“Just hold on. Help is on the way. Just don’t let go.”
My sobs were too thick to allow my speech to come across coherently. There were too many thoughts trying to swim upstream in my mind at once. I could not figure out what to focus on first.
The blood on my hands belonged to more than one person. Should that bother me more than holding my mother in my arms praying she would keep breathing until someone could help her? What about the other two dead bodies less than ten feet from where I was kneeling? Should the bloody knife next to me leave more of a permanent imprint on my mind than any of the other things?
Or should the thoughts about what would happen when the distant sirens finally caught up to my address be the heaviest weight on my mind? I could not figure it out. I needed time to sift through the layers of this scenario—but I did not have time.
I had never had the right amount of time to figure out my life. There was always another pressing issue waiting to unravel before I had finished wrapping up the current problem. It had not ever really bothered me before—but now it was a life and death matter, and I needed that absent time now more than ever. But that did not matter. I still did not have it. And I realized that I never would.
I was only seventeen years old, but my life had been over for years. I did not realize it before that night and by the time I did it no longer mattered.
When the red, white and blue lights began to flicker through the white lace curtains covering the windows of my father’s house I realized that even with more time I still wouldn’t be able to figure out how I would greet the two officers knocking on my door.