little death

Sammy slept in the chair outside her trailer. She had dosed off mid-story:

“Sometimes you have to . . .”

I waited. Sometimes she drifted off only to wake up five minutes later and pick it up again exactly where she left off.

“Hey, you,” Mary leaned on the porch.


“She’s taking more naps.”

“Yeah. Where have you been?”

“Getting my education,” Mary moaned. “You?”

“Nope. Public school.”

She giggled. “You’re stupid.”

“That’s what my report cards indicate.”

“Except you’re not.”

I changed the subject. “I got in a fight.”

“That is stupid.”

“I won!”

She smirked. “Bravo.”

I thought about telling her about Mr. King, but decided against it.

“She’s not really my grandmother,” I said.


“Sammy’s my aunt’s mom.”

“That makes her your grandma.”

“But my aunt’s not really my aunt. My mom just calls her that.”

“Oh. That’s funny. I guess.” Mary squinted at me. “What’s wrong?”

I shrugged.

“Are you hiding something from me?”

“No,” I lied.



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