On the drive back from the hospital, it kept going through Adrian’s head over and over. And though tragedy had just struck his family everything would be okay—he knew. Perhaps it was selfish to be thinking only of himself at the moment as he looked at his older sister who was driving. Being only one year apart; she just turning twenty-five, they were ages apart. He often wondered if she regretted taking her path, having three kids and settling down, or was it not consoling to have that kind of simplicity. Though her oldest daughter, Adrian’s niece was currently lying in a hospital—awake and aware now (thank god), even with this new strife—-he admired his sister.

Did it matter to the rest of his family however, did it matter at all that he’d driven hundreds of miles just to get here. Did it matter that he’d nearly turned around and said to hell with it. That he was never coming back to this blasphemous town. This town that since the age of five had tried to kill him more than once? He was at odds with this reservation, mainly because it seemed that his family had forgotten, or chose to put aside the things that had happened.
Like the way his mother had abandoned him and now look at her—just because she had changed did this give her a “get out of jail free card”? Just because she had quit drinking and found god, did it mean that Adrian was just supposed to forgive her that quickly?
Adrian thought of his grandmother as they pulled into her yard, she being the matriarch of the family—the one whom every bad problem had trickled down from. But was it necessarily her fault too? Knowing about the abuse from Catholic boarding schools, or the fact that both her husbands had left her sulking with a hatred towards men that could clearly be seen through her thick glasses sometimes.
As Sharon went inside Adrian hovered on the porch for a bit. Staring out at the vastness of prairie and stars around him on this warm august night.
“I think I’m going to stay. I’ll stop by the hospital and check on you in the morning. ”
He’d meant to head to the nearest bar after she left, but he was not going to tell her that. As he got older it seemed to have become easier for him to abandon things, but who could blame him, from a father who’d left the family when he was barely two; to uncles who didn’t even bother to show up to his own grandfather’s funeral.
And then there was that night, that fateful cold night in February fourteen years ago when everyone had left him alone at grandpa’s house. Adrian felt a sudden chill pass through like he was back there walking through that storm again. But as he looked around he saw no snow, and in his reflection—no little boy staring back at him, but just his own sad paleness.
Something must be said, even after all of this, but it’s not a thing to be brought up now in the wake of the tragedy, and it’s not something that can be said when drunk—-otherwise no one would ever take you seriously.
As he lit a cigarette, his sister came out with whatever it was she came to get
And was heading back into town.
They’d said their goodbyes, and Adrian began to leave as well. Before he headed out the door, he saw in his grandma’s big living room window—old Christmas lights. Lights that had probably been sitting there for years, just hanging down, dust covering them, giving off a kind of yellowish tint.
He quickly ripped the icicles down, threw them onto the porch and stomped on them—breaking as much as he could. Soon, soon, he would have to have a talk, because what hung in the air could hang there no more.

by: Joel Waterscopyright2008


Creative Writing Lakota

Joined September 2008

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