I'll Keep the Windows Clean For You Mamma

Isabelle sighed, rolling her eyes as her mother rambled on in Spanish.

"Isabelle, su cuarto es un lío. ¿Puede complacer usted el lavado las ventanas? ¿Usted es aún me escuchando?"

"Yes Mama, I'm listening." Isabelle sighed, pulling herself off of the chair she sat in and stooping down to pick up the clothes that littered her bedroom floor.

"Isa, I want you to go and clean the windows first. I want some light in here! This place looks like a dungeon and it's 5 o'clock and the curtains are open. Just go and take the hose and get the windows a bit clearer." Her mom sighed.

"Don't you know that everytime a bird hits your window that someone you know is about to die? Do you really want all of the people you know to die?" Her mom asked, giving Isabelle a small grin.

"Give me a break Mamma, you know that's just a silly story that parents started to make kids do their chores." Isabelle said, throwing her clothes in the hamper as her mom walked into the kitchen.

"Isabelle go and wash the windows, you do it right it won't take more than 10 minutes. Please just go and do it." Isabelle's mother's voice rang from the kitchen.

"But Mamma it's getting cold out and if I do it I'm going to end up soaking wet. Why do you get Marcus to do it?" she whined back.

"Because Marcus is still cleaning his room, since you seem to insist that yours is clean then you can do it." Her mother said, with a clang of pots and pans as she puttered around the kitchen.

"Usted siempre habla espalda. Usted nunca hace lo que usted es dicho. Espero que su hermano no sea este malo. ¡Usted es tan- AGH!"

"Mamma I know what you're saying! Just because I don't speak en español do not mean that I can't understand you!" Isabelle exclaimed angrily, walking to the door of her bedroom to look at her mother.

"If you just did your chores, then I wouldn't have to tell you every three minutes!" Her mother sighed as she picked up the hamper of Isabelle's clothes.

"Look at this room! It's a complete WRECK!"

"What are you talking about? This is clean! I just cleaned it this morning!" Isabelle nearly shrieked.

"This is not clean! There are books and papers everywhere! Your windows are even worse! It's a bright and sunny day, but your windows make it look like a gloomy winter in here Isa!" she exclaimed back just as shrilly.

"Oh my god. Are you kidding me? This is clean! Your standards are too high! God that gets so annoying…" Isabelle groaned, turning away from her door and walking towards her windows.

"Haha, Isa's in trouble!" Marcus laughed.

"Marcus go and get all your clothes together that need to be washed." She said, pushing her young son towards the stairs, and walking to Isabelle's door," and Isa if I have to tell you again to go and wash the windows there's going to be some trouble young lady."

"Why don't you do it yourself?" Isabelle muttered, leaning against the wall, and staring at her mother.

"Excuse me?" Her mother asked.

"WHY DON'T YOU JUST DO IT YOURSELF?!" Isabelle yelled back.

"You know it's a good thing you're in your room already, because this is where you'll be staying." Her mother retorted, shutting the door.

"Is Isa in trouble?" Marcus piped up from the top of the stairway.

"Marcus go and get your laundry, bring it down to the laundry room. I'll be back in a few."

Isabelle looked up at a thump on her window, it had started raining, and the water ran down her windows in little streams, clearing the filth and dirt that had gathered there.

It had gotten far darker since her mom shut her bedroom door. How long had she been in there?

Isabelle put her hand against the window as the water ran down on the other side. The glass was cool, sending a chill through her.

What had that sound been? Flinging the window open she looked into the flower box to see if something had hit the window and fallen into it.

Letting out a small scream, Isabelle slammed the window and jumped away from it. Out in the flower box a bird lay on its back in a small puddle of muddy water that had collected by the stems of her red impatiens.

"Oh god… It must have hit the window." Isabelle gasped, as her mother's voice came back to her.

"When a bird hits your window, someone you know it about to die."

"Isabelle! Come quick, I think Mamma got hurt!" Marcus' voice rang out from the living room.

Isabelle ran down stairs and burst into the living room, but didn't see her mother anywhere; just her brother sitting in front of the television.

"Where is she Marcus?" Isabelle asked, completely confused about what the small child meant.

All Marcus did was point at the television.

It was on the six o'clock news. A blue sedan had been hit when it was going through an intersection. The driver of the blue sedan had been seriously injured, and was on route to hospital, the driver of the red Chevy had died on scene. The rain had hampered vision, and speed on the Chevy's part was expected as the cause.

"Mamma's car…" Isabelle gasped, looking at the blue metallic wreckage that had taken her to school every morning and to all of her sports.

Just then the phone rang.

Marcus ran to get it, and then came back to the living room and put the phone out towards Isabelle.

"They said they want to talk to you."

Shakily, Isabelle took the phone, but she knew what the phone call was about. The woman on the other end told her exactly what she knew was coming. Putting the phone down, Isabelle sat on the couch.

"Marcus, Mamma didn't make it from the car accident."

"What do you mean?"

" It's just gonna be you and me from now on buddy," Isabelle said, standing up and walking to the sliding glass door that was becoming opaque in the summer rain, " I'll keep the windows clean for you Mamma."