Girlie awoke when she her Insomnia decided to make an appearance. She looked out the window and watched as the rain splattered down the window. Even though she had lived in the cabin for about a week or so, she couldn't get over the how the window made everything better. The raindrops seemed poetic, hitting the pane in their little rhythms, then trailing downwards in a race.
Lightening flashed, filling the room with white light for a few seconds before thunder sounded. Suddenly, the window wasn't as great as it was before. It was frightening.
Girlie turned over in the double bed she shared with Prez and found her missing.
It's fine. She's probably in the bathroom.
A white flash flooded the room, and Girlie pulled the covers over her head.
It'll be okay. It'll be okay. It'll be okay. No, it won't!
Girlie scrambled out of bed, not worrying about how cold her bare feet felt on the wood flooring, and flipped on the lights, so the white flashing would quit affecting her so badly, at least until Prez came back.
Then, the power went out.
Girlie let out a shriek of fear, and shuffled out the bedroom to Bill's room. The flashes were scaring her, and her scar was beginning to ache. She just needed someone...
If Prez won't come out the bathroom, I'll just get Bill to help.
Outside Bill's room, she paused, her hand on the doorknob. She listened carefully. There was a faint squeaking of the mattress springs, and an occasional moan.
Girlie opened the door, and the sight before her was enough to make her want to yank her eyeballs out with a melon baller. Prez and Bill, well, to put it lightly, they were getting it on...
"OH MY GOD!" Girlie cried out in a mixture of fear, surprise, and disgust. Girlie quickly covered her eyes and bolted away from the room. She opened the front door and stepped outside in the cold, windy rain of the storm.
What is wrong with them?
The door opened again, and Prez stepped out, wearing a robe.
"Girlie," she began.
"I don't want to hear it."
"We were only-"
"Don't you dare end that sentence with 'wrestling,' or something stupid like that! I know exactly what you were doing!" It was true. Girlie, although seven, was way too mature for her age at times and knew way more about the birds and the bees than an average girl her age. Or even an average girl twice her age.
Prez sighed and leaned against the wall for support.
"What? Tuckered out, are you?"
"Don't be like that."
"Why not? Were you even using protection? You know what? Even if you were, it doesn't work out like that all the time. I'm proof of that. You were supposed to be an only child!"
"The thing is-"
"I don't give a damn what 'the thing is.' Excuse my- Actually, don't excuse my language! I'm mad! What were you thinking?"
"I know! You weren't thinking! What if you got pregnant? We can hardly afford to feed the people we have now."
"Girlie, listen to m-"
"No! Because if you got pregnant, we wouldn't have enough money! And then one of us would be kicked out! And it wouldn't be the baby, and it wouldn't be you, and it wouldn't be Bill! It would be me!"
"Don't say you can't send me out. If Bill's mom could send him away, you could just as easily get rid of me!" In an ordinary conversation, Girlie would have slapped her hand over her mouth at the mention of Bill's mom. But at the moment, Girlie was throwing everything to the wind, including grammar. She normally chose words carefully, trying to make certain that she wouldn't vex her sister much with her southern redneck way of saying things incorrectly.
"Me and you have been together forever, and you're ready to throw that away? After all we've been through? After the sitting through second baddest, most nerve-wreckingest train ride ever just to get to this place in the middle of the woods? You're the worstest sister ever!"
Prez looked like tears were about to come out, splattering quicker than the raindrops. Girlie unconsciously raised a hand to her cheek and found it wet. She had been crying for quite a while and hadn't even realized it.
"I don't want to hear it," Girlie said again. "You two are so irresponsible."
"I CAN'T HAVE KIDS!" Prez bellowed over the sound of thunder in the distance, finally silencing Girlie. "When Bill found us, we had been living off of scraps for a month. I was giving you most my food. You were still malnourished, but I was worse off. My period never started, and it never will, so I can't have kids... not ever."
"I'm sorry. I take back everything I said! I- I-" Girlie cut herself off. Prez was sobbing, her face buried in her hands. Girlie realized that this wasn't some stupid little math test, where she could erase her mistakes. There wasn't an eraser for what she had just said. "I didn't mean it!"
Girlie ran off into the woods, leaving Prez alone and crying at the cabin. In the past week, two of the three rules were already broken, so what did it matter if the final one shattered like a plate freefalling from a plane.
Mud squished beneath her feet as Girlie continued to run, but she had no clue where to go. Her thoughts were clogged up like a bathtub drain.
It's my fault. She gave her food to me whenever she got any. I am the reason she's non-fertile. I am the reason she can't have kids. I ruined her whole life for her. Everything. I don't deserve her. I don't even deserve to have anything.
I need to make it up to her.
Girlie knocked at the door to the cabin the next afternoon, and she was immediately tugged inside, lifted in the air and hugged until she finally managed to say, "Choking. Not. Breathing."
"You're okay! You're filthy, but you're okay!" Prez squealed, unable to hear her sister over her happiness. When she had finally quit crying the night before, she had looked up to find that Girlie was nowhere to be seen.
Girlie was beginning to wonder if she was ever going to feel the great feeling of air in her lungs again when her sister released her, and she fell to the ground with a light thump. She stood up, glancing at the smudge of dirt on the floor.
Am I really that dirty?
She looked in the mirror near the door and was surprised. Almost scared. She had scratches, dirt, and mud all over her face, her hair was a matted mess, and her nightgown was a bit tattered at the end. She could already see the water turning a murky brown when she got in the shower that night.
"What happened to you?"
"Well," Girlie stalled, shuffling her feet. She suddenly remembered the bag in her hand. "I got a present."
" 'Cause I'm sorry."
Girlie handed over the small, brown paper bag, which Prez carefully opened, eyeing her sister, like she was trying to say, "There better not be a severed arm in here." She stared down in the bag, and her jaw dropped. "Nutella?" she asked, pulling the jar out the bag. "How did you afford it? And where'd you get it? We live in the middle of the woods!"
"Well, I took up an odd job at some tourist trap about three miles that-a-way. Some guy named Stanford or whatever made a one-day attraction out of me. I was Wild Child." Girlie giggled at the name she was given. "He got a bunch of money, and he gave me some. Just enough for a jar of Nutella."
"Is that why you look like you have escaped prison and have been on the run for a year?"
"Maybe. I don't know. Do you forgive me?"
"For yelling, and for costing you a kid."
"Oh, Girlie." Prez stooped down to Girlie's height. "I never said I was mad. I was just... embarrassed. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I just-"
"I understand. But what about the kid thing? Don't you want kids?"
"Kids? You're enough of a handful, aren't you, jellybean?" The two giggled.
"But what about later, when we're both married?"
"Adoptions always an option, right?"
"I guess. So you're not mad? Even when I called you a bad sister?"
"Nah. You didn't mean it. Now, let's get you all cleaned up. Then we shall feast on Nutella!" She raised the small jar high in the air, as though it was made of gold and could feed an army.