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The Numbers

By Kelsey

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The Numbers

Everything has an expiration date. Porch lights can glow only as long as the bulb burns. Night can last only as long as the darkness will stay. I could call her my sister only as long as she could remember me. 

It's a bittersweet ache, really. The type of dark feeling that presses between your shoulder blades and stays there. Dead weight. I know she's in a better place now. I really do. Just sometimes, I wonder. Just sometimes, the possibilities stretch out for miles around me, and I wonder what it would be like if we had signed the papers. Just sometimes, I wonder. Just sometimes, I wish I wouldn't. Just sometimes, I wish I could turn off the timer that's in my mind every time I think of her. The numbers are in the negatives now. Counting backwards from the last time I saw her. Always ticking. Always filling the hollow spaces in my mind with numbers. I know she's happy. And safe. And growing and glowing. I'm just sometimes always wondering. About her. About us. About families and pill bottles and laughter and homeless shelters. About expiration dates.

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