I know I shouldn’t be feeling this. Would it be a sin to do so? I love her! I know I do.
She smiles at me once so often and it feels like I'm on high, not that I've ever tried to. As the only child, I don’t know if it’s her responsibility to do so or maybe I'm just thinking too much about it. I remember playing with her and Ronnie Tall bear, they are a perfect couple. “David, you should get inside and change your clothes, your mother would be home soon” Marie said. “I’ll do it later. I still want to play. C’mon Ronnie, teach me how to play ball. ” “But Marie said you should change your clothes.” Ronnie replied with a grin. “I already said I don’t want to! I want to play.”
“Now now David, just one more, then your changing clothes?” Marie said in a soft and gentle voice. I ran to her, tackled her to the dry ground, wrapping my freckled arms around her bony blemished body and suddenly I got scared I’ll break her to pieces. “Ok David, go have a shower before Mrs. Hayden gets here. You don’t want Marie getting into trouble right?” Ronnie broke the moment. You see, my mother is not one of those typical mothers that stayed in the house. She is usually out and with Marie; I don’t feel blue at all. I'm only twelve years old and leaving in such a small town, I can pretty much do what I want as long as I get home before mum or dad does. Marie never tells on me anyway. Then at that dry warm night, a young Sioux woman lies on a bed in our house. She is feverish, delirious, and coughing so hard I'm afraid she would die. My father kneels in the kitchen floor begging my mother to help him. It’s a summer night and the room is brightly lit. Tiny insects cluster around the light fixtures, and the pleading quality in my father’s voice reminds me of those insects- high pitched, insistent, frantic. It is a sound I never heard coming from him. My mother knocked a billion times but no one answered the door; not even a whimper of protest came out of Marie’s lips when mum opened it. If there is something my mother dreaded the most, it’s getting sick. I was on the untidy kitchen, just enough to hear mum ask poor Marie Little Soldier series of questions I'm not even sure she understands. Her fever is high, like an ice melting in a very hot day. Then just as I enter the room carrying a glass of water, she rolled to her back and brushed her tangled black hair away from her narrow face. I wish I could do it for her without her realizing the truth. Her cheeks now glowed so brightly that they looked so painful. I can’t bear to look at her face, then just I backed out the door, I caught her eyes. They seem darker than ever, all pupil, black water that swallowed light and gave nothing back. Her red lips are now pale-dry and chapped. Her dress had ridden up and hung loosely over her knees and the sight of her sturdy brown legs was strangely shocking, a glimpse of the sensual in the sickroom but nothing new I had once seen Marie naked or nearly so. I came galloping downstairs one day obviously when Marie thought I would be out a little while longer and caught her just as she was stepping out the shower. She was quick with the towel but not quick enough. I just saw enough to embarrass us both. Dark nipples in a way that shocked me in the way they stood up like finger tips. A black triangle of pubic hair below a thick waist and gently rounded belly and above it all, a broad shoulders that seems as broad as my fathers. I stammer an apology and backed out as soon and quickly as possible but in my head; I play the same scene over and over again. It is as vivid and clear as the first time it happened.