TITLE: DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy
I swore on the day she died that Mom would never disappear.
I’ve kept true to my vow.
She loved spring’s baby lime-green leaves, but hated forsythia yellow. The fact that the leaves still unfurl and the yellow’s still ugly, but she’s gone, kills me. Especially today.
Hurrying down my street, I pull off some forsythia blossoms from the bushes in a neighbor’s yard, crushing the petals. Getting home from school has already taken too long, and the trembling went into double time two blocks back.
I need to be there.
Two more houses to go. The front door key ready, gripped in my sweaty hand. My heart pounds against its cage, trying to escape.
Then, the familiar whine from Daisy, Mr. Shapiro’s cockapoo, slows my steps. The red door of my house is so close, but Daisy’s up on her arthritic back legs, her front ones scrabbling at the low fence.
My need pulls at me, but Daisy’s wheezing pulls at me, too.
I stuff my keys into my jeans pocket and toss the smashed petals.
“Just a short one this time, Daze.” I lean over, let her lick my wrist before I rub behind her right ear, down to her jaw and scratch away. If dogs could purr, Daisy would be a purrer.
Mom and Mr. Shapiro used to compare Daisy and me since we were the exact same age. Daisy ran at seven months, I couldn’t crawl. Daisy was housetrained; I was in diapers. We both hated baths.