The Things You Leave Behind


We cried a lot the week after the incident. My family and I that is; we cried and cried for what seemed like days, curled up on the couch and curled into one another, our arms wrapped around everyone. It wasn’t soft, gentle crying either, it was heart-wrenching, gut-splitting sobs that ripped their way out of our throats and our bodies until we were reduced to a sniffing pile of nothing.

There were times when I wondered if they were going to recover from this. If one day they were going to stand up and try to get life back to normal, or if they would let the world go on around them and just sit there on that worn old couch like zombies. It was strange, to see your parents so broken like that, because they were not supposed to be able to be broken, they were supposed to be made of stone and when you realized they weren’t it made you second guess almost everything around you.

They never said that they blamed me, but I knew that secretly they did. As they sat there with vacant eyes, I knew what they were thinking even though they never said it out loud. They told me that it was my fault we were in this mess; it was my fault I had let her drive, and it was my fault there was the moment when the wheel jerked, the earth shifted and shattered, moved too quickly past my eyes and then it was still and black and splattered with red.

They didn’t say it, but I know they thought it. I could feel it in their eyes, in the stares that bore into my back every time I tried to stand up from that couch and move myself away from the sorrow. They never said it, but they might as well had.

You killed your sister.

That’s what they were thinking, and though I would have never admitted it to anyone—not even myself—it’s exactly what I was thinking, too.
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It's not as cliche as it sounds, believe me it gets more complicated. But it's an idea I've been toying around with for awhile, so what are your first impressions?