“Joy…why do you always pick the flowers?”
“Because I enjoy it.”
“I thought mom said I’m supposed to take care of the flowers.”
“You should, but you’re not old enough yet…little prince.”
“You’re just jealous because I’m going to be in charge.”
“It’s not possible for me to be jealous, LITTLE prince!”
“Whatever. Here comes mom! I’m gonna put the candles on the cake!”
“Oh no,” I whispered. “Not now! It’s Donnie’s birthday!”
Grim tapped me on my shoulder. I swear that man has something against our family!
“Come to Papa,” Grim said.
“Mom? What’s the matter, mom? I’ll help you up.”
“I’m baaaaaaaack! Did ya miss me?”
“Please don’t take my mommy, Grim! PLEASE! I beg you!”
“Silence, child! I have business to conduct!”
“Donnie, who are you yelling at,” Joy asked as she ran downstairs.
“MAMA! Please Grim, not today! It’s Donnie’s birthday! Please not today!”
“Silence, all of you! Ok, little boy, I have considered your request. My answer is…”
“…NO! Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa!”
“You’re mean as heck! Wait, Donnie! Where are you going?”
“Happy birthday to me.”
“[ahem] If you kids don’t mind, I’m gonna get a piece of cake for the road. I’ve got a long night ahead of me, he he he.”
“SCREW YOU, GRIM,” Joy yelled.
We ate our cake in silence, while Grim got comfortable in front of the TV. Later after Grim left, I saw Donnie go outside.
“See, mom? I’m doing the flowers now. I’m taking care of the flowers,” he said through tears.
The next morning, we were both feeling lost. We never imagined that we would be orphans!
“So what do we do now,” Donnie asked.
“I don’t know.”
“How are we going to live?”
“I don’t know, Donovan! Geez! Do I have to have ALL the answers?”
I thought about it, and that was a little harsh. He’s scared just like I am–actually more so.
“I’m sorry, Donnie. I didn’t mean to yell at you. This is all happening so fast. I just don’t know!”
“But, Joy…what if social services comes and takes us away!”
“I won’t let that happen!”
“But how, Joy? We’re just kids! Maybe we should ask uncle Ace to come live here.”
“Uncle Ace doesn’t care about us. He doesn’t care about anyone except mom, and she’s gone!”
“So…what do we do?”
I sat quietly for a few minutes and thought hard. There is no way in the world Donnie and I could lose each other at a time like this! Life had to go on as normally as possible.
“Ok…we only have a little more than $1000 after mom remodeled, so we both need to get jobs. We couldn’t live completely on our salaries, so we make sure to keep the garden in tip top shape so the flowers can keep evolving. Most of them are superior quality, and some of them are even evolving to magnificent quality, so the sale of the flowers will be our bread and butter. We will work hard in school so our teachers have no reason to suspect anything going on at home. It’s gonna be really hard, but I think we’ll be ok.”
I got a job as a landscaper, and Donnie got a job in a retail store. Despite how passionately I delivered that speech, I was just as afraid as he was. Life was hard, and I wasn’t upholding my end of the bargain. I was so tired and depressed all the time that my grades plummeted. The principal even started calling home. We had to pretend like our parents were busy or not home and couldn’t come to the phone.
It was completely up to us now to take care of ourselves and fulfill father’s dream; But we missed mom soo much!
Sometimes I dreamed that she had come to visit us, and I would ask her why she had to leave so soon.
All she would say was that she loved us.