It was strange to sit up in bed and smell the coffee coming from the kitchen and realize I wasn’t the first person up. I liked the idea of a hot cup of coffee waiting for me downstairs. But for so long it had been my kitchen and my kitchen alone...
I still hadn’t wrapped my head around sharing my space, even if it was with Charli. I hadn’t seen her in over a decade, until she showed up at my door two weeks ago penniless, tired, hungry. I opened up my home because big sisters took care of their siblings, especially the ones who could never fend for themselves.
I walked into the kitchen and found Charli at the table, bobbing her head to the music blaring through her headphones. I sighed, trying to convince myself I had done the noble thing, though my heart warned me I’d make a mistake. She turned around and smiled, pointing to the stove.
"I cooked eggs and grits. Just like mama."
I nodded my head and swallowed, trying to settle the sudden pain in my stomach. We hadn’t talked about mama in years. Not since the funeral — the last time we saw each other and the day I left that pitiful place we called home and never looked back.
I never regretted leaving her until now. Maybe a different version of Charli would’ve showed up at my doorstep instead of the fragile human before me. It was only a matter of time before she broke and fell into pieces. And after we buried mama, I vowed to never catch her again.