This week’s prompt from https://weeklyprompts.com/2022/07/16/weekly-prompts-weekend-challenge-twin/
‘Poppy,’ I say.
‘Hi Sarah, is it okay if I stay here?’
She stands in the doorway, Graham’s tears streaming down her face, and all I want to do is help. Something is wrong, But if she stays here I am responsible for her safety. My life is like a mixed up ball of yarn, I can’t even promise to keep myself safe.
Yet I can’t ask her to leave – she is alone, suffering in a way I won’t allow myself to do.
‘Come in, I’ll make you a cup of tea.’
Why tea? I’m not sure, but Mum always said it was good for shock.
The cups are all put back in the same place, along with the gadget that tells me when my mug is full. I can’t do that on my own any more. My spatial awareness and lack of peripheral vision in my left eye and I can’t even have a hot drink without spilling it everywhere.
Calmer now, her breathing returns to semi-normal.
I pull out two cups, carefully, and put them on the counter. It is better when everything is in its place, but I still manage to break many mugs, but they’re cheap, and I buy more.
Trying to focus, I put it over the side, and wait for the kettle to boil. I should tell her to leave. My life isn’t safe right now. Someone is watching me – of course they are – to see if I am the real deal.
I’m leading a double life, but it is necessary.
I absentmindedly pour, and if it wasn’t for the beep, hot water would have spilled out of the side. Again. I need to get Poppy out as soon as possible, but she brought a bag.
‘I’m sorry for this,’ she says, as I turn around.
I ground myself on the floor, imagine the other half of the puzzle, and give her the mug. She wraps her hands around it like it is the only thing keeping her upright. Her features, so much like my husband.
My eyes hurt, but I daren’t cry. It’s not fair to her, she is fragile, needs me to be a friend. More than that, her only family. My grief isn’t important now. But she cannot be here, I need to patch her up, so she can leave; be safe.
‘I’m sorry, but I have nowhere else to go.’
‘It’s okay, what’s happened?’
She hides her face in the shadows, not able to put her feelings into words. There are bruises on her wrist, this is the only place she thinks she is safe. I’m not sure how I’m going to do this – if she promises to stay here – she could be okay.
‘I’m not ready to say, it’s not that I don’t want to, but I can’t . . . I’m sorry Sarah . . .’
‘It’s okay, but I’m going out in a little while. Work. Stay here, and we’ll talk when we get back.’
‘Where are you going?’
I can’t tell her, but after tonight it will all be over, after tonight we can finally get the evidence to put a killer behind bars. He hasn’t been there to actually do it himself, but the drugs he peddles does.
He doesn’t care its a bad batch, just that he is making money.
I’m going to be the one to stop him.