My One And Only Hand For Ro

"Ro?" I entered her little room, holding up my lantern high at the same level as my head. It wasn't really a room; it was more like a shack or a barn, or a gardening house, that miniature kind of "room".

Ro was asleep, tossing and turning on her bed. "Ro?" I whispered again, this time leaning carefully at the edge of her bed. I gently rested my lantern on her nightstand. "Wake-up,"

Ro turned around, her big, shining; sea blue/emerald green eyes stared back at me. "Yeah?" She mumbled, half awake, her face full of orange and yellow light from the lantern resting beside her. There were deep, black shadows on the other side of her room, exaggerating our size, and how skinny we were. Well, at least me. Ro was still as skinny as she was in the gently, moving shadows, I couldn't possibly imagine anyone skinnier than her.

"Hi," I whispered. "How are you doing tonight?"

"More nightmares," She mumbled in reply, her face pale. Her face was always pale, just never as pale. I stroked her chestnut hair, and looked at her.

"Do you know why?" I asked.

"No one understands dreams yet, so no." Ro replied.

I looked into her eyes, and I saw a helpless little girl, lost. I saw sorrow, and pain. I saw Ro with no more hope left in her. I also saw a dab of anger for my parents.

I was looking, staring, waiting for Ro to say something, but she was silent. I kept on looking in her eyes for what felt like eternity, and then I couldn't bare what I was seeing.

I got up from my kneeling position, and stroke Ro's hair again, and kissed her. "Good-night Rosy," I whispered. I grabbed my lantern, and walked out the gardening house, and into my own house.

The grass was wet, and moist from the recent light, shower of rain, and they were beaded with little beads of dew. It was also muddy, and all I was hoping was that my parents weren't up, wondering where I was with my feet all muddy. I was surprised that my parents weren't awake yet, with all the loud sloshing I was making, stomping threw the mud.

When I was half way on my porch, I heard a long, ear-piercing howl from the forests. I froze, dropped my lantern, and ran inside.

I entered through the from door, and wiped my feet on the mats, and headed to my room. The carpets underneath my feet were much softer, warmer, and cozier than the hard, cold, uncomfortable mud outside.

I quietly slipped into my room, and under the covers, watching the sunrise from my window.

Soon, the sun completely poked its' way out from behind the mountains, and I heard a door open, a crash, and a scream

"TOM JAMESON!" My dad hollered. "COME OUT HERE!"

I gulped, and got out of the covers. I slowly walked outside to where my dad was.

"Where were you going, young man, late at night with a lantern?" My dad demanded.

"No where," I swallowed hard.

"Oh really?" He asked, an evil grin creeping up his face.

"No where, really." I replied. It wasn't really a lie; Ro's shack was technically a part of our house.

"They why did I on accidentally trip over your lantern when bringing out plates?" Dad boomed.

"Wha…what do you mean?" I stammered. I knew I was horrible at lying. There was no point.

"I mean, this lantern." Dad held up my lantern, one window on it smashed, my name still carved deeply into it. My lantern was like a long, 3 dimensional hexagon, and had windows on each of the long sides. The windows had black lines designed onto it, making a beautiful X shape everywhere, and bordering the windows were more, but thicker, black lines. It also had a window bottom, and the top was curved to be a fat, short, round cone, with a little empty circle at the top to grip onto. The smashed window still had some pieces clinging onto it.

I was speechless, stunned, on why I was so stupid as to leave the lantern out here. Then I remembered the long, ear-piercing howl.

"There was a wolf, the deadly wolf, out in the forests." I muttered.

"So you admit that you were out!" Dad roared, and laughed. "Ha!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever! But it was THE killer wolf!" I said.

"Doubt it, son." Dad shook his head. "I KNEW I had to take you to the mental hospital! I was arguing with Veronica!"

"Dad! I DON'T need to go to the mental hospital! Besides, mom is right, I'm not mental." I protested, not believing what dad was saying. I was trying to warn him THE killer wolf was in the forest, and he starts saying I'm mental!

"Look, son, wolves aren't in the forests. At least not the wolf that killed the 18 people in one day, including the president himself." Dad said with an evil and angry gleam in his eyes.

"Dad…" I started to protest.

"NO MORE DISCUSSING ABOUT THIS!" Dad hollered, screaming so loud, the water shook hard, and pretty much every animal retreated.

He stomped back home, leaving me outside, to shocked to speak. I was frozen and still for a while, and then snapped back alert. I walked back inside, slipped into my room again, and slam the door shut, hard. "I am NOT mental, I am NOT mental, I am NOT mental," I assured myself, but I sometimes felt like dad was right, and this was one of the times.

I looked outside my window at Ro's shack, and I saw dad walking in, hands clenched, and stiffly walked in. I stood there, and knew that he was going to curse and say VERY mean things to Ro. Anything that he doesn't like that happens, he always put the blame on Ro.

I ran outside, and followed dad into the shack. I got there pretty quick, and jerked dad away from Ro's bed. He was going to start, but I came just in time.

"Dad," I whispered. I had to whisper because I was clenching my so hard I felt like my teeth would crack because I had to keep the fowl words from escaping.

"Get me all you want, but leave Ro alone!" I whispered harshly.

Dad turned around, "Fine, nasty baby!" he said, and left the shack.

"Ro, wake up." I said, second time I woke her up that day.

"Yes?" Ro replied, wide awake, and didn't turn around. It seemed like she was awake the whole time.

"Never listen to dad, you shouldn't trust him, and ignore him. He's just a fowl, dirty…"

"Tom!" Ro said, suddenly. I was glad she stopped me because I didn't want to say any more.

"Be calm and cool about it. It is after all YOUR dad," Ro started.

"And he's yours too!" I screamed, and instantly regretted saying that. I was the only person in the family that actually cared for Ro, and I was the only person Ro would get love out of. Plus, the death of her own family was weighing down on her, making her very miserable.

"Oh, no, no, no," I mumbled, trying to wipe away all of her tears. "I didn't mean it,"

I sat there, and gave up. "Ro," I started, and Ro looked up at me, eyes full of tears.

"I didn't mean it," I said.

"I know you didn't," Ro said, her voice cracking. "But… I remember…" She stopped, and turned around on her pillow, her cries muffled up.

I sat awkwardly on her floor, and went back in the house. Sometimes Ro's sadness rubs off on me, and I couldn't stand being in the same room as her. I remember her story of her parents, the traffic, the sudden swing of the car, and then the fowl smell of death was all over the car. All on her 5th birthday while her parents were driving her to her birthday party.

"Oh, Ro," I thought out loud. "You've been through way too much."