I have enjoyed painting this subject so much, that I've done it four times. You can view several others of her on my watercolor Website. It's not hard to imagine what's going through her mind, but to put it in a bit of flash fiction was a challenge.
I don’t remember exactly when he came to live with us, but do I remember he taught me to ride his bicycle on my sixth birthday, when I did the math and figured out he was half again as old as me.
He didn’t use watered-down adult euphemisms like, "Joined the circus" or "Went to the Funny Farm." He spoke words that shaved away mystery, like "death" and "mental illness" as if my young mind could carve a likeness of his loss and fear.
For a year, we ran wild in the fields and through the woods. Breathlessly, I tried to see through his eyes as we ventured into places dark and untamed. On my seventh birthday, he kissed my cheek and gifted me a book of poetry. “She’s better now,” he said, “and I’ll be leaving.”
With eyes like hers, he sat beside his mother as they pulled away from the curb. “I’ll never forget you,” he said, his promise hanging in the air, dissipating as the distance grew. Even now, I wait for his words to come true.
I read the verses and wonder if they are the only truth I will ever know.