Toni opened her eyes and found herself standing in a room. She looked around the room trying to figure out where she was. There were voices behind her. Curious, she turned to find her parents talking. Talking as if it were an ordinary day. They turned to face her as she spoke.
"Mom... Dad....?" She asked, softly. "Is it really you?" They smiled and nodded. There was a long moment of silence before Toni got the courage to run towards them, but as she got closer they seemed to get farther away. "Mom! Dad! Don't leave me!" She called after them. Suddenly, a large diesel truck plowed right into them.
Toni sat straight up, breathing heavily. Her clothes and sheets were covered in sweat. After checking to make sure Tanya was still asleep, Toni got up and went into the bathroom. Once in there she took off her pajammas and hopped into the shower. She shoved the temperature lever all the way to cold and stood there, shivering. It was all she could do to not cry. Not long after she got in the shower, Toni heard the door open as Tanya entered.
"Toni?" she asked in a worried voice. "Is everything okay?" Toni took a deep breath before answering.
"Yeah, everything's fine. Go back to bed." She said in a shakey voice. Toni knew from Tanya's hesitation to leave that she knew something was wrong. But she also knew better than to ignore Toni even if Toni wouldn't ever explode at her cousin. Especially not after Carrie had just left them in this acursed place.
After a few more minute of standing in the cold, Toni got out and changed into clean pajammas. She quickly turned off the lights and got into bed. She laid on her back and stared at the ceiling, lost in thought.
"Toni?" Tanya asked from the other side of the room.
"What's up?" Toni replied, eyes still on the ceiling. There was a pause before Tanya spoke again.
"Promise.... Promise you won't leave me too."
Too. Toni knew what Tanya ment when she said too. Her father left her and Carrie when Tanya was just a kid and now Carrie had shipped her own daughter away right after she'd gotten married. It was easy to see that Tanya wasn't wanted at home anymore, even if it didn't keep her from hoping her mom would come back.
"Don't you worry," Toni said. "I will never leave you." It was the second time Toni had told herself that but Tanya needed to hear it. "I'll always be with you." She said softly as she drifted back into sleep.