Being with my father helped. But the pain remained.
That night, I fell asleep crying as always, unable to be anything but pathetic and sad. I thought of what Balloon Girl might say if she saw me like that, baggy eyed and mopey. I could almost hear her saying something perfectly sarcastic, and then Stitch Mouth intervening to stand up for me. After a short-lived smile, I began crying again and begging the dark corner to let me see Stitch Mouth and Balloon Girl one last time. I fell asleep.
A subtle sound woke me. 11:59.
The room was dark. I peered around, searching for the source of the soft noise. My eyes drifted to the window. A pink balloon rustled at the ceiling. At the end of its string, a single piece of purple chalk was tied.
I went to it. I sketched a door. It opened to golden light.
“Sarah, you came.”