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Happy Sad

   “The first tally mark ever! How exciting.” Baby Brianna exclaimed. “Mom, I’ve picked up a hobby of adding a tally mark every day! My goal is to keep this going for as long as I can. Then, I’m going to count my tally marks.” 

   Hope soared in her chest at the thought of tallying marks for her whole life. She’d be the first ever person, too! 

   “That’s nice, hon. Although, you can’t possibly sit right by that paper and wait for the day to pass by, can you? Perhaps draw while waiting for the day to pass by?” Mom suggested. 

   “No, then I might miss a day!” Brianna protested in her baby voice. Mom sighed and continued scrubbing the dishes. 

   “The days don’t pass by every second!” Mom exarpheratly said.

   “Maybe they do.” Brianna protested. “You probably don’t know, though.” Mom shook her head, sighing again. 

   “How about going to your room and playing Dolly’s? I’m sure Ardriana would love to play that with you.”

   “She always bends the rules. Ardriana says her Dolly’s can fly and have magical powers. I just want to do a normal story.” Brianna retorted.

   “what about Lolina?”

   “I’ll go ask her. I hope she’s not busy again. If a day comes by, call me!” Brianna yelled as she toddeled to the stairs. Going up the stairs was hard work for a four and a half year old. Brianna would go on fours, and place her hands on the second step. Then, she would put her left hand on the third step while bringing her left foot up. This cycle repeated until she reached the top. Yet, by the time she reached the top, she was so tired and out of breath, Brianna would lay at the top of the stairs for a bit.

   “Lolina!” Brianna called, barging in her older sister’s room.

   “Ugh, what? Can’t you see I’m busy?!” Lolina complained. Lolina had long, wavy blonde hair. Her eyes were sky blue, which Brianna-with green eyes- admired. Lolina was sitting in a pink one-person-chair. She was wearing a maroon medium sleeved shirt and black leggings. 

   “Can you play Dollys’s with me?” 

   “No, I’m busy, I told you already! Go do your own hobby, maybe next time I can play Dolls with you.” Lolina grunted, blowing a big, pink, dbubble in her mouth. “Go play by yourself, or do whatever stupid hobby you do.”

   “You're only twelve, Loli, you don’t have to act so sassy.” Brianna muttered.

   “Oh, don’t call me Loli anymore. Just Lolina. Loli is an embarressing nickname. Like, who would call someone that?!” Brianna sadly shook her head and trudged to the door. “Remember to close the door! I’m going to live-stream on Snap real quick.” Lolina added. 

"When did you get so sassy and-teen like, Lolina? Only a few weeks before, you were playing Dollys with me." Brianna whimpered. "I don't know you anymore, Lolina." Lolina shrugged at Brianna's small speech.

"Ugh, like, whatevs. It's not like I care about you or Mom or Ardriana." Lolina snapped. Brianna glared at Lolina, hatred spilling up from her.

"You don't deserve to be in this family." Brianna growled before slamming the door shut with all her four year old strength.



***

   “I actually can’t believe I’ve been keeping the Tallies up for such a long time! I’ve never missed a single day!” Brianna exclaimed, who was now eleven years old. Who knew I’d keep this up for seven years? I’m so proud of this!” Mom smiled, who was beginning to have white hairs. There were over 2,000 tally marks, 4o0 bundles of memories.

   “I remember when you first started. You thought every single second that passed by was a day.” Mom chuckled. Brianna flushed.

   “Well, I was young back then, wasn’t I?” Brianna smiled and hugged her Mom, who swayed just a tiny bit as the hug landed. Brianna didn’t notice, and she didn’t need to worry, yet. 




***

   “Mom! Guess what number I’m at now?” Brianna exclaimed, staring up at her mother with adoration. 

   “I don’t know, hun, why don’t you tell me?” Mom smiled. Brianna’s mom now has many clear white streaks in her hair. She was lying in a bed. 

   “I’m over 90,000!” Brianna exclaimed, holding her mom's frail hands. Brianna’s excitement lasted only for a few moments before her mom broke the news.

   “Brianna?” Her mom asked. 

   “Yes?”

   “Could you please do me a favor and try to reach 450,000?”

   “Why 450,000?” Brianna asked.

   “Because that’s when you started, remember? When you were four and a half years old.” Her mom replied sadly. “Remember, alright?” The realization hit Brianna, and she nearly tumbled over.

   “N-no, mom! You can’t leave yet, you’re only so young.” Brianna complained.

   “I’m not worried about death, Brianna. However, make me proud. Reach 450,000.:” Brianna’s mom whispered. 

   “Smile for me, let me see that smile.” Brianna’s mom rasped, her voice barely above a whisper. Brianna lifted her head, to see her mom smiling at her. The smile that warmed Brianna right to the heart and made her smile back. But now, she could only cry as tears rolled down her cheeks. No smile tugged at the lips, only sadness. Yet, her mom had asked her, her last wish. Brianna whipped the tears from her eyes. Recalling her good memories with her Mom. The memories broke through the sadness, piercing the gloom that hung in the air. 

   Brianna smiled, for her mom. 





***

   When Brianna got home, she rushed to her tally marks and prepared to add a new mark. Yet, the Famous Wall Of Tallys was gone. Only one tally remained, her very first one. The one that she’d drew so long, it covered the whole wall. Yet, she always squished in others. Now, looking at it, she felt ashamed, yet happy at that thought. All the tally marks had vanished, but her very, first one. 

   Looking up at the ceiling, Brianna grinned, and she meant it. 

   “Thank you, Mom. I will never forget this.”


December 29, 2020 22:37

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14 comments

I'm open to suggestions.

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Grace Jarvis
21:03 Jan 06, 2021

Whoa!! I love this!!!

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Thank you!

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Ari Berri
19:51 Dec 30, 2020

This story is awesome! That's a nice use of the prompt. I only saw one mistake, at the end, you wrote "forgot" instead of "forget." Otherwise, it looks great! Nice job! Also, is the answer to the question in your bio pizzaiolo?

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Thank you!

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Ari Berri
19:20 Dec 31, 2020

No problem.

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Also, yes, it is. :)

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Ari Berri
19:20 Dec 31, 2020

Is this one a candle?

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Correct! How are you so smart?

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Ari Berri
22:00 Dec 31, 2020

I don't know, my brother likes telling me riddles, so...

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You must be good!

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Also, Happy New Year!

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Yves. ♙
22:00 Aug 07, 2022

Wow, this one went all sorts of places-- I love your interpretation of the prompt, and the dying mother reminded me in some ways of Ella Enchanted, if you've read that. Keep writing!

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