Copperback

Copperback by Tarah R. Hamilton

Book: Copperback by Tarah R. Hamilton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tarah R. Hamilton
time to catch up to everything that was going on. I had been on an
emotional roller coaster for the past eighteen hours, and I wasn’t sure it
could take any more. Sally had no problem taking all this in stride. She was
always able to roll with the punches in any situation.
    She
had followed me back, taking the items out of the bags, helping me put them
away in silence. She pulled out a bag of frozen peas and opened the freezer to
put them away, and saw the rows of bagged ice I had made the previous night. She
gave a long sigh as she crammed them into an open corner and shut the door. I
knew it was coming. The silence couldn’t last forever.
    “Emily,
you’re taking this all a little too personal. I know you mean well, and I
really admire your drive to want to do everything, but it’s getting to you, and
starting to show. Just last night, you wanted him out of the house as soon as
possible and now…now you’re going over the top. Saving him is not going to
bring her back.”
    Her
words stung. She had hit so close to the truth, it was painful to admit that
she was right; I had become so obsessed with doing everything right that I had
forgotten about the real reason why. I was still being selfish, in my own way.
I knew deep down it wouldn’t change the fact that my mom was gone forever, but
I was using him as an excuse to hold on to that idea.
    I
set the loaf of bread in my hand back on the counter and looked up at her. I
could see the concern in her eyes. “What do you want me to do?” I was trying
not to cry again. I wasn’t even sure I could produce any more tears after the
last jag.
    “I
just want you to take a break for a little bit. I know your heart is in the
right place, but I need your head there too. Why don’t you eat, and like I told
you to before, go lie down and get some sleep? I have to leave here in a few
hours, but I’m sure he’ll be fine overnight. You can have a fresh start in the
morning.”
    As
she spoke, her offer sounded like I might have a choice on what I wanted to do,
but her expression was telling me it was done deal.
    “Fine,
but I’m sleeping on the couch. Chase trashed my room last night, and I’m not going
to go look for clean sheets.” At least I felt I had a little bit of say in what
I was going to do.
    “Whatever
you want to do. If something changes, I’ll let you know.” She had already finished
with the groceries, and had started refilling the bucket in the sink. I pulled
out a plate and loaded a leg and thigh onto it. It was still hot, and smelled
fantastic. I almost had the entire leg finished before I even reached the
couch. Avoiding the mud at the one end, I plopped down and turned on the TV.
For a Sunday night, I had no idea what was on and really didn’t care. I was
willing to watch just about anything to take my mind off the situation.
    I
flipped through the channels and settled on some movie with actors I didn’t
know. From what I could tell, it was one of those situational comedies where
someone does something outrageous and then tries to cover it up with lies or
other acts that no sane person would ever think to do. I wasn’t finding the
humor in it, mostly because I wanted to go back downstairs to see how things
were going, and wasn’t paying attention to the plot. I forced myself to scarf
down the second piece of chicken, and set my plate on the coffee table to get
in the morning. Stretching out along the couch, I pulled the blanket up around
me and tucked my arm under my head. I laid there watching the actors dance
along the screen, hardly able to focus on them any longer. Sleep was taking
over and tomorrow would be another day. I knew I would be ready for whatever it
decided to throw at me.

7.
    I
had been asleep for hours, but had no idea what time it was, when I suddenly
awoke from my dreamless sleep. I thought I had heard screaming, but there was
only the muffled sound of the clock in the kitchen ticking away the minutes. I
had to have imagined it. I

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