Chapter 59.1, Toasters and Tictacs

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Toaster. I knew it was a toaster. I knew it could toast bread. It wasn't the best toaster, tough. It was a cheap hand-me-down, because handing down toasters was surprisingly a thing back in the 80s. 

But calling it a toaster was like calling my sister a human. It's just so boring and even if it was true, it was also undeniably not. My sister was not human. She was a super human. Since our parents were never great parents - always causing trouble and gambling away the money my sister made, I knew I'd loose my soul if I had to label everything as the world saw it.

That's a toaster. That's a bed. That's a school. Those are parents. You're just a boy.

But I wanted to be so much more. I wanted to be an artist. A writer. A painter. An actor. Then again, both my parents pursued that life and look where they ended up. Drunk and miserable and to be honest, abusive.

My biggest fear was to end up like my parents, so I became a doctor. With my sister's help, I got through high school with the best marks. 

So, to keep a bit of the artist I wanted to be, I'd play a game that eventually just became a regular thing. To make something unique. Give personality to everything.

That's a bread tanner. That's a soft table. That's a toddler prison. That's fear. I'm not just a boy. I'm a whatever I want to be. 

"Anton, you better write me a poem for the wedding," my sister, Melissa, said. 

She was going to marry Robert Marigold. I knew he was in a gang. I knew his family was, but we needed this. We both also agreed that my last name should change to Marigold as well. My original last name had some dept on it thanks to my parents and becoming a Marigold was the only way to get rid of the lone sharks my parents were responsible for.

"You know I don't write poetry anymore," I lied. I'd snuck in some poems for my girlfriend, Tessa at the back of my medical books.

"Pretty please? You have to! I'm your big sister!" Melissa begged.

She pouted and made her infamous puppy-face. It had made her big blue eyes seem even bigger. She knew I couldn't say know to her puppy face. And of course, the big sister card.

"What do you want the poem to say?" I asked.

"How totally rad I am," Melissa replied with her new-found smirk. She learned that from Robert.

"I'll try," I said.

But really, I didn't. I admired my sister so much, but I couldn't get myself into the life she was living. The gangs and guns and hurt. I couldn't write her a poem for her wedding. Or her baby shower. Or even when my beautiful niece, Amber, was born. She was just like my sister. My hero. And nearly a year ago, I couldn't write a poem for my hero's funeral.

I was a sobbing mess at her dirt bed. My hero, the person that got me through everything my parents put me in, was not alive anymore. Dark clouds hovered in the air like shoes wouldn't. People we're crying in a way that did not mean they were happy.

The worst part I guess was that I was the one to try and save her before she officially died. And I failed.

That's why I'm writing a poem now. Nothing fancy. It's all in my head. And it's for my sister as I struggle to save my niece. As I hear her heart failing. It's beyond repair and finding a donor with the same blood type as my sister's child, is impossible at this time. 

There's no hope.

"Hello?" I ask when the hospital answers the phone.

"Yes, how can we help, Mr Brown?" the nurse asks.

"Send another doctor to the Bowmen residence. I can't save Amber Marigold on my own. I need more hands," I beg with tears. "Attached to people of course, though," I added to just clarify.

The nurse says she'll send people immediately and I try my best to keep Amber alive for as long as I can. I see my sister in her eyes and hair and soul. If Amber dies, my sister dies as well. And if that happens, bread tanners will just be toasters again.

"The silver-thingy grazed her thump-thump. She doesn't have long," I whisper. Amber's eyes disappear behind her head and she starts to shake. Blake says something, but I don't bother with listening.

"Hold on, Amber," I beg my niece. My sister's daughter. Her soul. "I never got to write your mom a poem, so I'll think of one for you," I explain.

"A toaster is a bread tanner, because it sounds fabulous," I start, "A washing machine is a clothing Jacuzzi, because that way I have a Jacuzzi in my laundry room. A sock is a cat, because Tessa wouldn't buy me one. A house is a home, because mine felt like a prison without Melissa," my grown ass voice then decides to crack as I desperately try to continue.

"My sister is a hero, because she kept me alive. A doctor is a fool, because he can't stitch back a soul. A grave is a dirt bed, because it means you're just sleeping and not gone forever... You're my sister's spirit, because I refuse to accept my hero's dead..." the boy I am inside, let's out Tic Tacs out of my eyes. Clear, salty Tic Tacs that leave a wet trail behind.

I hear Amber's heart stop just as the extra doctors run inside.

"And death... is just a really long nap, because the world needs you to wake up," I add with a quaking voice.

It's not really even a poem, but it's what I should've said a long time ago. My wife and daughter are my life, but my sister and her spirit made sure I have that life in the first place.

I kiss Amber's forehead.

"You will wake up," I breathe. "I didn't miss Pretty Little Liars for nothing."

Hey Goldies!

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Hey Goldies!

Isn't Uncle Anton just the cutest? I know he's been my favorite since day one. Do you think he can still save Amber? I'll be watching the votes.

Oh annnnnd I have a Facebook page called (Two Gangs and a Golden Girl) - what a surprise. Feel free to go check it out. I'll be working on it like crazy when this book is done. Also I have a YouTube channel (Holly Shmit) - yet another surprise. I'll be posting videos about TGAAGG and writing tips when this book is done so feel free to subscribe if you're a goldy!

PS: I'm pretty set on finishing this book so the next update can either be in a few hours or early tomorrow. We'll see how fast I can write. Love y'all! And please vote!

~ Holly Shmit

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