Survivors of the Z’s- Rhonda Gedling, Motel Liz, outside Colorado
The room was small
Two single beds on either side with a window that showed the night sky in the middle of them. Stars shone slightly behind the light pollution and my sister and I
sat on our beds chilled.
Staring at each other
We were having a staring competition and none of us were giving in. Eyes watered. Eyes threatening to close
“Ha!” She said, “I won!”
“You cheated,” I said
“How did I cheat when I’m all the way over here?”
“You always win”
“Because I’m better”
I was now twelve and my sister was seventeen. She looked tired but at the same time happy. Happy that she was with me. Happy to know her little sister was smiling and playing games with her.
“We haven’t danced for awhile,” she said
“Dancings stupid,” I said, “I’m rubbish anyway”
“What’s made you think that?”
“Nothing, it doesn’t matter”
The room had a sad feel all of a sudden. Once a happy crammed room now was a sad crammed room.
The sadness had seemed to have seeped in through the tight spaces.
“Of course it matters, please talk to me”
“No, it’ll only cause an argument”
“Who ever has made you think like that they don’t know what they’re talking about”
She was angry. Her body language had abruptly changed from relaxed to uptight. Her fists seemed to be clenching tightly and her eyes were wider than usual.
“It doesn’t matter, just forget about it”
“Listen to me sis, if you still want to dance, you dance, you enjoy it and thats all that matters, nothing else, doesn’t matter if you’re good or not, if you enjoy it thats all that counts, but I’ve seen you dance and you’re amazing”
“You’re my sister, so you’re bound to say that”
She walked over and sat beside me. I bounced up a little when she sat down. She put her arm around me and pulled me toward her.
“You listen to me and you listen to me good,” she said, “What ever you want, I will make it happen, if you want to dance, I will do anything I can to keep you dancing”
“But, what if I don’t want to?”
“Then I won’t argue, but I know deep down inside that you do”
She was right
She was always…
Not a day went by in my childhood where a bit of advise from my big sister always made the skies clear again with no clouds in sight. Never a moment where the grey skies didn’t become a blue again.
I will remember those words which my sister had spoken which was
“I will always be there for you no matter what, I love you”
“I love you too,” I said
She got up. Walked into the small space we had and began to dance funnily. Her laugh was contagious. Her laugh made me laugh and my laugh made her laugh.
“Come on get up”
She came toward me
“Ok ok,” I giggled
I joined her and we danced jokingly around the small space.
Laughed at each other
She could never dance my sister. She could never dance in away you would picture her on a stage or something, but the way she danced made me feel happy. Her humour shone and made me catch the light.
She was my sun
“Don’t ever let anyone bring you down sis, your life is yours, live it”
“I will sis, I will”
I sat next to the space in the sun. The space where she laid. I’m not a religious person to be truthful, but when times are hard you do look for some kind of guidance.
You look up
You look up to something that you hope
Would give you advise. Invincible advise that would never collapse on you. Guide you through the unlit path. That was me. I looked up from time to time and wished that something would talk to me.
“That’s what you said to me, remember?” I said, “Don’t ever let anyone bring you down,” I caught my breath, emotions heavy, “you were right as always, I learned so much from you”
I got up and took a step back. The breeze
Lifted my hair up and brushed my saddened face. It was a touch. A touch from somebody I loved. That’s how it felt. Like it was my sister in spirit letting me know everything was going to be ok.
Was it though?
Was tommorow going to be brighter?
Was tommorow going to be a time to be happy again?
Was it going to be just another nightmare?
“I have to go,” I said, “I hope you understand that I can’t stay here, I know it’s risky now, I know this disease is spreading, but I have to go,” I bent down, kissed my hand and placed it on the ground where she laid underneath, “I love you sis and I will see you later”
One foot forward
And began walking away from her. Away from the place where my life turned upside down.
The motel Liz
Mom was waiting for me. She turned also as I reached.
“Did you say what you had to say?” She asked
“Yeah, I think so… did you?”
The car doors opened and we both got in. I felt the breeze kiss my skin once more
As if to say
The engine started and there I begun a journey to nowhere