Fridays (Friday Number Five, September 15th, page 4 of 16)


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When Emily returned for my father's funeral, it was as if she'd never left. Though her relationship with my mother was strained, they were politely cordial. After father's death, I would see her and her beautiful children periodically, more so after mother was confined to bed, with a near non-functioning mind.

Why do I remain in this bedroom? Amy keeps asking me this question. My parent's room is larger and I could easily make my bedroom into my reading area. I claim to have fought off my queasiness about my parent's quarters so what's the answer? I tell Amy it is a moot point as I have already erected shelves in the larger room. However, I might as well be honest on these pages; I would be uneasy sleeping with the ghost that dwelt in their domain.

Habit again prevails. My small bed remains tucked against the wall where I've spent so many thousand nights, many cowering from life or my imagination, both of which always seemed ready to assault me. I would hide there when my father returned from work, hours after the eleven o'clock shift ended. He'd stand in my doorway, silhouetted by the bathroom light. I could smell his breath across the room. I don't remember him ever entering the room, but I was petrified he would. I would wait and wait until I could finally hear sounds from the other bedroom. When I confessed my fear to my mother, she said I was lying, just like my sister Emily.

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