Sister laughed at my joke like she always did—her laugh was one that could forever unsnarl me. I never took the time to appreciate it… I never realized just how much I needed it. She leaned back in the station wagon seat. “You’re such a nerd, Farah. Do you know what would be better than this, though?”

“No I don’t.” I tried to contain my emotions, but reality unfairly bubbled up my esophagus. Gulping wouldn’t push it back to where I wished it would remain. “What would be better?”

“If I were actually here right now,” my sister muttered morosely.

She dissipated, before I was given the chance to digest her words. The old station wagon seats seemed incredibly empty, even as my brothers took over all the available space within it. The air too… its oxygen seemed to be unapologetically ripped from the heart of it. Or perhaps I just noticed how cold everything had become.

I forgot she had died two years ago on this day.

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Preston Randall
Preston Randall(@preston-randall)
5 months ago

A very moving story, told with great tenderness. I especially liked the descriptions of physical reactions to the painful memory – “… unfairly bubbled up my esophagus.” Brilliant.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
5 months ago

Melissa, I love “reality unfairly bubbled up my esophagus” and how you explore the relationship between the sibling and her sister. You actually unnerved me when you said the sister was dead.

Love reading your stories and how you never fail to surprise and please me as a reader with your eloquence, wit and creativity.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
5 months ago

I like the way you put your readers into the mind of your protagonist, Melissa. The short down-to-earth dialogue gives the scene in the station wagon a very realistic touch and I would have loved to stay there, inside the car (or inside Farrah’s mind) a few minutes more.

4 months ago

An exceptional story, Melissa. I love the way you use the Station Wagon as a central point. I could imagine that for most of us the “station wagon” is a huge symbol of family. Your use of indirect imagery has become honed over years of writing on this site, and you are one of my favorite writers now. I always look forward to new stories from you.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

You are a very talented writer, Melissa. I love every word you put in this story. And the end makes me very emotional. Well written. 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Melissa Taggart
4 months ago

You’re welcome, Melissa.

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