Rosaline still standing in the doorway puts her hand on my shoulder.
" Are you gonna admit her to the psych ward at ? Cuz if you don't than I just might!" she whispered into my ear. A tone of laughter mingled with utter confusion in her voice.
Mama just sat there looking at me like what she said was as normal as a conversation you'd have over lunch. Ignoring the 'family inheritance' thing Mama just told me I examined her and the surroundings. Her comb had big clumps of gray hair in it. I could almost see her scalp, hidden like the rainforest floor under a dying canopy. Her hands seem so much smaller than mine, though Im sure they have always been smaller. Her whole body frame seem so fragile like it would blow away in the gentlest wind. I couldn't look at her eyes they were already dead. How long were the signs there? How long has my ignorance blinded me from her pain?
"Mama Im sorry." Tears cloud my voice, and I lean in to hug her small dying frame. Surprised and confused she just wraps her arms around me. She coughs, her chests heaves in agony underneath me. So I release my embrass and let her fall softly onto the pillows.
Rosaline quietly walked out the door and shuts it behind her. Such a quaint way of saying Im sorry; a shut door.
I grab the cup of water she brought me and put it to Mamas lips, she sips it then closes her eyes. Sitting the cup down I see a envelope addressed in a chicken stratch that I havent seen since third grade. On the front I can see it saids;
To my Darling Daughter Lisabeth Rainwater
(don't open two weeks after your 21 birthday)
Love Daddy
Odd it is about two weeks after my birthday, two days before the dinner at the steakhouse was the true date. Tomorrow is exaclty two weeks after, wouldn't Mama have given it to me?
"Lizzy open that ." she moved her head towards the envelope. " I found it on the kitchen table when I got back from the hospital after the day your daddy left us. Kept it since. Though."her now weak and quiet cracked voice was interupted by a fit of coughs that hurt my chest just hearing it. As she coughed and hacked I held the waist basket up to her face for her to spit the mouth fulls of blood.
As she lay back down on the pillow mound she looks at me, her eyes nolonger dead. Maybe she will make it, if I get her to a hospital. She smiles at me then a grimace replaces it and she grabs her chest.
"Did Daddy ever tell you that he loved you?" I ask, not knowing where the question came from or was sparked it.
" Yes, every time we made love." Her face got all red at hearing her self say that to her child. " Which was only on the Sunday after the full moon." She looks at me, and for a moment I see a girlish sparkle in her eye again. " are you gonna open that?" she asks me with impatiently.
I reached for it and hold it in my hands. Why should I open it? What if is just hateful drunkenly scratched out words? Im so anxous to open it, yet im terrified of what it might be. I use my thumb and tear the paper envelope down its left side, taking a deep breath I open it.