Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)
TITLE: Sister Strong
By lynn gipson
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Their biographies are entering into new and uncertain chapters, being composed by the people who claim to love them more than anything else in the universe. Their parents are getting a divorce.
Elaina, age ten, has become the self appointed mother of the two. She rouses herself from her depression and tells Genesee it's time to get ready for bed.
"You can't tell me what to do! You're not Mama!" Genesee puts her hands on her hips and belligerently stomps one foot.
"I can too, Genesee. I'm your older sister, and I know what's best for you. I told you, Mama and Daddy are getting a divorce. Now that Daddy's not here, I have to look out for you. He told me so."
"Why isn't Daddy here? I don't want to get a divorce. I miss him. I want my daddy!" Genesee now starts to cry.
"Mama and Daddy couldn't get along. They are always fighting with each other. It's much better this way. Now we get to live at Nana's, and her house is much nicer than our old one. We can get through this together. You just have to stay strong, Genesee."
"I don't like staying strong. I miss our old house. I lived there all my life, and I don't care if Nana's house is nicer, I want to go home. I want to sleep in my old bedroom, and I want Daddy there in the morning when I wake up." Genesee whines.
Elaina fights back tears of her own. She misses the old house, too. Even though it's ancient and spooky. Daddy said the hundred-year-old home once belonged to his grandmother, and Elaina is certain it's haunted by the ghost of an old woman.
"We will still see Daddy and stay at the old house on his days off, and he comes by to see us after he gets off work when he can. Now, it's time for you to take a bath, and don't bother Mama, she has a headache."
Elaina goes into the bathroom and runs Genesee's bath water, making sure it's the correct temperature. She wants to cry so badly, but she has to stay strong for her sister. It wouldn't do for Genesee to see her cry.
<I>When did I become my sister's keeper? Who's keeping me? Nana has to work, and Mama is so sad all the time, she seems to forget about us.</I>
That night, after both girls are in bed, Elaina finally lets the tears come, and she begins to sob. She cries out for help from Jesus with the faith of a ten-year-old heart.
Suddenly, she feels a little arm around her waist and a soothing voice softly speaking to her.
"Don't cry, Sissy. Don't cry. Remember, you have to stay strong."
*This is inspired by a true event, as my son and his wife are getting a divorce. My oldest granddaughter has expressed her feelings to me and I have written this for her to read one day.
Elaina is ten years old, but her intelligence and vocabulary is that of a much older child.
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