She Was Fading


Sometimes Roon takes me out to clubs and parties. I'm not twenty-one yet, but he says I'm a good fake. Usually it’s on Friday nights when I don't see Delilah and Crow AWOL.

Roon tells me to meet him at his place. He's only in his late twenties but already has three kids and a wife. The oldest is ten which means Roon was younger than me when she was born. It's kind of a scary thought, but Roon doesn't seem to mind it.

Elizabeth, the oldest, is too shy to be in the same room as me even though I've been coming over every week for months. Sarah, who's six, can't get enough of me and practically sits on my lap. And then there's Gabriel, who is only one, has had heart surgery over five times in his short life.

Gabriel sits or lays in his little crib in the living room with his big blue eyes and just stares at me. Ellie, Roon's wife, says that's Gabe's way of smiling.

Ellie is small and gentle -- she reminds me of Delilah a little bit. But Delilah is stronger that Ellie, I know. Ellie would collapse at the smallest word of bad news, but Delilah is tough. She's a survivor.

Roon still likes to get totally plastered. And I know every time I bring him home drunk, Ellie dies a little inside.

Ellie reminds me of Delilah. Every time I see her cry, I can picture Delilah crying.

I don’t party with Roon anymore.