I killed someone today, Mama. I didn't mean to, but I did, and she died. I'd been carrying her since the days in the hospital, since the last time I got to see you, before Jake and Laura took me away to live in this trailer-park nowhere in the middle of the desert, before I had to tell people that I was living with my stepdad and his girlfriend. I made her up, made up an aunt who wanted me and loved me, who wouldn't beat me or scream at me. I made her up and wrote her down, everything about her, on an imaginary street in an imaginary city, in the grand old state of California, because I remember I used to love it when we lived there.
And I killed her today, Mama. I lost my grip on her when Jake grabbed my arm and smacked my face for talking to a boy, and I ran off to hide until I knew he wouldn't kill me. I was sitting in a tree, looking at the paper, and I lost her. She blew out of my hands and into the river, and she drowned. The ink melted off of her name, and her address, and the paper swirled around and soaked through and went under, before I could do anything at all.
And I don't remember any more, Mama. I don't remember who she was or where she lived, and all I can see when I think of her is that muddy river pulling her under, taking her apart. She was the only friend I had, Mama. Jake says I'm too good for the other kids here, so he won't let me talk to them, but they dress me up like all of them, so the good girls, the real girls, the ones with a future like I used to have, they don't talk to me either. And now I killed my friend.
What am I going to do, Mama? Why didn't you take me with you when you died?
Now I think I'm going to get a little more sleep.