D C

By the end of the week everything is a blur as usual. I needed some time to catch my breath and the weekend is perfect for it. I call Sunni when I wake on Saturday morning. Because I refused to let her crash, she still feels some kind of way. I have been kind of lonely since my mom left. As we talk I prepare breakfast.

“I’m sorry I didn’t let you come over the beginning of the week. I am just really busy with work.”

“It’s cool. I actually spent a couple of nights at Penelope’s. I get you Dani. You are just the loner weirdo chick now. Just don’t go all emo on me.”

I laugh. I have been called many things lately, “but weird?” I say to myself.

“Well… I was calling to see if you wanted to come over today and hang. I’m free for a change and all alone.”

“Where is your mom? I never see her anymore.”

“You know Tracey. On the hunt for the next man she can milk. She loves money.”

“I know. You are totally that kid Dani” she says.

“What kid?”

“The one with the horrible parents that everyone feels sorry for and afraid to say it because you would totally kick their asses.” She laughs.

But truth rings in her words. I am that kid with the screwed up family. The kid that they talk about behind their back. And I would kick the shit out of anyone who said it to my face. I look over at my kitchen drawer and pull it open. That is where I keep my silver and black .45 caliber hand gun. Just in case a punk decides he wants to come in here on me, I got my protection. The smell of the bacon I am cooking brings me back. I slam the drawer shut and continue to cook.

“So will you come over? We could go to the movies or something.”

“No. I am spending the day with my honey bunny Mason. I’m so ready to give him the goodies.”

I roll my eyes. The thought of sex causes me to quiver. If anyone tried to get in between these thighs he would eat my Smith and Wesson.

“Okay… enjoy. I will find something else to do.”

“You need to quit that dumb restaurant gig and get a life. You are only a child once. Let Tracey pay your car note and put your money away for college. That is her job not yours.”

“I wish I could. She is nothing like Madeline and Jack. Your parents care, my idiot mother does not.”

“Wait! Mason has a hot as hell friend, we could double date! Do not say no Dani!”

“I don’t want to go out with some horny dude that I don’t know. I’ll pass.”

“Okay Dani. I’m beginning to wonder about you.” she jokes.

“I don’t care. Stand in line with the rest of the world.” I slide my bacon onto my plate and butter my toast before ending my call.

I will just probably visit Zac and get caught up on some hokey television shows.

That is exactly what I do. I clean my apartment and watch a little TV. After a few hours passes I get up and dress. I get into me car and go to visit Zac. I make my way through the lobby of the hospital. I get to the reception desk.

“Good afternoon. I am here to see Zachary Ellis.” A young man smiles brightly at me and I scowl.

I don’t need anyone flirting with me today. He types on the computer and glares at the screen. He scratches his chin.

“He is in room c-407. Go to the third floor and make two rights. The unit is the c-unit. Someone will help you when you get up there.” He hands me a guest pass and I stick it onto my scratchy blue sweater.

I tried to dress a little better than I normally do. Zac says that I am too pretty to be so rough. So I curled my hair and put on a blue jean skirt. I slid into some of my mom’s baby doll shoes that she left behind. I walk slowly to the unit. I scan each room as I pass. The people are so sick. It saddens me. I reach room 407 and I look in. I see a woman sitting in a chair nodding. I tap lightly on the door as I enter. He has been in this place for a whole week and seeing him like this is really scary. I can’t say I have been actually choked over anyone in the last couple of years. But I am literally fighting back the tears. I tip into the room and the woman looks up at me.

“Hello dear,” she says.

“Hi, you must be Lily.” I say. She smirks cautiously and reaches her hand toward mine.

“Yes and you are?” she says.

“Oh I’m Danica. Everyone at Tank calls me Dani.”

“Oh, you’re Dani. Zachary talks about you all the time.”

“I can imagine. He yelled at me for months while training me to handle the machinery.” I laugh. I look over at him and his eyes are closed. He is very frail.

“He says that you are the same age as our Hillary.  But you don’t seem to be a day out of high school.” She says skeptically.

“How old is Hillary?”

“She is 21. She just left from Germany yesterday she is stationed there. She is coming home to check on her dad.” I nod.

Lily is very suspicious of me, so I walk over to Zac and tap him.

“Hey there old man.” I joke.

“Hel…lo there youngen.” He barely gets out. I grab his hand.

“When are you getting out of here? I need you back at work. They’re changing things and I need a soldier to help me fight.” I try to manage a smile. Lilly cuts me off when he tries to speak.

“He is not coming back young lady. He will not be leaving this place. You see all those machines.” She points. “He is not breathing on his own anymore. He has brain cancer. One day soon, although we can’t be sure when, he is going to die.” She says too harshly.

I gasp. “What? No Zac. You can’t die. I don’t have anybody else to talk to.” I sob holding his hand.

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