190 • pearls around the neck
Dad won’t budge from the green chair.
It’s been six weeks since Sis passed away.
The chair is starting to smell like a mixture of mold and wet dog. Every time someone mentions her
name, I can see a part of his heart fracture. Eventually, nothing will be left.
She was dying like an eggshell cracking slowly and painfully till the point of no return. She had been
strong as an owl but we knew that something in her tough wings was broken.
Although we tried to ignore it like a scrap of paper crumpled up in the corner of a room, cancer was
upon us. No one wanted to believe it.
I see my father cling to the green chair remembering all the times she would cry over a boy making little
lakes in the cushion of that same chair or when she took a nap in that faded thing.
Now she is like the Northern Star to us, she will always be there, watching over us.
My father has not spoken but when he does, he will say something great. Maybe he will speak of the
time she was little and saw a big Scooby Doo at the store and laughed for the first time, or when she
broke her ankle and still went cave diving with him.
Or maybe it will be something like a little prayer for her.
Or maybe it will be the three most important words:
I love you.
Author: Marijke Delen, 14 years, Vancouver Island, 2011
Illustration: Catherine Beeckman