Without You

{For the Appleshine Mum, Loony, may she rest in peace.} The House Appleshine is rocked when they find out that their mother, Luna, has fallen ill. With their lives changing left and right, they've begun to have strains on the family ties as they struggle to cope with their mother's illness.

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11. Chapter Eleven

     Girlie pushed the chocolate cupcake in her lunchbox, dreading what was to come. Her and her family had been out of school for an entire week, but they had run out of sick days. Well, Girlie had anyway. The others had saved them, but Girlie tended to play hooky at the drop of a hat.

     She grabbed her bag, and just as she was about to leave, Prez grabbed her and gave her a hug. "Are you sure you don't want to stay home. I can probably donate one of my sick days or something."

     "I'll be fine," Girlie said. She knew it was a lie. She had a feeling that Prez knew, too. 

***

     Girlie tried to concentrate on the work at hand. Easy peasy second grade work.

     2*2= 4

     0*1= 0

     3*7= 21

     Girlie*Populars in the Back of the Classroom= Internal Screaming

     Girlie could hear them, even in their hushed tones. Ariel whispered something about shoes. Allison replied with something about how cute the shoes were. Ashley said something about how cute shoes were the opposite of what Girlie was wearing.

     A little louder, Ariel agreed. "I know, right! They are so hideous!"

     "Not, like, as hideous as, like her face!"

     They laughed as if that was grade A comedy.

     Girlie awaited the usual blow. Something about her two mothers. Sure enough.

     "It seems that Girlie is soon going to be, like, minus one mother."

     Like, Ashley. I just, like, can't believe you, like, did the math. Like, you, like, must, like, be, like, so, like, smart, Girlie thought, her anger rising.

     "No way. Really? What's up?"

     "Her mother is, like, on her deathbed."

     "I heard she was going to make it," Allison said. She didn't really belong with the Populars. She was nicer. But Ashley was her twin, and as a result, Allison was pulled along with them.

     "You heard wrong."

     "Yeah, Stupid."

     "Well, if that does happen, could we maybe be nice to Girlie? I mean, won't she be normal?"

     "As if that would, like, ever happen. Girlie is not normal. As for her mum, I-"

     Girlie didn't here the rest. She was too busy running out the room.

     She stopped in front of the playground gate. She opened it and walked in, walking to her special place, in the corner on the playground, where the fence meets the exterior wood wall of the school. She sat down and her fingers grazed the inch deep cross she carved in the wall with her brother's pocketknife.

     Girlie wanted to pray, but she didn't. She felt incredibly guilty, because she only prayed when she needed something. Instead she cried.

     Mum isn't going to die. She isn't an a deathbed. She is going to come home, and when she does she won't be in a casket.

     Girlie fell asleep. When she woke up, she was on her sister's bed. What?

     "Prez?" Girlie called.

     There was a clank in the kitchen and then some footsteps coming down the hall. The door opened. Prez stepped in and said, "You're awake."

     "Yeah. How did I get here?"

     "The school called. You ran out the classroom. They got worried, but they're going to let it go. You're not in trouble or anything. And you're getting another two days out school."

     "Oh. Why am I in your bed?"

     "You left your window open when you went to school. There are," Prez paused a moment and counted on her fingers. "six cats sleeping on your bed. Ink didn't want me to wake them and shoo them out."

     "Oh," Girlie repeated.

     "I'm going to go back and finish making lunch."

     "Okay."

     Prez left. Girlie turned over in the bed, and closed her eyes. She opened them again. On Prez's bedside table was a little plastic thing that Girlie hardly knew the name for. The word was in the back of her mind.

     There was a little blue plus sign on it. That meant positive, right?

     Suddenly, the word for the object came to Girlie.

     Pregnancy test.

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