A Piece Of ToastMature

She wanted to go back to her room.

She wanted to go back to her bed, her soft bed, with the flowered coverlet that had been there since before she was born, and the little crib with the arched cover that had been hers, once, before she could talk, before she could understand.

She wanted to let her bare feet wander over the perfect glossy floor, cold and wooden where there should have been a rug--there should have been--but there wasn't.

She wanted to open her box of toys, and pull out her pink rabbit, and sit by the door and play. She wanted to turn her dollhouse and touch her pretty dolls, in their neat dresses and holding little pots and pans, and she wanted Daddy to come in, as he had always done, and say, "Well, Kari, are you starting your own family already?"

And then Mama would be working at her computer, and she would be typing, maybe, with the keys going clickety-clack and she'd say, "Don't disturb me, Kariya, ask your father," and Daddy would take her downstairs and give her a bowl of ice cream and watch the televison with her.

And most importantly, Mama wouldn't be crying now, with her face on the table, and the policeman saying, "I'm so sorry Ma'am, so sorry for your loss, just let me know what I can do..." And the untouched bacon and waffles and bread and milk and strawberries and fried potatoes wouldn't go cold and to waste, because Mama hated wasting food--hated it--

And she, Kariya, wouldn't still be standing, awkwardly, in the archway, as though her mother, who needed her more now than any other time, had forgotten that she was there.

The End

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