He is gasping, as if being held underwater. The maid panics and gives him the Heimlich while screaming for help. Who will hear you, maid? It’s only you, me, and this boy.
She’s pushing against his chest and all my body can do is stare, my icy blue eyes wandering the warm, gasping boy....
<p>He is gasping, as if being held underwater. The maid panics and gives him the Heimlich while screaming for help. Who will hear you, maid? It’s only you, me, and this boy.</p>
<p>She’s pushing against his chest and all my body can do is stare, my icy blue eyes wandering the warm, gasping boy. He’s blue, then purple – he’s purple for a while, actually. My socks are purple, almost as purple as his face. Mum couldn’t find any socks for me this morning, so she gave me my sister’s socks. I complained for a while, then finally put them on because they don’t look too bad with my new school shoes. In fact, they look pretty neat.</p>
<p>The boy grabs at his throat, wheezing as tears come down his face. I rub my hand against my own throat, imagining a bite of brownie lodged in there, refusing to be swallowed. I can’t watch the boy any longer, so I look at my socks. I hadn’t noticed that glitter before. Mum tricked me! She said they didn’t look girly at all and that boys could wear purple, too, but there’s glitter on them, all right. I bet the boy never got tricked into wearing his sister’s purple, glittery socks. Oh, well. He’ll never have to worry about being tricked ever again.</p>
<p>The boy stops struggling. He lies limp, his arms at his sides, no longer scratching at his throat. Miss Anne says we should never give up, that failure makes us stronger. The boy obviously didn’t listen to Miss Anne’s advice. He has given up, and he is dead for it.</p>
<p>Now that it is over, I wonder why the maid never called 9-1-1. Miss Anne taught us that in emergencies, we must call 9-1-1. I think a dying boy qualifies as an emergency. His fists are all clenched up, and I can practically see one of his fingers pulsating as if trying to push blood throughout his lifeless body. There is no point anymore. There is no <em>life</em> anymore.</p>
<p>The maid checks his pulse with her fingers before placing her ear to his chest. I take a bite of my brownie. His maid makes the best brownies, so moist and chocolatey. She pulls back from the boy and a single drop of sweat slips from her eyebrow. He is dead. I already knew it.</p>
<p>The maid kneels next to me, so close I could feel her upper lip hair against my skin. Invisible fingers trace my spine.</p>
<p>“You mustn’t tell what happened,” she whispers. “Come help me.”</p>