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Lily – Flash Fiction Journal


By Karin Rumie

This Story Was an Honorable Point out in Our Contest

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Tamara stood frozen because the paramedics lifted the gurney into the ambulance. She was sixteen once more, in her mom’s bed room, the empty vodka bottle on the nightstand, orange tablets scattered on the ground.

“Ma’am.””A voice startled again into actuality. She was a grown girl now, standing on the sidewalk of Lily’s home.

Oh My God, Lily.

The lady was speaking to one of many paramedics, who positioned a hand on her shoulder. She stared into the again of the ambulance the place the physique, coated by a sheet, lay unattended.

“Ma’am, are you associated to the lady?” requested a police officer.

“Lily’s in my counseling group. I provided to convey her dwelling after our periods on the times her mother works late.”

“Do you’ve got any subsequent of kin contact? Somebody who can care for Lily?”

She shook her head. Lily’s father had died nearly ten years in the past. So far as Tamara knew, there was nobody else apart from the mom.

“She will be able to stick with me tonight. For so long as she wants.”

The one night time had became two weeks, then a month.


“Have you learnt what you’re getting your self into?” her boss Angela stated, handing her a letter of reference for Tamara’s fostering software. “It’s one factor to have your child lady morph into an adolescent, however to have one transfer in in a single day?”

Angela had raised three ladies, so Tamara took her query to coronary heart. In any case, she knew nothing about being a mom herself.

And but, Lily’s presence had given her a form of peace. She had even stopped taking her antidepressant. At first, she needed to be alert sufficient to consolation Lily when she woke with nightmares. However after just a few days with out the tablets, she seen her melancholy solely by its absence.

One night time, she’d gone into Lily’s room to seek out her in entrance of the closet, inspecting considered one of her ex-husband’s shirts.

“Is your husband lifeless?” Lily requested.

Tamara thought concerning the final time she’d seen her ex-husband on the lawyer’s workplace. There had been no trace of regret as he signed the divorce settlement, taking the majority of her financial savings. His pregnant girlfriend had waited exterior.

“I maintain which means to pack these up for Goodwill.”

“My mother by no means bought round to packing my dad’s issues, both.”

When Tamara bought dwelling from work the following day, she’d discovered a field within the hallway, the phrases “In search of a New Dwelling” written in everlasting black marker. Her ex’s folded shirts have been inside and one thing else beneath. She lifted the shirts to seek out the starched pink scrubs Tamara had seen Lily’s mother carrying.


One afternoon, after a shoe-shopping journey to the mall with Lily, Tamara acquired a name from a good friend who clerked for the household courtroom decide.

“Hear, I’m not speculated to inform you this,” she’d lowered her voice then. “Lily’s grandparents simply petitioned for custody. It’s the daddy’s mother and father—apparently they have been estranged from the widow. They’re driving from Florida as we communicate.


Two days later, Tamara helped Lily pack her garments as they waited for her grandparents. Lily appeared to take the information of transferring to a different state with a household she’d by no means met with the aplomb of somebody used to having the rug pulled from underneath them. It was Tamara who fought again tears.

“I assume you’ll have to pack just a few swimsuits.”

They talked about Tamara taking a trip in Miami subsequent summer season. Lily promised to name each week.


Two years from now, Tamara could be rocking her personal child lady—Lily Grace—to sleep on this home. A miracle child she’d by no means anticipated to have after the miscarriages and failed IVF remedies that outlined her first marriage.

Lily by no means would name, however the grandmother would e-mail every so often. Two years from now, Tamara would keep in mind Lily with the indifferent fondness a trainer might really feel for a favourite pupil.

However, proper now, as she watched Lily get into her grandparents’ automotive and drive out of her life, Tamara was crushed underneath the load of her need.

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