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The sand blew in my eyes

Big Sister and I have been fighting and Mother has lost her patience. A switch from the black cherry tree in our back yard is in her hands - knuckles white as she grips it. Pain consumes my mind as the rod is laid across my back side. For once, I'm telling the truth - I did not do it. She does not listen.

The sand blew in my eyes

Father returns from work, but I can't go see him. Mother won't let me leave my room. There is a commotion downstairs and I hear Big Sister give a yelp of joy. Why do I have to stay here, alone? There is a knock on the door. Father's head peers in. He is not angry, even though Mother has probably told him what I've done. He smiles. Why is he so happy? Then I see his hands - they are holding a puppy. It's so small and soft and all I want to do is hold it.

The sand blew in my eyes

Little Sister is with me as we move throughout the mall. Our movie doesn't start for another 30 minutes, so we go into a store to look around. She looks at me and I see the love and admiration on her face. Anything she wants, I will give her. She is the most precious person to me.

It's time to go, but as we leave a man approaches to speak with me. What can I do? I can't run away, though I know that I've been found out! We go back inside the store. In the store's security room I take out the tapes I have stolen - 13 in all. I'm a trapped bird in a cage and I can't get out. Mother and Father will be so angry.

The police officer arrives and I am escorted out of the store. Mother is there, crying in pain and embarrassment. The door to the patrol car opens and I am helped inside. How quiet it is in here. I am all alone with my thoughts. As we drive away, all I see is the sweet face of Little Sister and I cry from shame.

The sand blew in my eyes

I take Girlfriend to see Father's Mother. They have never met, and I am nervous about it. Girlfriend and I play with Grandmother's cat, while she and Father speak in the kitchen. We can hear their voices, though they try to keep their voices down. "Why does he have to be with one of Those People," she asks Father. "Aren't there any of his own kind he can be with?"

The sand blew in my eyes

College is more fun that I could ever have imagined. Last night's party was peopled with new friends who are just glad to see me there. No worries and nothing to worry about. Friends pass the pipe around as we watch the television screen. There is nothing on, yet the static-filled screen keeps me enthralled. My ear is wet, but I'm not sure how long it has been that way. I tear my gaze from the snowy screen and for the first time notice the eager mouth of a woman against my own. A warm body presses to me and I give myself over to it.

The sand blew in my eyes

Is it time to go home yet? I hate my job. The people I work with are ok, I guess, but Boss is the most aggravating person I have ever known. Why does he seem to look at me with so much hate? Am I a threat to him, simply because I question what is around me? I want to do a good job. I really do. I enjoy contributing to something. Try as I might, though, Boss is always there to take my pleasure from me.

The sand blew in my eyes

Baby cries in complaint as she is brought into this world. Even covered in blood and slime she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Wife is asleep - exhausted from the exertion of labor. I sit beside her, holding Baby and cry with joy.

The sand blew in my eyes

Wife lies still and does not move. It is strange how beautiful she is, even in death. I am alone, even with the crowd of people standing behind me. I am empty, there are no more tears left inside me. Wife is gone, and now I am no longer whole. I am half a person, cursed to wander the rest of my days without my Best Friend there by my side. I miss her already.

The sand blew in my eyes

My body does not respond the way it used to. The phone rings, but my ears are too deaf to hear it. I only know someone has called because of the blinking light on the answering machine. The ring finger on my right hand looses blood so much that I think it will die and fall off some day. Not that my hands are of much use. Their joints are so sore that I've stopped noticing the pain. It's simply a constant throbbing.

I spend my days in front of the television, watch baseball and golf and the news. When the paper comes, I scan the obituaries to see which of my friends I have just outlived. My family comes to visit, but not as often as they used to. I eat my meals alone, but I don't eat as often as I used to. I bathe, but not as often as I used to. The only thing I do more than I used to is sleep.

The sand blew in my eyes

Where am I? Who are these people all dressed in black? Why are they all crying and carrying on as if some great tragedy has occurred? Why can't they just leave me in peace? My shows will be coming on soon, and I have a hard enough time hearing the television as it is.

Wait, I see Daughter and Son-in-Law. Even they are blackened, like the rest. Daughter's face is drawn and tight. There is a redness about her eyes, where tears have been whiped away. What is she doing here? She looks at - no, through me and whispers in a low voice, "Say hello to Mother for me."

The sand blew in my eyes

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