“We’ll just leave tonight,” I said. The solution seemed simple.
“It doesn’t work that way.” Her nose dripped snot and she rubbed at it with her sleeve.
“Of course it does.” Still, she shook her head. “Let’s just get a breath of fresh air, okay?”
Outside, I looked up. I’d missed the stars when I first moved to New York. My stepmother mailed me a build-it-yourself star projector to keep in my room and I turned it on every night, thought about returning home to see the real stars. Now, home for her funeral, staring at those dots of luminance, I found they were a dull simulacra of the unreal thing, meeker and less plentiful than the projector’s image. Still, I feigned awe. “Do you see?” I asked Maggie. I held her hand and pulled her gently towards the sidewalk, the road, away from the apartment.
She nodded, looking at Erik’s basement apartment, the nearly covered windows winking between warm orange glow and shadows of movement. You could see glimpses of Christmas lights, hear the energetic howls of the group. Happy like you only could be when you were drunk and in high school and surrounded by the people you think you will be surrounded by for the rest of your life. As I pulled Maggie by the hand, her feet turned heavier and heavier until I thought she was turning to salt.
“You go,” she said, staring back at the apartment. “I’ll follow in a minute.”
Welcome to Problem Child
Problem Child offers an alternative medium for publication of poetry, prose, artwork, essays, and other creative media by semi-annually publishing the Problem Child Literary Magazine. Problem Child aims to publish and promote individual original thought by creating and hosting a creative community.