The Dutiful Daughter

The last breath her mother took

She stared out the window. The day bright, sunny, birds sang, butterflies flitted about and all that other good crap. She watched the mothers sitting on the park bench, she wondered what they talked about. Little girls and boys ran about screaming their pleasure at some perceived something.

The mothers were so proud, they were so animated, they were so... happy.

Her mother had been so happy too. Of course, it wasn't because she had been so proud. No, it was the fire that ran through her veins. The chemical that put her on a whole different plain. The liquid pain that made her head bob back and her eyes roll into the back of her head. The slush that made her do every man that crossed her path. The septic slime that made it acceptable to sell her child to the highest bidder.

Now her mother was ill, her kidneys wouldn't filter the toxic blood anymore. Her liver turning to stone from the hot shots of alcohol.

She sat next to the hospital bed wishing it was over. Her mother groping for her hand. She looked at the sunken cheeks, at the lines etched deep into the sides of the mouth. The lips chapped and dried with drool, flapping with each breath, covering the gums devoid of almost all the teeth.

In a raspy voice her mother slurped out an apology. A day late and a dollar short. A hollow word, sorry. Sorry for all the men that had abused her since she'd been eight years old? Sorry for all the times she'd left her alone without food, without heat? Sorry for all the times she'd been so dirty she'd had bugs in her hair? Sorry for the laughter of the children at school? Sorry for the childhood that had been shattered? Sorry for the loneliness? Sorry, it had no meaning. In fact, she didn't even know why she was there. No, that wasn't quite true, she knew why. She wanted to watch her die.

At 5am, her mother took her last breath. She sat for a moment, listening to the beeping of the alarms on the machines.

So anticlimactic, she had simply passed away, simply closed her eyes.

The nurses came in, they looked so sad. They glanced her way mouthing the I'm sorrys. They pulled the tubes and plugs. She watched. They wrapped the body. And just for a minute she remembered how beautiful her mother had been.

The nurses told her they would have a social worker come in and talk to her. This worker could help her find a mortuary. She stared at them, then smiled. She told them that wouldn't be necessary. She told them, her mother had no insurance and not a dime of hers would go to bury her. She saw the horrified looks. She laughed out loud.

She had been the dutiful daughter, she had paid her dues.

The End

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