got up, picked up her bag and went to the bathroom. She washed her face and stared at her own expression for a while. Her eyes were red and swollen but there was no help there so she got up and walked out.
The potent smell of spring hit her hard as she walked out. She felt she had been in the hospital for weeks but outside it wasn’t getting dark yet. She had one more stop to make before heading home.
Although Latricia didn’t have any relationship with her own father she liked Bran’s a lot. He was a kind man who came over often with presents for Bran, and most of the time he would bring a trinket for Latricia too. She wasn’t sure what his relationship to their mother was right now but at least they were civil around each other. And with Branden’s birthday party coming up she decided to invite the man over in person.
He was very kind and even invited Latricia to come inside but she declined. She must see I was crying she thought as she put on a smile and pretended everything was ok. She was getting rather good at that.
They were against having a party at first. It seemed kind of wrong to have it with Roise lying in a hospital bed but last minute their mum changed her mind. It was Bran’s thirteenth, that doesn’t come along ever again and they needed to come out of mourning eventually. Latricia was skeptical, she wasn’t sure a party was what they needed but the next day as they baked the cake and cleaned the house all together, as a family she felt that maybe her mother was right after all.
Both her and mum had new dresses they bought for the party. Latricia was especially glad for mum because after Rosie’s suicide attempt she didn’t even bother to go shopping anymore, which enticed many gossiping around town, everyone knew just how much Nina Caliente like to dress nicely.
It was the gossip, or rather the anticipation of gossip that tied Latricia’s stomach in a know as she stood in the upstairs bathroom all dressed up. What would people say of them for throwing a party? What kind of people would show up? Will they have a good time? Will everything be ok? How will Bran fare?
Sweating profusely she finally got the courage to open the door and walk out. She heard music and voices, she recognized her aunt Dina, and the man from across the street, the father of the brown haired baby she told Rosie about.
However seeing two of her friends, Chiquita and Brenton dressed sharply and dancing together brought a smile to her face. She didn’t expect her boyfriend to show up, parties really weren’t his strong suit and these two were certainly the next best thing. She got downstairs quickly and tried to strike a conversation with them but Chiquita wasn’t having any of that, she pulled her in and pretty soon Latricia was dancing and laughing with the two of them.
“You two certainly dressed nicely.” She told them when they were finally out of breath. Chiquita shrugged. “Well your mother’s parties are know to be fancy and you are not the one to talk, I mean look at yourself in that thing.” Latricia laughed. “Guilty as charged. Come lets have something to drink.” “Good call, I’m dying here.” Chiquita replied. “Me too.” Brent confirmed and they made their way to the kitchen. Aunt Dina had her guitar out and people were cheering. Latricia walked to the fridge and put out a pitcher of freshly made apple juice but when she got it out she just got a dirty look from Chiquita who was sitting on a counter dangling her skinny feet. “Really Latricia? Where are your manners?” “She wants vodka.” Brent said with a laugh. “And make it some of your mum’s good stuff.” Chiquita added with a grin. Latricia gave them an exasperate sigh and scanned the crowd to see if her mother was looking their way.
She found her in what seamed to be a rather serious conversation with a tall young man with a fireman helmet on. “Walter!” She exclaimed loudly. “I must go say hi.” She put the pitcher down on the counter next to Chiquita and when she saw her and Brent’s expecting look said softly. “Third shelf, first bottle to the right.”
She gave Walter a big hug standing on her toes to reach the man. “I’m glad you made it! How’s work?” She asked but before he could reply Branden had her by the hand speaking in a high, childish voice: “Oh Tricia you wouldn’t believe how many presents I got! I don’t have room for all of them!” With this he ran up the stairs with one more box in his hands. Watching him go Latricia smiled widely. Maybe they could all be normal again after all.