The doorknob glared at me. Its brass essence branded my soul. Intimidated, I started to back away.
That's when the door opened.
It had been years since I'd seen her last. Her hair was longer, wavier. Her eyes were dulled like a butter knife.
"Karen." She flinched. I corrected myself. "Mom."
It was a surprise when she wrapped her frail arms around me. I didn't move. Maybe I patted her sides with my fingertips, or maybe I dreamed it. Sensing how awkward I felt, she let go.
"Do you want to come inside?" She smiled feebly and opened the door wider.
I peered inside. It wasn't too big of a house. Probably slightly smaller than the one we used to live in together, but it wasn't shabby. She had carpet, which we didn't have in our old house.
I was about to step inside when I heard a shriek. Something high-pitched that pierced the air.
"What is that?!" I clamped my hands over my ears."
Karen's eyebrows pressed together and her chapped lips shook. "It's -- it's..."
Your baby sister.
I held back tears and bit my cheeks. Blood sprang forth.
"Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me." She whispered, grabbing my shoulder like I was driftwood in the tempest.
My eyes hardened and I said "no."