Wind Beneath My Wings

To someone who didn’t know her, Melissa would seem to be asleep, curled up in a little ball, Mr. Bungley dangling by her arm. The size of the armchair she was in, it seemed funny even, this big little girl trying to fit her frame into a small piece of furniture.

She twitched her monkey doll, Mr. Bungley, a clear sign to me she was awake. I salute this girl, ever the overachiever, ever the popular kid, yet she has been sleeping inside my room for — how many nights now? I have lost count of the days, of the intravenous medicine, of the stale food.

Her daddy asked her if she wanted to go home tonight and get some rest. She was stubborn, claiming loudly staying here is the cool thing to do and she’d have tons of cool stories to tell all the cool kids at her cool school. God love her, stubborn just like her mom. Her daddy just stepped out for a second to buy food for the two of them at the nearest fast food joint. Oh, and to kill a cigarette. He recently started.

Melissa twitched again and opened one eyelid, checking to see if I were asleep. She saw my both eyes staring at her and a smile on my face. She quickly closed her eyes. I cleared my throat softly — and both her eyes were wide-open, ready to jump at any emergency.

I beckoned her with my hand and she grudgingly moved towards me. I rolled a bit to my left and touched her hand. She crawled in the cot with me and lay down, her arm around my waist.

I would never know if a tear dropped down her beautiful face. But a few minutes later, I felt her heavy breathing, my sleep-deprived wonder, right beside me finally giving in to the daily rest. I patted her shoulder and kissed the mess of hair she had. I lay there for a few moments, staring at her  hair, remembering the years past, when it was bald, when it started growing, centimeter by centimeter, all the haircuts, the trims, the coloring — oh and brown just like mine used to be.

I closed my eyes, my arms still around her, as my eyes closed themselves.

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This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.

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