Ear Aches and Sniffles

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Regina

I fell into bed after Carolina's party, I was definitely coming down with something and it was not pretty. I felt my head burning up and I felt awful, my nose was stuffed up and my coughing was now a bark that erupted from my chest.

"Oh no my love, looks like you have got the flu!" Robin said rubbing my back in slow circles, I nodded and pulled off my shirt and slipped into my thin nightgown, I was burning up and I did not want anymore necessary clothing. Robin pulled my hair back into a bun on the top of my head and helped me under the sheets.

"If Carolina cries you have to get her, I don't want her or the boys catching this." I said with my eyes closed, he nodded and rubbed my arms, carefully falling asleep.

I heard Carolina screaming in the other room and Robin not beside me, the clock read eleven thirty which told me I had been asleep for two hours. I heard her crying intensify and then Robin walk into the bedroom with her cradled on his chest.

"She's holding her ear and screaming, I think she already caught whatever you have." He said laying her between both of us, I sighed and rubbed her stomach, feeling awful that I got her sick. She looked at me with blame, her eyes begging me to make her ear feel better.

Both of us tried to get some sleep and I could only feel my sickness worsen but Carolina would not stop screaming. I could hear the mucus in her nose and chest, making her sniffle. I sighed and got up, wrapping her in my arms, walking over to the bathroom where her suction bulb was. Her crying had now progressed to a low murmur against my chest, but I knew that what I was about to do was going to change that.

"Uh oh, she's not going to like that." Robin said taking her from me, I sat down across from him and took out the suction bulb and a tissue. I gently placed it in her nose and suctioned, making her flip out and wail.

"I know mamas, just let mama finish and you will feel ten times better!" I begged, clearing her nasal passages with the bulb, she cried until I finished, clinging to my shirt and falling asleep. I sighed and laid down with her snuggled in my chest, I felt my NyQuil kick in and my eyelids grow heavy, Robin kissed our heads and then pulled both of us close to him as we fell asleep.

Henry

I hated myself. It was midnight and my phone wouldn't stop buzzing, hurtful text messages from kids at school, the only person I could count on was Violet and she didn't have any electronic devices, or knew how to use any of them. I stared at my phone that kept vibrating, each message tearing a hole through my soul. It all started when someone called me a "faggot" for wearing purple to school, I wanted to show Violet but it turned into a circus at school where all the kids would laugh and point as I walked from one class to the other.

It was fine in person, for the first day, but then it started over the phone, constant messages telling me that I was a waste of a human, that I was making the world a worse place by living on it. I tried to ignore it for the first couple of days but they just kept coming. My mom almost found out when I left my phone on the counter to grab a tissue, it buzzed and she looked over at it, thankfully I snatched it away before she could see anything, now I make sure that I never put my phone down, ever.

This had been going on a month, my mom was so wrapped up with Carolina and trying to find my other mom that thankfully she hadn't noticed, the kids at school threatened me and told me that if I snitched on them that they would make me pay. Which was fine, I hardly spoke anymore, I tried to act the part as best as possible for my family, but honestly I had lost the will, I was garbage.

Sleep was not a part of my routine anymore, I couldn't, and plus with the baby I had grown accustomed to not sleeping. I sat in front of my mirror and saw out of the corner of my eye the Tupperwares of food that I had hidden under my bed for me to feed the stray animals, the food that my mom thought I was eating. I didn't deserve to eat, I was nothing, and that's what I deserved, when I felt the pains of hunger fill my stomach I knew that it was good, I was suppose to feel like this. That's what they said.

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