Bringing Back Mama

There’s something wrong with Alice. It’s someone in her eye and it’s regrettable that Mark didn’t see it sooner. If he had, he’d buy her an ice cream or just turned on that damn movie she loved. It’s not going to get better now but they really can only ride it out. He turns on the movie.

It crinkles and sizzles but that’s between the words. A flustered paleontologist, a trustfund brat and a leopard; they were really quite the trio. In truth Mark was wondering when Alice would be grown enough to graduate to The Philadelphia Story but for now they would keep to their rut. Mark wondered what he did to get such a retro child. The answer found him and his heart grew heavier in absence.

Mama had left slowly, the kind of death that educates a girl to the ways of the world. It was pains and aches going from the choked back gasps to finally Mommy pleading for someone, anyone. Then after everyone got a chance to say goodbye and the long awkward bit, the funeral came. Alice was called Brave but Mark knew better. Alice had yet to show bravery, this was just strength and more strength than he had. He was exhaused and always just waking up.

“Dad?”

Alice actually pawed at him, then nuzzled. The tears weren’t coming but the water was almost at the dam.

“Hi baby.”

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