STEVEN JERAL HARRIS
EMERALD BLUE OKIKI
Something To Remember.
A tapping on my door wakes me up to a brand new day. I lift my face from my pillow in order to answer.
"Come in," I say in a drowsy voice.
My mom walks in looking graceful as always, although she’s still in her nightgown, and sits at the foot of my bed.
"How'd you sleep?" she asks with a warm smile.
"Never slept better," I tell her.
That’s an understatement. Without arthritis, I don’t have to worry about tossing and turning every so often in order to get comfortable. It’s been a long time since I slept so peacefully.
"You have a month until school. We have to get your stuff in order."
I groan and turn onto my side, unwilling to depart from my bed.
“Right now? I’m still so tired.” I say to her while I stretch.
“I want to be out by eleven, we have to get everything done today cos I start my new job tomorrow.” She stands and pulls the blankets off of me.
“I’ll be up in a little bit,” I reply in a moaning tone.
“No missy, get up. You think it’s bad now, wait until school starts.”
“Okay five more minutes.” I plead to her.
“Nope,” she says while walking over to the window where the curtains are still closed.
“Mom, you better not open those curtains.”
She looks over her shoulder at me and smiles with sly eyes.
“Or what?” she asks boldly.
“Or else,” I reply back with a similar look.
She slowly eases her hands up to the curtains, looking over her shoulder, grimacing.
“You’ve been warned,” I tell her with serious eyes.
The bright morning rays pour into my bedroom, making me squint, as she throws the curtains wide open. She shows off a false sad face and shrugs her shoulders.
“Sorry, I slipped.”
Her smart remark entices me to throw my pillow at her, but she’s way too swift. She catches the pillow in mid-air like it’s nothing. Now I just made matters worse.
The enemy has my weapon.
“Oh, war it is then. It’s on girlfriend,” she says with leering eyes.
I can’t keep a straight face any longer. I break out into an uproar of laughter that doesn’t cease.
“Okay. Okay. I quit,” I try to surrender.
“No mercy, no prisoners,” she says while charging at me like a crazy person.
I curl into a ball on my bed and use another pillow as a shield. My laughter increases as she begins her onslaught of deadly blows. I retaliate by rolling off the side of my bed, dodging one of her swings, and hitting her on top of her head. This causes my weapon to burst, sending small white feathers dispersing into the air.
She pauses for a moment, shocked by my counter attack.
“You’ve just signed your death slip,” she threatens while tightening the grip on her pillow.
“I’m pretty sure you mean death warrant,” I chuckle after correcting her.
The laughter starts pouring out her mouth uncontrollably. Then a second later she gets serious again, well, attempts to.
“Well, whatever you call the damn thing, you’re signing it; dead or alive.”
As she rolls over the bed trying to catch me, I run defenceless around the bed and out the room, screaming like a little child.
Fifteen minutes and three busted pillows later, I find myself exhausted and laying against my mom on the sofa. I pick the last feather off my shirt and watch it slowly join the others on the floor.
“We haven’t had fun like that in a while, huh?” her exhausted voice gently says into my ear.
“No we haven’t,” I reply modestly.
“Well, we really gotta get a move on it. School is right around the corner.”
"School…" I think out loud and begin to ponder about the idea of it. “Wow, everything is—” I finish with a sigh.
“You don’t want to go?” she sounds surprised by my remark.
“No, I mean, I like it there but—what if everything goes back to the way it was?” Now I’m feeling a hint of insecurity.
“Don’t question it, just like your Uncle told me. Just keep moving and don’t look back, ever; alright?”
“Okay, I won’t look back.”
She pulls me closer and kisses me on the top of my head. Now this is more like it. This is certainly one of those moments worth remembering.
As time progress, I stop wondering about what happened on that day. I’m just grateful it did happen.
For the first time in my life I feel like a normal girl. It feels like I’m no longer Iva. I finally feel like everyone else; normal. I wouldn’t dare tell my mother about that strange scar I found on my shoulder.
I could but she’s been worried enough about that day I went to the hospital and I made a promise to her that I’ll stop thinking about it. Besides, it’s just a scar, right?
...to be continued
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