[10] Paige

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Paige.

The voice is distant,

But it rings around you.

Everything is white,

But it doesn’t blind your eyes.

Your hand moves,

As someone clutches it tightly.

A memory of Dan,

Surfaces,

And you want to move your hand.

But you can’t.

You can’t move anything,

And you have no idea why.

You don’t know where you are,

Or what’s going on.

Paige sweetie,

It’s time to wake up.

You move towards the voice,

And suddenly,

The white becomes blinding.

You squint your eyes,

And your ears hear beeping.

Paige!

Beep.

Oh my God!

Beep.

Paige!

Beep.

Arms wrap around you,

And you wince at the pain.

Suddenly,

Everything becomes clear.

You,

Blink,

Twice.

You look around the white hospital room,

And your eyes land on Mom.

She leans over you,

And you feel her tears on your arm.

Your mind is foggy,

But how you got here is unclear.

You remember Dan,

The duct tape,

The fire.

But what happened afterwards?

You remember the heat,

The burning,

Loosing consciousness.

I’m so happy you’re alive!

You haven’t seen Mom this way,

In years.

She hasn’t said this much,

In years.

She hasn’t acted like a mother,

In years.

You ask what happened,

And she tells you.

A neighbour saw the fire,

She cries.

Called 911,

And rushed over to try and help.

He managed to get you,

Before it was too late.

You ask who it is,

And Mom leaves.

In,

Walks,

Nathan.

He smiles sadly at you,

And sits on the edge of the bed.

You ask him how,

Did he save you?

How,

Did he help you?

How,

Did he know?

I guess you never knew,

That a group home was behind you.

You hadn’t even looked,

Out the back window.

He was your backyard neighbour?

You had never known.

You want to get up,

And thank him,

Hug him,

Cry to him.

But your burns,

Wounds,

Bruises,

Hold you down.

So instead,

He bends down,

And hugs you gently.

Mom walks back in,

And Nathan says goodbye.

She sits where Nathan had,

And holds your hand.

Tears still roll,

Drip,

Stream,

As she speaks to you.

I’m so sorry,

I should have been a better mother.

It wasn’t fair to you,

For me to act the way I did.

You ask her what changed,

Why now was she upset,

Instead of when you left.

Before,

I knew you were okay.

She must have seen,

The stuff you took,

The door you locked,

The bed you made.

But the thought of losing you,

Paige, it kills me!

I’ve already lost your father!

I can’t lose you, too!

She hugs you,

And cries into your shoulder.

You look out your window,

At the moon.

I love you.

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