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Prose

I FOUND HER

written by R.L. Bloom

When I was 7, I walked in on my mother’s still-warm corpse. She’d been diagnosed with breast cancer some months before that. With no money for the expensive chemotherapy and medication, which wouldn’t ensure her survival either way, she stayed at home while her condition deteriorated.

First came the sadness, tension in the air. My siblings and I were the subjects of her frustrations. She’d lash out, knock our skulls together at the slightest provocations. She was never like that before then. We understood that something was wrong. What it was was the mystery.

Next came the emaciation, physically and emotionally. She lost several pounds and she lost her smile. I was young but not too young to sense the coming showers.

It had been a messy death. She’d cut off the cancerous breast with the butcher knife. It left a gaping, gangrenous wound and a pool of blood in the tiny bedroom we all slept in. She was in her favorite house dress. A blue, frilly one that was now red with blood.

I screamed for my brothers. The horror was too much. I touched her and then jumped back because she didn’t seem to feel it.

I called her name but she didn’t move or blink. Her eyes were open, why couldn’t she see me? Why wouldn’t she answer?

My brothers rushed in. One pulled me away while the older of the twins dragged a bed clothe off, covering our mother with it.

Why? Why was he covering her? “What happened to her?” I asked, gasping in between.

“I’m coming.” He said, crying now. “I will go and call Mummy Adetifa.” Apparently she was the nurse who’d diagnosed my mum with cancer.

I sat crying with my other brother. “Mummy has died.” He said.
A metallic odor filled the air. When the door opened, we both jumped to our feet. Our brother was back with the nurse. One other person was with them.

She proceeded to the bedroom and came out after a minute or two with a grim look etched on her face.
“Which one of you found her?” She asked.

“Me.” My voice shook. Was mummy really not coming back?
“I found her”, I whispered.

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