Short Stories
Bacon isn’t Always the Best
Bacon sandwiches always remind me of my father. Dead and gone, before he got into the fire, he used to eat them almost every night. “One day, you’re going to die of a heart attack,” my mother used to tell him. They say that he was born with a BLT in his hand, and he died with one his hand. The firefighter that found him said so. And that’s how the fire started. Bacon.
They don’t understand. Natalie and James didn’t care when he died. They just went to his funeral and sprang out their crocodile tears. “Oh, this has been such a struggle for me, oh, I loved him so much! I wish I got to say goodbye!”
Fakers. Fakers. Fakers. They hated dad.
Now lunch rooms make me itch. Food is everywhere, bacon is all over people’s sandwiches, and that makes me want to cry.
He used to make them for me after my tennis matches. He used to make them for my birthday parties, and put tiny, frilly little toothpicks in them. He taught me how to fry bacon, cut lettuce and tomato, and toast bread. And now it all makes me want to cry.
I know I shouldn’t. I should be a big girl, tough it out, live and forget about him. But everything makes me think about him. Every movie he liked, every band he jammed to in the car. It makes me want to scream.
And he’s gone. He’s gone. And it’s my fault.
It’s all my fault. I had to get him to stay in the house instead of going to my tennis games. Because I was mad. I’m such a jerk. And now that small little mistake cost him his life.
That day I was mad at him. And now he’s dead. He’s dead. He’s dead. And it’s all my fault.
“It’s not your fault…” A little voice whispers in my ear. The voice sounds familiar. Then, I realize, it’s mine.
“It was my fault.” I’m not lying. It was my fault. “No, Casey, it wasn’t. Stop procrastinating. It wasn’t your fault.”
“It is! It really is!” I scream at the nothingness of the empty room.
His little faded picture seems to appear, his small smile, his plaid shirts, his jeans. He’s dead. And it’s all my fault.
“No, it’s not!” the little voicer screams again. Why did I tell him not to go? Why did I not check the fryer? Why? Why? “It’s not your fault, Casey! Stop!” I cry and cry and cry.
I turn around to where I thought I heard the voice. His voice. But nothing is there.
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