The heat was unbearable and to escape it Donna and I went in our air conditioned house. But our efforts didn’t get us any closer to an answer, and the house was still uncomfortably hot. We ran a bath, filled with freezing water and jumped into the cold which, at first, was wonderfully delightful. Unfortunately, nothing good lasts forever, toes numb and bodies shaking; we slowly wobbled are way down the hall to our bedroom. There was an inferno behind the door, it rushed at us with great force as we opened it. Instantly, rage filled my bones and my hands started shaking with anger; nothing I have done has fixed our incredibly hot situation. Donna still freezing from our ice bath, is shaking like a leaf in a tree on a windy day, she grabs her blue blanket off her bed and raps up. My feet are frozen but my face fills with salty sweat, trying to wipe it off with the bath towel I am still wrapped in. Confused by the fact that Donna still hasn’t said a word to me, I walk over there to see what her problem is, and I touch her cheek. Donna is frozen and as white as a snow man on Christmas Eve after a fresh coat of snow has layered the ground. Running over to my bed, my feet slowly unthawing, I grab my blue bedspread and wrapped it around my shaking little sister.

Ten minutes pass and Donnas condition has not improved. I start thinking about what I can do. She is cold and she can’t warm up from the outside. I ran to the kitchen dropping my pink bath towel on the floor. I put some water in the tea kettle and finding a bucket, I put some cold water into it. While I was adding the boiling water it splashed up and burned my arm. As my arm burns I run to the sink and run it under the tap. I finish pouring Donnas’ hot chocolate and bring both upstairs. She is still sitting there, she hasn’t moved. I walk closer she turns to look at me and sees the cup and smiles. Handing her the cup and then placing her feet into the bucket of water. She shrieks in pain. She starts kicking the water all over the floor. Complaining that the water is to hot and it hurts her. I take the bucket into the bathroom to put some cold water into it. But when Donna sees the bucket again, she throws her hot chocolate. I hate you she screams and crying she says I am trying to hurt her. She just doesn’t realize I am trying to help her, and continues.

Unable to calm Donna down, I leave her to whine, grabbing the phone to call our parents. I tell them about Donna and they freak and fifteen minutes later they rush in the door. As they swing the door open it knocks me violently to the ground. Back upstairs Donna is wrapped up in mother’s arms, dad watching me. Red faced he yells you’re older you should have known not to do that. Tears burn my eyes as I tell them it wasn’t my fault. I point to the burn on my arms and the hot chocolate sprayed all over the wall. Dismissing the truth, my father grabs his belt; I swiftly grab Donnas’ eyes. She didn’t disconnect my gaze until the pain was finished and I stand up and walk out of the room wiping my tears with my sweaty shirt. Seconds later, they march out of the room. Donna is in fathers arms. The car ride was tense and no one spoke to me, all the attention was on Donna and her white porcelain body.

In a room that smells like oranges Donna puts on the bottomless dress and is lifted into her sterilized bed. Sheets of plastic cover the bed and a thin blanket is placed over her. Mother doesn’t leave her side and father just sits there with a glare on his face going back and forth between Donna and me. The doctor walks into the tension filled room and pulls my father and mother out to talk business. Donna just looks at me. I walk over to her bed side and my father opens the door and yells at me to stay back from her. The doctor calms him down and takes him back out of the room. I go and sit on the window sill and look out at the busy town doing their normal business as usual. Donna calls me over to her, I tell her if she wants to watch me get hurt again then I will come and talk to her. Crossing my arms and looking back out the cold window, I remember the burn on my arm. Scabbed and pulsing, I hide it as mother and father walk back into the room. Mother comes over to me and hugs me, confused about what is happening. Father and the doctor are still talking over my Donnas’ bed and they keep touching her and continue talking. We are told by the nurse a few hours later that we have to stay the night in the hospital. Just in case.

