The Friend That Wasn’t There

By April Wahlin

Edited by Travis Noble

Yesterday upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn’t there.

He wasn’t there again today,

Oh, how I wish he’d go away… -Hughes Mearns

Simone rolled over in bed onto a discarded snack box, accidentally grinding crumbs and sugar into the bed spread. Mom isn’t going to be happy. She moaned as she brushed the mess off the bed. Having done a so-so job, she went back to flipping through cartoon channels. Nothing on. Suppose she could read a book to fight the boredom―but why when there’s TV? Boredom or not, reading a book is for people without electricity. There had to be something on.

With a free hand, Simone fidgeted with her wristband. Sliding her thumb across the barcode. It was from yesterday’s visit. Just an asthma attack―nothing out of the norm…but still. She glanced out the window again. Dusk and an empty driveway. Her parents should have been home by now. She wished they would take her out like they used to. Dinner, movies, Disneyland…anywhere besides a hospital.

Simone finally settled on a station when something passed in the hallway outside her door. Continue reading