P u l s e . (( part six ))
Good nights have never been so scarce. I discover that taking care of little kids is hard
, and that I don’t like it. Rev isn’t my kid. She’s my sister
. I shouldn’t have to do this. I can’t think of anything else. The night’s still young, and yet I know that I won’t enjoy it.
Today’s Aleta’s twelfth birthday.
I’m sitting across from River at the small coffee table we use to eat on. It’s cheap, and plastic, and cold; colder than the biting autumn draft coming from the closed window. The refridgerator is humming deafeningly in the background, like it has for some time now, and I hope that it’s stuff like that is normal and that it lasts one more night. Agent Freeman gave it to us, as a random so-called “gift”. From what I read in a school textbook, funds for social services haven’t changed much since Old Terra.
Tonight’s one of the nights I’m more patient with River than usual -- she’s been twirling at her cold pasta for an hour, now, but I’m too tired to say anything and she’s taking advantage of it. It’s easy to tell she is: every so often, her bright blue eyes dart up to meet mine before turning down again, a pout etched into her face. I forced her to get her hair cut earlier, and she doesn’t like how the sharp blonde curls get in her eyes.
Silently, I remind myself to wash the dishes before tomorrow; Agent Freeman is due to check in on us. Then I remember that I had my Corps testing tomorrow, too. Same day, same time. Same bat channel. I try not to think that the world hates me. I’m sure it doesn’t. It can’t. It has other people to hate besides me. It couldn’t all be my fault. It wasn’t all my fault. Maybe if I say it enough times, it’ll actually make me believe it.
I count the cracks on the walls and the dents in the floor and all the things that could be wrong with me before I realize that River’s fallen asleep at the table.
“GODDAMNIT, LOGAN, YOU STAY WITH ME YOU BASTARD -- !”
I’m trying. Can’t you see that I’m trying?