Three in the morning. Yelling and screaming. Mother and father had left for a minute. The doctors had gone home. Donna looks at me and yells something about her chest. I run over to her and she is freezing like after the bath. Mother and father come running out of nowhere and rush to Donnas side. Now on the cell phone calling any one that would listen, mother freaks out. Doctors and nurses, everyone from the hospital come running. Blankets are brought in, buckets of warm water, and pills to calm her down. Blankets fly, buckets spill, and pills drop, as Donna continues her rampage. Six in the morning rolls around. Finally she has tired herself out. They jump on this chance to restrain the little beast. Tying her to the bed they give her shots of liquid to calm her down. Strapped to the bed, Donna can no longer move. Blankets are piled on, warm water is applied, and pills are fed to her. Unable to move, Donna screams instead. Well, until the doctor brought in the mask to keep her mouth closed.

I watch in amazement as my parents just watch my little sister suffer. Doing nothing to stop the cruelty that is being inflicted on her. I jump on the back of the nurse with the syringe and she gets startled and drops it. I hit the buckets out of the hands of the doctors with the water. I help Donna with her pursuit of freedom. Grabbing the strap that holds her right hand down and untying it. Doctors rush in and try to hold me back. Donna works on the straps on her legs and I bite the doctor’s arm. He lets go and I grab Donna, who is now free and we run. Out of the room and down the hall. We look back for only a moment and we see father yelling and running after us. We find a closet on the other side of the hospital after we lost the others. We crouch down and hide behind things. I gently remove Donnas mask and she takes a deep breath. We are both sweating from our run across the hospital. But Donnas’ sweat it cold. Looking around we find a fur coat and I rap her inside of it.

We hear our names being yelled out waiting for an answer. We sit in complete silence and just hold each other. My body heat is not enough however and Donna is getting worse. Listening for the voices I open the door. I must help Donna. We run down the hall, down the stairs, to the kitchen. Turning on the burners and putting some water on to boil. We find another hospital room with a bath and Donna sits inside. Running cold at first and then pouring the boiling water in after. Donna now calm, she looks at me and says something I have never heard from her before. I love you she says. Looking at her in amazement, she repeats the foreign words. Not really knowing what to say I repeat them back to her. Thinking about all the things I love about having a little sister, I keep going over what she said. Holding her tightly in my arms I whisper over and over her favorite lullaby, Winkin Blinkin and Nod. Donna is calm now and hugs me back. Wrapped up in each other’s arms we fall asleep.

Hours later I hear the knob on the door turn, and I wake up. I hold on to Donna tightly but she doesn’t move. Light cuts through the darkness and my father’s face becomes visible. As the door opens the light burns my eyes and more people come in to my sight. My grip on Donna is weak and they rip us apart. Father grabs me and through me across the hall out of the closet. I fly into the wall and watch as everyone crowds around Donna. A screaming cry comes from mother and the some of the nurses run. I slowly get up and make my way over to the crowd of people. Donna is in mothers arms and mother is swaying back and forth crying. I look at Donna and she is pale white and no longer breathing. The nurses come back with a hospital bed and some fancy machine. They place Donna on the bed and jolt her with two hand paddles. Donnas’ limp body jumps into the air as this shock is sent through her body. Nothing happens.

Every day for the next month father tells me that it was my fault that Donna had died. And that if I wasn’t so selfish then she might have survived. I cry myself to sleep every night. It takes mother about a month to get everything together and make arrangements for Donna funeral. When that day came around, I was in the front row. The looks that I got from everyone were unbearable but I had to with stand the pain for Donna. She had been my sister more when she was sick then she ever was our whole life, I couldn’t let her down. I took a rose from the flowers on her casket when the priest handed them out. Before I left I quietly sang Donnas lullaby and told her that I loved her and would be with her soon enough. Father, after this day, never said a word to me again. Mother tried to talk to me but every time she would just start to cry and have to excuse herself. I lost my sister and my family all in one day.

Months go by and still nothing from my parents, just glares from my father and tears from mother. The pain of being alone has killed my spirit, and I decide to redecorate. I tare all of my pictures off my wall and paint the whole room white. 543 days go by and I am still alone. I don’t leave the house anymore. My burn has not healed yet every day I scrap off the skin just to make sure I am still human and can bleed. Making sure that it makes a scar. On the 600th day I could no longer stand it. I ran myself bath, filled with freezing cold water, and jumped in. I placed Donnas rose on the ledge of the bath tub and thought about her. I submerged myself in the water and waited. The world went black and the last thing I thought is how happy I will be to see Donna again.



Moose Jaw, Canada

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