The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 43

I took one final glance into my bedroom. The doorway framed the windowsill on which I’d set the blade. For a long moment, I considered creeping back in and rescuing the razor from the howling wind, but my parents’ somber voices pulled at me. The sound magnified my own pain, giving it weight and purpose, and caused me to descend the staircase.

Mom noticed me first. Her head shot up with the sound of the creaking stairs, and she nearly fell off Dad’s lap. Wiping tears from her eyes as if that would convince me that she was okay, she said in a too-bright voice, “Hey, honey. What’s wrong?”

Dad didn’t bother masking his emotions. The best he could do was force a wavering smile, but his shining dark eyes gave him away.

I stood there speechless for what felt like ages. I hadn’t really thought about what I would say to them before coming downstairs. I wanted them to magically send the monsters slinking back into the shadows like they had all those years ago. At the same time, I wanted to tell them how sorry I was for merely existing, for casting storm clouds on their otherwise happy life. In the end, all I could do was say, “I’m having a bad night.”

Dad extended an arm toward me, and I collapsed on the couch, sobbing into his shirt. Mom slid off Dad’s lap and sat down next to me. Their bodies formed a human barrier on either side of me, and they wrapped their arms around me.