I’ve failed and only written half of what I said I would, but some things came up. This wasn’t being very cooperative with me either, so I decided just to post and move on.

Marcia decided to give fate three chances and then take things into her own hands. She wasn’t sure just how she or fate would do it, but she had faith in the both of them that it would get done. The plan was pretty simple, but she spent most of her time on the bus going over it. Every afternoon and every night, one hour to work and one hour back, she would consider what Nicolas would do when she was gone.

Marcia was not one to forget such things, but she could not remember how it had come to her. Every ride on the bus seemed pretty much the same. At the end of the night her hands hurt, and she would just stare down at them. In the light of the street lamps she looked like she had yellow zebra stripes. Sometimes that reminded her about how Nicolas had had jaundice when he was born. He had to stay in the hospital for a few extra days but they made her leave early because the insurance had run out. Thinking about when Nicolas was a baby was probably what made it all form in her mind.

By the time she got home he was always asleep. She would go in and smooth down the hair on the nape of his neck. She would coo in response to the grumble he emitted into the pillow. He would always slap her hand back.

Finally, she thought to ask him what he though about her plan. He slapped her hand away and rolled over toward the wall. “Nicolas,” she said. No response. “How would you feel if I went away?”

He made some noises. “What?” He flipped himself onto his back and put his hand over his eyes. “You’re never here anyways.”

“That’s true,” she said and slipped out into the living room. Nicolas had left his dirty clothes from school on the floor in front of the TV next to a day old bowl of cereal. She laid down on the couch with her comforter. After connecting the dots of the popcorn ceiling for awhile, she reached under the middle cushion. She pulled a Power Rangers folder Nicolas had used in the third grade from below it. She opened it and stared at the letter on the top of the folder’s contents. She fingered the top left edge of it and pulled it up slightly so she could see the signature.

She focused her eyes with some difficulty to read the first sentence of the second paragraph:

She folded back the piece of paper to reference the canceled check behind it. By her best estimate it was September 23rd. That meant that she could give fate about three years. She though that it was a pretty fair deadline. By that time, Nicolas would be 14 years old.


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