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“You look amazing!” Latrica told Bran as he exited the dressing room in the goofiest possible outfit they had put together. At that moment they both burst out laughing. It was fun to laugh again Latricia realized, it had been so long she was afraid she forgot how to do it. It was nice to hear Bran laugh too she thought looking at him. He had grown so much over the summer, and he could barely fit into any of his clothes which is why their mother proposed this shopping trip in the first place.
It was not just her brother’s height that changed, he also started wearing contacts, and he let his brightly orange hair grow. It suited him well, although for the majority of the time it just ended up falling in his eyes and their mother begged him to cut it off almost every day. Bran wouldn’t hear about it of course, he was growing into a real teenager, attitude included.
They proceeded to pick out some even goofier clothes when their mother walked back in the store. There was a strange look on her face and it startled Latricia the moment she saw her. She had her phone in one hand and her wallet in the other. “Take this.” She told Latricia handing her the wallet. “Gather the things and pay for them, use my credit card. I’ll go take the car and wait for you outside. ” She provided no more explanation as she walked out. Latricia felt her insides clenching. It was Rosie. She could feel it.Her mother didn’t have to say anything, the look in her emerald green eyes was enough. Maybe she woke up? Latricia thought at first but she didn’t dare hope. She was dead. She finally let go. The thought made her go cold all over but she was unrealistically calm as she walked to the register carrying Branden’s stuff. Her head went blank, and her movements were more automatic than intentional. Her sister was dead.
Her brother who had changed into his regular clothes walked behind her with a worried expression. “Tricia? What is it? Is it Rosie? Do you think it’s Rosie? Is she awake?” “I don’t know Bran.” Latricia said calmly as she took out her mother’s credit card and handed it to the cashier. “Well what do you think?”
Latricia didn’t look at him, she stared at the wall behind the cash register but she could feel the hopefulness in his voice. Bran was a sweet child, she used to be that way once… It felt like a lifetime ago, the day her sister tried to kill herself…
Soon he would grow up too, she didn’t want it, she wanted him to be her little brother Bran forever but Rosie didn’t give them any choice… Still Latricia didn’t want to be the one to take his hope away, besides what would she say? How would she do it? Our sister is dead Bran. She wanted to die and now she is dead. Gone.
She would never play that one tough level for you, one that you were stuck on for days, she would never recommend an anime to watch… She wouldn’t give you girl advice or go shopping with you… It all seemed to cruel to say to a thirteen year old, even if it was true so Latricia kept quiet. She smiled to the cashier who handed her the bags with stuff they bought. Don’t smile. Yell. Your sister is dead. Cry. Do something. She didn’t. She turned to Branden but he seemed completely lost in his own thoughts. He is realizing what is happening… She felt it as he mechanically took the bags from her hands and they stepped out in the crowded mall together.
Their mother waited in the car across the street. She was looking blankly ahead and as soon as both of her children were in the car she started it. “Mum what happened?” Bran asked leaning forward from the backseat. Latricia wanted to keep looking out of the window, she didn’t want to look at mum’s face as she told them the news but she couldn’t help it, she turned around towards their mother too.Nina Caliente took a deep breath before breaking the tense silence. “Your sister woke up.”
Bran let out a cry of joy and even Nina smiled as she looked at the road.Still Latricia couldn’t allow herself to hope. Her chest was still tight, maybe even tighter then it was. She wanted it to be true… She so wanted it to be true…
“Does this mean she is okay? Is she talking? Is there brain damage?” Her mother sighed deeply. “They wouldn’t say on the phone. We’ll know everything when we come back. She woke up, she was responsive, they were gonna run tests… But she is awake Latricia, your sister is awake.” Latricia looked at her mother in surprise, there were tears running down her face, and before she knew it, she too had started to cry.