not long after my adoption was finalized i made a second neighborhood friend named rebecca whom everyone called becky. we road the big yellow school bus together and were in the same grade at our small-town elementary school. some years we even had the same teacher. becky was chubby in a ‘childhood is sweet’ kind-of-way and smart, in the ‘we’re only third graders but i get that you’re smarter then most of us here’ kind-of-way. she had pale skin and a full-bodied brunette bob she kept pinned back with a headband most days. she lived in a quiet, unsuspecting house two streets and a lifelike nightmare away. the outside of becky’s house was ordinary; petite, light blue ranch, no shudders and a single young maple out front that changed colors and dropped leaves every fall. looking back, i should have sensed the danger sooner, should have listened to the way things felt rather then the way things looked. inside the house smelled of fake butter in cheap plastic tubs, freezer burnt microwaved dinners and urine-soaked bedding. and my friend, becky, her mother wasn’t working the second shift or out doing the shopping, she was dead. it’d happened right there on their cheap linoleum floor, becky had been the one to find her. i imagine that’s what kept me coming back for our weekend play dates and occasional overnights- the thought of my young friend left all alone with those awful smells and that tender brokenness, it all felt too real and familiar to turn away from. becky’ father was a short, stout, former marine and boxer, who smoked marlbolo reds and drank budweiser beer from miniature cans at all hours of the day and night. he stuck out, not unlike his daughter, and was pitied by most as the only widower his age in town. he taught us to use elbow grease and wooden matches and he let us stay in the room with him while he watched ‘pet cemetery’ and ‘children of the corn’. and all too soon it became frightfully clear that becky’s father really was one of those stephen king monsters after all.

the hardest part to reconcile is that i went back. that i never told a soul and i went back. but i never slept at becky’s house overnight alone again- on the hardwood floor beside my brokenhearted friend and her urine-soaked sheets was as close and as far away as i ever got.

authors note

*names have been changed to protect the innocent.

2 responses to “it”

  1. Beautifully written. Heart crushing. But, you are light and it shines through every word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you deb ~ your words ring so true to me .. makes me think of that saying about the broken places being the places where light gets thru 🌟 so so grateful for you xo


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