Before and After

By Charissa Rabenstein

Father stopped breathing. Still, I followed his instructions. What else could I do? I sat at his big, oak table, quite alone. I ate my supper properly. I sat on the edge of the hard chair in the parlor for thirty minutes. Then I blew out the candle and went to bed.

The next morning, a crowd of the town women called. They walked up the steps of the porch, and they rang the bell. I told them that they were not needed. I told them that he was sleeping. Then I shut the door. They were not needed. Why would they think that they could take him away? Even now he would not allow that.

More town people came after that. I don’t think they believed me. They were persistent.
After three days of this, I noticed that Father was dead. I did not understand. I didn’t realize that was possible. But I let them take him away.

I ate my supper properly. I sat on the edge of the hard chair in the parlor for thirty minutes. Then I blew out the candle and went to bed. Quite alone.

 

Charissa Rabenstein lives in West Liberty, Ohio, with her husband, Bill. Her work days are spent at Marie’s Candies, and her leisure time involves books and baking. When she has a writable thought and takes the time to jot it down, she sometimes ends up with a bit of poetry.

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