Emily is Missing

by plermpt

I’m perched watching television on a moldy couch overlooking a roofless grocery market. In a panic my Aunt Lis storms up the staircase of loose plywood and nearly trips over my outstretched legs. She screams hysterically and demands that I tell her Emily’s location, since it was my turn to pick her up. I panic because I’m completely unaware that this was ever my responsibility. She screams and I wince. I attempt to calm her when I tell her that Emily is probably with Grandma, but Grandma is dead. (I forgot.)

Now everyone panics. My Uncle Bruce says that his daughter is missing, likely murdered. I start sweating and rush down the stairs, which collapse beneath me. I desperately lift every floor tile in the grocery looking for her. Above me and the sky is undulating grey and black. Amanda gives a speech at a cardboard podium to a dreary mass of wet listeners holding black umbrellas over their grey smocks, awaiting a downpour. Behind me are an unmoving robot and dwarf wearing Afro wigs side by side. I am moist and begin to cry because she is dead and was supposed to start college in the Fall. My head is in my lap when there is a tap on my shoulder. Emily is dry and naked. I remain seated, wrap my arm around her waist and lean my head against her hips. I tell her everyone thinks she was murdered. She says she was asleep in the cave of garbage boxes, and points behind the robot and the dwarf.

When I woke up I sent her a text.