***SPOILER ALERT!!!!!*** This story contains information about my story Sisters. If you haven’t read this story, click here before reading on.
Mira and I sit out on the porch of her small house as she picks at the peeling paint on the step. “I’m willing to answer your questions, but I have to protect my sister.”
“I understand. I’ve changed your and your sister’s names, as well as removed location and other identifiable information and I assure you these details won’t appear in this interview. Have the police found any leads in your mother’s murder since the end of your story?”
“No.” She gulps. “Thank God.”
“Are you worried they’ll realize your sister’s connection to the crime?”
“I try not to think about it. There’s not a moment of the day when it doesn’t affect Kennedy and the idea of her being punished for protecting me just—” Her voice cuts off in a sob. “I’m sorry,” she says when she’s able to control herself.
“Why haven’t the police connected your sister to the crime?”
A rueful laugh erupts from her. “She burned her hands when she was seven as she made dinner for herself when Mommy was passed out. Who knew Mommy’s neglect would end up protecting her? Besides that, I don’t think anyone would believe a twig of a ten year old would be strong enough to stab her mom.” Tears slip down her cheeks.
“Is Kennedy sorry for what she did?”
“She’s a sweet girl.” She takes my shoulders and gently shakes me. “Kennedy didn’t want to hurt Mommy, but she didn’t have a choice.” Her chin quivers as her arms slip away from me. “I didn’t know anyone could cry as much as Kennedy has. They only way I can repay her for saving my life if to do whatever I can to give her a normal existence.”
“When did your mother start drinking?”
Mira shrugs, shaking her head. “It wasn’t until the fifth grade that I realized some kids had parents that could walk in a straight line.” She absentmindedly rubs her bicep.
“When did your mother become violent?”
“Mommy was a kind woman when she was sober, but even when she wasn’t she’d never hit someone she didn’t think could hit back.”
“What does that mean?”
“She didn’t hit me until I was big enough to hit the rib she had broken as a child. It was a tender spot for her because it had healed wrong. If I hit her there she would usually back off long enough for me to run.”
“Did she teach you about her rib?”
“Yes.” She sniffs, wiping her nose. “I remember her telling me about it the first morning after she had enough tequila to black out. She hadn’t done that since before I was born, and it scared her. I must have been about five.” She shakes her head. “Kennedy and I both hit her there when she attacked me, but she wouldn’t stop.”
“Why didn’t she stop drinking?”
Her gaze lingers on the horizon as if it will answer the questions which cloud her eyes. She merely shakes her head.
“Final question: If you could say anything to your mother, what would it be?”
“I would tell her Kennedy and I will always love her,” she pulls her knees to her chest, “and that I hate that she wasn’t the mother she wanted to be.”
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