View Full Version : It Hurts

10-14-2017, 01:27 AM
"It hurts, mama," the little girl said. Tears trailed down her thin pale face. The woman, Mary, stared at her computer screen. "It hurts. It hurts so much."

Mary didn't look at her.

The sun peeked into the room, preparing itself for rest. Her husband looks to her from their bed, concern locked away in his eyes, in his throat. "Almost ready for bed, hun?"

"Just a few more minutes," Mary said. "I just need to finish this report."

"It hurts." The girl stares up at her with hollow eyes, holding her stomach. "It hurts, mama. Mama, please."

Mary's husband sighs, and he turns down, laying his head on his pillow. Mary continued staring at her screen, typing away. She needed to finish this report. She had to focus. Concentrate.

"It huuurts..."

Mary silently worked. When it was done, she climbed into bed. Her daughter's pained pleas continued. She gave them no heed. Tomorrow was a big day. She needed sleep. All she wanted was sleep. The words haunted her dreams. Her rest offered no respite. The alarm clock was drowned out with the grunts and sounds of pain. Mary's eyes opened. She didn't even realize when they had closed.

Her morning routine was simple, mechanical. Get out of bed. Shower. Ignore daughter. Brush teeth. Put on deodorant. Ignore daughter. Put on makeup. Get dressed. Wake up husband. Ignore daughter. Prepare breakfast for two. Kiss husband. Drive to work. Ignore daughter.

Everything went as it always did. Her schedule was unimpeded by the continued wails. Her knuckles were white on the steering wheel as she made her way through the morning traffic. Her eyes caught the mirror. She was in the backseat.

"Mama. It hurts. It hurts so much..."

Mary honks her horn. The driver texting in front of her moves. She grits her teeth. Today was too important. She just needed to get to work.

The office was silent, aside from the sounds of clacking at keyboards, idle office chatter by a water tank, the ambient music played to keep them placid and calm. They were in a prison. They all understood this. It was their reality, the path they'd chosen for themselves for the slim sliver of a chance at rising to a somewhat bigger cell. Mary was looking at the door to that cell now. Her daughter tugged at her skirt. "Mama, it hurts so bad. Please, mama." Mary knocked on the door. The promotion was in her grasp. She'd devoted herself completely to her work. She had nothing left to lose; she'd brought profits up, she'd made impossible budgets work. She stayed long hours and took on projects nobody else would. She'd proven herself. She'd proven she had worth. She wasn't a failure.

The door opened. There was Tim. And there was... Joseph.

"Ah, Mary. Just in time. You can set the report on my desk. If you'd like, congratulate Joseph here on his promotion to Executive Vice President of Sales."

It wasn't fair.

It wasn't fair.

"It hurts."

Mary couldn't remember how her day went. It was a blur. Faces passed by. There was that look, that look. They all pitied her. They all knew she deserved more. They just didn't want to compromise themselves. That was it. They were cowards. They were all cowards. She wanted to laugh. She wanted to cry. Her daughter continues to try to get her attention.

"Please, mama, it hurts."

Mary was numb. And then she realized it. She hurt too. It had been too much. She couldn't keep pushing her aside. She met her daughter's eyes. "Where does it hurt, dear?"

"All over," her daughter says with a tremble. "Everything hurts."

Mary brushes her daughter's hair aside. It was dry and limp. She hadn't taken care of it in so long. "Should mama make it all better?"

"Please," her daughter begs her, her voice a little stronger.

"Mama doesn't know how, though. Kisses can only do so much."

Her daughter holds her hand against the side of her head. "You know how to make it better though, mama. I know you do."

Mary smiles. "You're right. I do. Mama's gonna make all the pain go away. Can you help mama out?"

Her daughter nods slowly and hands her the gun.

Mary smiles as she presses it against her temple and pulls the trigger.