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Seven Years Old

Tommy had a Band-Aid on his nose. It made his nose sweat. It made his nose itchy and he wanted to take the Band-Aid off. The day was so hot.
Momma was in her white dress, the one with the yellow flowers on it. Her white sandals were getting old. She had her black purse already over her shoulder.
"I will not be long, Tommy," she said. "Just an hour. It will just be getting dark before I get back. It is only an hour."
Tommy did not care if Momma left.
"Just an hour. I promise," she said again, her hand on the doorknob. "Is your favorite colour still red?"
Tommy looked at the shine in her hair coming from the evening sun entering from the small window in the wooden front door. He did not say a word to her. Then when he was done looking at her, he looked across the room to Sissy, sitting on the floor.
"Want some cookies, Sissy?" he asked.
He did not watch Momma walk out the front door.

Tommy let Sissy sit on the couch with the cookies. The day had worn him out. He could not remember a longer day. He watched Sissy make a mess as she ate her cookies. He watched her smear her hands, moving the lipstick Momma had put on her earlier, across her cheek. His nostrils were filled with the heavy smell of milk drying on warm skin.
Sissy grinned up at him, all teeth with mushy crumbs pushed up against the gums.
“You are yucky,” said Tommy.
“Bath time!” Sissy clapped her hands together, cookie spewing watery bits from her mouth.
“Oh, no, Sissy, not right now,” Tommy shook his head at her.
She raised her hands up to her head, and Tommy groaned. She was getting cookie in her hair.
He raised his body from the couch and walked towards the bathroom.
“Come on Sissy. You are a brat,” he sulked.



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