“I’m not going through any ‘portal’ or whatever you have called it. I am staying here and not leaving until further notice.” I crossed my arms and sat defiantly on the edge of the couch.
As my mother moved toward the front door, I wondered if I was making the right decision. If I was left behind, I knew I would be on my own with no possibility of rejoining my family. But I also knew I couldn’t continue with the way things were going. My mother had not left our neighborhood in close to nine months because she was convinced the tunnel was the magic ‘portal’ to an afterlife she wasn’t prepared to see.
But at the same time, it was apparently okay that I went through the ‘portal’ at least twice a day to get to and from school. My older sister looked over her shoulder as she followed my mother out the door. For a moment I thought she would stay with me, but her scoff told me otherwise.
She hadn’t been out of the house in months due to some sort of unspecified illness. She would force herself to cough and my mother would tell her to go lie down while I made dinner. Or cleaned the house. My sister just wanted to be waited on.
An hour later when they still had not come home, I got off the couch and started to actually plan my life alone when I heard the sirens. The sirens I knew were headed here. Headed here to see about the two women who had just left me forever.