Kool Aid and Cheerios

Symphony H

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Little eyes stare from beneath the covers. My baby girl cant sleep alone. Cuddling close as I sing her to sleep. Body heat keeps me warm, smiling as I drift off. Brown curls and tan skin, the first thing I see before the sun. Tiny hands caress my face telling me it’s time for breakfast. Getting ready for the day. I set her in the sink. She pats her face with makeup, copying mommies every move. Wrestling as I pull her hair into pigtails. We settle for a braid. Hungry stomachs walk down the hall. I lift her onto the counter, she loves watching. Eggs for me, kool aid and cheerios for her. Always the same. Lips stained with red juice, we put on shoes. I grasp her little hand, heading for the car. The worst part of the day. Waterfalls flow as I struggle with her car seat. Click click. Silent treatment. Radio up, I sing and eventually she joins in. From rear-view mirrors, puffy eyes smile at me. Red lights, every single one. More time for giggles. Best friends, breathing words at the top of our lungs. Cheeks bobbing at every bump. Who knew happiness could look so small? Red light. I smile at life. Green. Not ready to go. Foot moves from brake to gas. Bright lights shine above my hospital bed. 3 days since my baby girl left me. 3 days since I gave up on breathing. A girl walks in. 15? 16? I can’t tell through blurry eyes. She cries rivers and mumbles words I don’t care to hear. Her words lull and my eyes beg me to sleep. Choking on sobs, she tries to explain. One text, one red light. Missed. The fuzz in my brain finally drags me under. I try to hide so she will leave She can talk forever. It will not bring back my baby girl.