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Eye & I

By: Marche` Pearson Maria Concepcion Michelle Steahl

I let the bottle tip, spilling little chalk white pills across my palm. I count them. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Only Seven. I curl my hand around them carefully, like tucking in children for the night, making sure none were left un-tucked. My sister had no idea what she was talking about, but as usual she thought her way was best. She always came with that plastic smile on her face, talking about how much better I’d be if I just got rid of the pills. I don’t trust her. Earlier today, her pastel pink, manicured fingers tapped on the dingy glass door. I knew if I didn’t answer, she’d just keep knocking. After a long stream of vodka burned the length of my throat, I yanked the door open. Her short heels clicked across the linoleum, and with each step disappointment spread across her face. I swaggered past her, back to the couch with my vodka. I didn’t need to hear her speech again. She never listened to me, so why in the hell did she seem to think I would listen to her? I let her words wash over me, fading behind the sting of another mouthful of vodka. Her face turned pink when she realized I wasn’t listening. I love pissing her off; it seems like the only thing I’m really good at. I smirked at her struggle to stay so high above everything. If I was going to be my family’s black sheep, I might as well go all out, right? Every time she came, I relished bringing her perfect life down. I couldn’t help it; it was just too good to give up. This time, she was different. The pink left her face and she looked at me with pity. I tried to jump off the couch and ended up falling toward the coffee table. She tried to catch me, but I batted her hand away as though her bright pink nails were laced with cyanide. I didn’t need her help. I’m not incapable, just a little buzzed. Her voice was quiet in the space between us and loud in the silent house. She pleaded with me to stop destroying myself; it killed her too. Tears streamed down her face. I hadn’t seen her cry since we were eight. But then she began telling me how to fix it again. Same old bullshit, just another day. I should have guessed. Before my anger had time to grow into anything more than an ember, I had picked

up the bottle of pills on the table and thrown them at her. As the pills spilled across her chest, panic hit me. I scrambled to pick them up, forgetting my anger. I sit in the bathroom, counting the pills I picked up. One. My sister’s pink fingernails. Two. Her pink face Three. The clicking of her shoes. Four. Her pity. Five. Her quiet voice Six. Her tears. Seven. Her face when the pills hit her What have I done? The pills fell to the ground in a splash of regret.