What Could Have Been

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Childhood Revisited.”

She started down the stairs. She carried a basket of clothes that needed to be washed. She wore a robe, a housecoat type bathrobe and it must have been too large for her because it dragged on the ground.  I watched her go down the steps, I watched her from the railing by the top step, and asked her if I could help. She screamed at me that she could do it herself.  I watched as she descended one step at a time until she slipped. She stepped on her robe and slipped and the basket flew and she fell, landing on her back, sliding down the stairs, down she went  until she finally stopped. She hollered at me that she could not move.

I called the ambulance. I called my dad.  They took her on a board out the window. Did she break her back?  Did I do the right thing? What else could I have done? I waited and watched her until help came.

She told my dad that I pushed her.  That I had pushed her down the stairs. She told him it was my fault she slipped and fell down the stairs and hurt her back. It was not broken. I still wonder if she faked the whole thing.  I think she told her story so that I was made to move out to live another life. She hated me.

If I had pushed her, I suppose I could have gone to prison.  I did not go to prison. I did not push her. I only wanted to help her. Dad must have loved her more than me. Or maybe he just wanted me to be safe and away from her?

I was thirteen. I was just a child.  Sometimes I wonder what could have been…


5 thoughts on “What Could Have Been

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