They buried Johnny in the cemetery at the edge of town. Jane watched as her mother sat a bouquet of roses on the small casket and felt herself flinch as mama reached for her trembling hand.
“Come here now Jane” mama said with a small sigh. “Say goodbye to your brother and then we can go home.”
Jane walked up to the casket and reached out to touch the deep brown wood, sliding her hand along the brass handle, she felt the coldness of the metal course through her body.
“I wanna go now mama, please, let’s just go, okay?”
Mama wiped the falling tears from her eyes and smiled at her now only child.
“I still don’t know why he would have gone down there by the creek, I warned him too many times about the bees that nest in those trees. I know you were watching him and I want you to know I’m not angry at you, accidents happen and now you’re all I have left, I will just never understand why. He knew he was allergic to bee stings and that he’s gone now just hurts me so bad.”
Jane looked away from her mothers eyes and rubbed at her own face as if wiping away the tears that still hadn’t fallen.
“I know mama, I know. I’ll take care of you now, it’s just you and me, we gotta stick together, through thick and thin, just like you always told me” She sniffled a bit and they headed home in their old car.
Jane left Mama in the kitchen and climbed the stairs up to her and Johnny’s room. Grabbing a box from beneath the bed, she sat down on the floor and pulled the cover off. Jane unwrapped Johnny’s blue shirt and pulled out the nest and doll. She cradled it in her hands and gazed around the closet-like room.
“It’s all mine now Johnny, sorry it had to be this way but you weren’t supposed to be born, it was always gonna be me and Mama, there was no room for you to be here, Mama’s mine and always was.”
Her body began rocking back and forth as she spoke to the voice that always calmed her, she gazed out the window to the creek in the distance her eyes bottomless and empty.
“Sorry I took you to the creek Johnny, but it was the only way. Now it’s mine, all mine.”