Keep This Closed, Honey

Ms. Rosone

April stormed out of her room without closing the open drawer and onto the front steps of the house, tears pricking her eyelids and hands balled into fists. One fist empty, the other a cage for something April was told to keep hidden for the entirety of her short existence. Morality, however, didn’t seem to be of significance anymore. The storm door crashed in the frame behind her and she felt a cool wave of relief in her temporary solitude from her family. 

Despite her age, or perhaps because of it, the news of her Aunt May’s illness was a hot knife in her stomach. Did her mother misspeak? Had she really said cancer? Until now, April was under the impression only old people had cancer. Or maybe people who were already bald. Either way, definitely not someone like Aunt May. 

April allowed herself the brief pleasure of remembering her 6th birthday party, only three short months ago. Aunt May brought a cake slathered with yellow icing and rainbow sprinkles, as per tradition. April could almost hear her sweet voice singing “Happy Birthday” as she sat in a bath of anger on the porch.

 The reality of the circumstances ripped her violently from her reverie and she was overcome once again with a feeling that could only be described as betrayal. Certainly, there had to be someone to blame. There was always someone to blame. Desperate for a scapegoat, April scoured the deepest recesses of her mind and for once bypassed her brother and came up short. How was this fair? April thought deeply about the times her parents explained the concept of consequences and was at a loss for a single moment in Aunt May’s life that would have warranted this punishment. There had to be a mistake. Someone else must have deserved this, and it fell upon Aunt May by accident. In this moment, it felt like everyone else must have deserved this. 

In the pursuit of justice, April was pushed to the brink of a decision she knew she could never reverse. On a good day, she was able to recall the lessons from her first grade teacher in thinking before acting and considering the other. On a good day, she was able to recall the lessons from her parents in responsibility and the importance of protecting the world from her dangerous power. Today was not a good day. April opened the tiny enclosure of her fist, and let Coronavirus be carried away on the breeze.