“Dropping like flies”

Marissa D

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“I can’t go to school. My friends are dropping like flies!” He joked with his mom over a plate of pancakes. The Flu, Our seasonal enemy. “You’ll be fine. Just remember to wash your hands.” Okay, mom. He grabbed his bag and she kissed him on the cheek. “Have a good day,” she remarked. He squirmed out of her grasp And rolled his eyes. Whatever. Keys jingle and he rushes out the door. She stands at the window and watches While he puts on his seatbelt, Turns on the car, Checks the mirrors. She forgot something, But he would be fine. Puttering down the street in a rusting car With brand new seat covers, Afforded by his summer jobs. A proud detail. Familiar tones pulled his attention. A text from a friend, “im puking my guts out. cant make it today” Dropping like flies, he thought. His friend’s mom must not have reminded him To wash his hands. He rolled his eyes. Whatever. “You’ll be fine,” He shot back, Fingers dashing across the cracked screen. He would be fine. Except, he wouldn’t be fine. He wasn’t fine. He missed the stop sign. “No texting, got it?” He heard his mom’s voice. She forgot to remind him. But his mom can’t be to blame. She told him every day Except for today. Why him? Why today? When teens are dropping like flies, We say to wash your hands. Cover your mouth. Stay home. And they do. He was one of eleven teens Today alone And eleven more will die tomorrow We say “don’t text and drive” And The rest is up to you.