Pain, Short Story

I Have No One To Hold

In my senior year of college I stopped biting my nails

In my senior year of college my mom got sick

We heard she was sick in October

Again

But then she had surgery

She had the surgery

She got better

.

So I stopped biting my nails

For my mom

Because she got better

Because she’s been wanting me to stop

Since I was 12

I wanted to stop before

But I couldn’t

But in my senior year of college I did

For my mom

Because she was better

Because she was sick

Then she was getting better

She would be proud I thought

.

At graduation I showed my mom my beautifully grown nails

Filed

Painted

Pretty

My nails had never grown past my short little fingers

For as long as I can remember

I could bite them down to my skin

Gross I know

I used to get really nervous

Or bored

Or tired

Or all of it

Anyway

I stopped in my senior year of college

I showed my mom at graduation

She was proud

She said good job

.

I was happy

Because she was better

Because she had had the surgery

She was better

I was happy

Because my nails were growing

And I wasn’t biting them

Just like she wanted

.

After graduation my mom got sick again

But I kept my nails growing

I kept them long

An occasional nibble here and there

I still got nervous

At the hospital

And tired

And bored

But I wanted my mom to get better

.

And for a while she did

She laughed

She played

I didn’t show her my nails but I knew she knew

She would be proud

I would show her when she got home

From the hospital

She would say good job

And smile

.

One year after college my mom went to the ER

She was sick again

And again

And again

I didn’t care about my nails

.

I was glad when she came home

But then it got rough

I held her at night as she cried

She wailed

She coughed

She vomited

.

I held her on the floor as she cried

Called out for help

I held her at night

Begging her to eat

Take the medicine mommy

One more spoon you can do it

.

I held her in the morning

On the way to the shower

It’ll be nice and warm mommy

You’ll feel so much better after

.

I’ll be right here mommy

I’m right here…

.

I didn’t care about my nails

At this point they were short again

But I didn’t care about my nails

I would show her when she got better

.

The doctor said the surgery wouldn’t help

They did scans

Gave new drugs

I continued to hold her

I’m right here mommy

.

I kissed her forehead and massaged her head

I held her every chance I could get

And I didn’t care about my nails


Now my nails are short again

As short as they were before my senior year of college

Before October

Before my mom got sick

.

Mommy isn’t here

I’m not right there anymore mommy

You left mommy

You left me

.

Now I have no one to hold

I have no one to hold

I have no one…

To hold

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