|· Please check out these guidlines BEFORE you register. · Portal||Help Search Members Calendar|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
|Welcome to WAYWARD INK. We hope you enjoy your visit.|
You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.
Join our community!
If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:
Posted: Nov 19 2007, 05:29 PM
Member No.: 2
Joined: 18-November 07
It was Liza's sixth birthday, and Nora wanted everything to be perfect. Her little sister had had to settle for twinkies with candles in them for her other birthdays, and homemade presents.
For this birthday, Nora baked her a cake and bought her a toy box filled with nice, used toys. Next week Liza was going off to school, and Nora wanted to mark the special occasion.
Liza came downstairs, rubbing her eyes from her nap, and goggled at the cake, and the large wrapped present.
"For me?" she said, running to hug her sister. "Oh, Nora, thank you."
Liza was in bed, happy and sated, no doubt dreaming of her cake and toy box. She'd been thrilled to have all those new toys and couldn't stop thanking her sister, and hugging her. Nora felt happy that she'd liked her party, small as it was. She'd considered inviting Juliet but decided it should just be Liza and herself.
Thank goodness Mama hadn't made an appearance. She'd been showing up less frequently the older Liza got. Nora hoped it would stay that way.
Nora started up the burner to make herself spaghetti. She was too hungry to wait for lunch the next day, and besides she and Liza could always eat leftovers tomorrow. She was lost in her daydream and didn't notice at first when the stove caught fire.
Nora panicked. She didn't know what to do. She dimly heard sirens and the front door bursting open, saw the firefighter put out the blaze, heard Liza screaming and the firefighter, a woman, saying "You really ought to be more careful, Miss. Miss?"
The room swam before Nora's eyes and she fainted.
When she woke up it was morning. Liza was shaking her shoulder.
"Nora, get up, it's almost time for school. Nora, please, I'm so worried."
Nora opened her eyes. "I'm sorry, baby." She hugged her sister. "I didn't mean to scare you. I guess I just freaked out."
"It's OK," Liza said. "It's OK."
But it wasn't. What had Nora been thinking? How could she have thought she could raise her sister on her own? She couldn't even cook spaghetti. She felt like crying, but she smiled for Liza and said, "Of course it is. Now, let go of me, silly. I need to get ready for school."
Liza giggled and released her.
Nora couldn't concentrate at school that day. She felt dazed and drained, and fantasies of running away, just leaving it all behind, nagged at her. How easy it would be to just have herself to worry about. She could eat peanut butter sandwiches, and never have to go near a stove again.
And never see Liza, or hear her laugh, or feel her warm cheek against her own, or have her snuggle up to her at night ...
Nora burst into tears in the middle of English class, alarming her teacher. Amongst titters from her classmates--which promptly stopped when Juliet gave them the evil eye--she was sent to the nurse's office to collect herself.
"You poor dear," the nurse said. All of the adults at school knew of Nora's situation.
"Don't call me that," Nora said, a little snappishly. "I'm sorry," she said, seeing the woman's expression. "I know you mean well, just ... don't call me that, please."
When she got home she took a nap. She didn't even hear Liza's school bus arrive, and when she woke up it was early evening.
"I'm hungry," Liza said.
"I'm getting up," Nora said, yawning. She went to the bathroom. As she sat there she noticed everything was sparkling clean.
As she wandered downstairs she saw that the newspaper had been recycled, the dishes washed, and the counters scrubbed.
"Liza?" she said. "Did you do all this?"
"I want to help you," Liza said shyly. "So I cleanded everything."
Nora bit her lip. "Come here, you," she said, and gave her sister a big hug.
Liza needed a lot of help with her homework, so Nora put her own on hold and sat with her, patiently, for two hours, helping her with her math sums and spelling words. She was determined that Liza wouldn't struggle in school like she did.
Still, when it was finally finished Nora could have cried with relief, she was so tired. "OK, off to bed with you, Missy," she said, giving her a kiss. "Take a bath first, you stink," she said, wrinkling her nose and tickling her sister's tummy.
Nora ran her bathwater for her, sat with her while she made silly hats out of the bubbles in the bath, and read her three stories after tucking her into bed. "Night," she said, kissing her forehead.
"One more story?" Liza said sleepily.
"No can do," Nora said. "I've got a hot date."
Liza smiled and snuggled into bed.
Oh, if only, Nora thought. She'd lived here nearly four years and had yet to have a conversation with a single boy.
The paper boy simply did not count.