TITLE: Letters to the Dead
GENRE: YA Contemporary
I knew I was awake when the rolling wall of pain hit me in the chest. I clenched my teeth and hung on until my heart stopped its spasms and I could draw breath without gasping. Prying open my eyes, I stretched out a hand and smoothed the frayed edges of Toby’s flannel blanket, my brain still fogged. The new prescription was not enough to cocoon me for long with its caress; it only dulled my senses and numbed my brain.
That first night, my aunt had left me the entire bottle with strict instructions on how and when to take them; after discovering I had swallowed them all, she was careful to lock them away. Sometimes I think she only did it because the doctor yelled at her and Uncle David and threatened to report them to the police after my stomach was pumped. A child of fourteen in this state, he had shouted, is too young to know what could happen. He was wrong.
I really couldn’t blame her for blaming me and wanting me gone. After all, I did, too.
“Auntie,” I said before my head rolled back against the seat. My tongue felt glued to the top of my mouth; I had to work to get enough spit to loosen it.
“Yes, Gracie?” Her head swung around, eyes connecting with mine in the rear-view mirror.
“Where… where are you taking me?”
“I told you.”
“Don’t make me go. I’m sorry. Auntie, I won’t do it again.”