“See this, Lizzie,” he says, pointing towards its rubber end, “it’s about the size of a pencil eraser. Just a tiny dot in the center of your mind.” He hesitates. “You’ll be fine.”
Unfamiliar wrinkles distort my father’s features. Furrowing his brow, he lets out a nervous chuckle. All hopeful memories of bedside prayers and doctor visits are smothered by the uncertainty in his voice.
Collapsing into himself, tears begin to fall. One by one, they trickle down his sunken cheeks and patter against the dining room table, like rain. My mind races for a way to combat the sound, but all words escape me. I feel myself grow mute and detached, as the sound of rain, outside and in, resonates through the foyer, echoes along the walls, and shakes the listless bones inside my body.
No words from an eight year old can ease my father’s mind. So, I hold my breath, allowing the stillness to eat him, polluting every inch of his being. I listen to the unbearable white-noise as it vibrates through our house, coating the table and chairs like dew and turning our flaxen walls gray.
“I’ll be fine,” I finally say. “I’ll be fine.”
http://www.ForestWander.com. “Clover Flower Macro”. Wikimedia, 9 May 2017, https://commons.wikimedia.org.