Note: Sad tone. Dark place. Get a cute animal nearby to pet when you’re finished reading.
It’s so bright today. It really hurts, it really burns.
I’ll keep my eyes closed from here in case it blinds me.
The sun never used to feel like this, on those rare occasions when I was allowed outside. When Broof used to take me to the park to meet my friends and I had to be really careful that the sun didn’t darken my skin or lighten my hair, so Mother wouldn’t know we’d betrayed her. I wish I’d appreciated being able to lie back and look at the clouds without feeling like my face was on fire.
I wish I’d done a lot of things differently, though.
Stood up to Mother when I’d realised I could, before everything got completely out of hand.
Told my friends how much they meant to me; how grateful I was that they always stuck with me. Even when I definitely didn’t deserve it.
How I wish I’d said something, before now. But it’s been so hard for me to start thinking and feeling when I’ve never really had chance to do anything other than to react. To survive.
So hard to know how to make decisions when they’ve always been made for me.
Impossible to think of the consequences when there have never been any.
Until now. I have made a bad decision and I can’t blame anyone else. I couldn’t find my way home. I’m an idiot. I don’t know what to do.
My body doesn’t seem to want to move. Even the canopy of trees couldn’t block all the sunlight. It still sears right through me. I found a space to lie down where I’m as sheltered as I can be but where I could see the sky. I can watch the birds and the clouds. Pretend I’m free until I am.
I can’t get back up now, I can’t open my mouth to call. I can’t do a thing. As Melinda would say, I’m toast.
I should have gone back to the house with Faith. Or I should have listened and never come out in the first place. My friends are always right, but I never want to hear it.
Never want to admit that Mother was right about me.
I should have just had one of Lilith’s pouches.
I want to be the one in charge. I want my friends to follow me. But clearly there’s a reason why I’m not and why they don’t. Lilith’s not the one dying in the sun. She’s not the one making poor decisions. She’s trying to save us all and I’ve thrown it back in her face.
She’ll laugh when you’re gone, April.
I hope she does.
I can be such a stubborn brat. I should have known better.
Ha. That’ll probably be my epitaph.
April Moss: Should Have Known Better.
I wonder if anyone will ever find me. Will there be anything left when the sun has finished drying me out? Will I turn into a pile of ash and be carried away on the wind? Perhaps I will be nothing but a pile of bones, bleached by the sun, picked at by birds.
Would there be a funeral for me?
Of course not. What an empty-headed thing to think.
You’re right. Who would even come to my funeral anyway? My mother’s dead, my father’s behind bars, my friends are in hiding. All because of me.
All because he understood. He listened.
You tricked him.
You’re an awful person.
Yes, I am an awful, awful person. Creature? Whatever I even am now. Was I ever really a person, anyway? A shell of one, perhaps. I always thought I was better than Mother, but I’m not. I’m so, so much worse than she ever was. Despite everything she did, somehow, everyone loved her. Everyone respected her. Everyone misses her.
Who respects and misses me?
Not Father. He loved her so much more than he ever loved me. If he doesn’t hate me yet for taking her from him, he will.
Broof surely won’t miss cleaning up after me, after all my disasters.
I should have stayed. I should have confessed.
Then I’d be remembered forever, all right. I’d be the killer of the Great Sandy Moss. Her own daughter. They’ll think I was jealous of her, spiteful.
Oh… it’s burning through my eyelids. I can feel the little embers flicking from my skin.
I’m so mad at myself! All this for a drink?! I wasn’t even thirsty!
That guy was a creep, but still… did he deserve me attacking him? When I have an alternative; is it right to do that?
Or do I just like attacking people? Do I just like the power? The control.
What am I trying to prove? That I’m different? That I’m better?
That I’m worse? That I’m sub-human?
We don’t have to be monsters.
They don’t know where I am! No one knows where I am! Does anyone even care?!
No one cares.
You’re right, why would they? What do I give them except misery and problems?
I promised to cut Faith free from her binds, but I’m the one strangling her.
I tease Melinda to keep her sweet. I’ll never feel the same.
They would definitely be better off without me.
My skin is tight, dry. Like scorched earth. I must look so awful.
Ha. I lie here, incinerating, and of all things, I worry about how I look.
Because she’s in my head. She’ll always be in my head.
Mocking me, taunting me.
I can never leave Mother, she’s woven into the fabric of me. I could exist a thousand years and I’d never outlive her. Never quieten her.
Her shine would have naturally faded. Now she’ll burn bright forever. The world will begin to forget Sandy Moss, eventually. But will I?
There’s only one way.
I wonder if hell is a thing.
I wonder if Mother’s there, waiting for me.
I’m not even scared now.
This is definitely it. I feel like I’m floating.