I could always tell how a day would go with it's smell. The morning that smelt of roses, my sister Rosie, the light in my dark world was born. The day that had smelt like soured milk, my dad had lost his job. I felt sick to my stomach when this morning smelt like rusted pipe. I knew it was going to turn out very badly. The only other thing I know that smelt like this morning did was blood and the thought of getting hurt or having someone close to me get hurt made me want to hurl the content of my stomach into the toilet. My bed creaked when I stood up from it. I would miss that sound if it ever disappeared one day because its been there for as long I can remember. It might never disappear, on a second thought. My parents didn't even have enough money to pay the necessary bills not to think of fixing a little creak in my bed. My heart thudded heavily in my chest as I made my way around the house looking and calling for my mom and dad. I slid down a wall when I realized that I was alone. Again. The smell had some how gotten stronger and I had to crawl to the bathroom to throw the remains of my dinner up.\nRosie's cry that penetrated my foggy brain and jerked me out of my awful thoughts. It made me happy knowing I wasn't alone after all. I hadn't even bothered to check her crib thinking that my parents would have taken her with them to wherever it was they couldn't wait till I woke up to be at. I lifted her out of the crib and into my arms. Her smile made me cry. I prayed to whatever god was listening to keep this little one out of harms way for me. I prayed for that smile to never be wiped from her cute baby face. It was the weekend which meant no school. I took my bath with Rosie in her rocking chair positioned at the door which I had left open. I just didn't want anything happening to her while I was not looking so I had her where I could watch her even as I had my bath. I didn't close my eyes even though they hurt like hell because of the water running into them.\nRusted pipes, I wondered if she could perceive it too. I had already bathed and dressed her and was making her food when the phone started ringing. The churning of my stomach made me drop the sippy cup in my hand. I moved slowly towards the shrilling phone and lifted the receiver. \"Kents residence.\" I said. The questions were direct and straight to the point, the voice ladened with grief and sadness. I knew then that something had gone wrong. I was asked to wait in the house when I told whoever was at the other end that I was a thirteen year old with no driving license, no car, no money and a one year old baby girl. I waited and waited. I couldn't breathe, the air had become so dense with that rust smell that I even started to taste it in my mouth. I was already crying even before I heard the siren as a car drove into our drive way. I cradled my sister in my arms as I sat there, feeling sick to my toes. I thought I screamed when I saw the two uniformed officers at our door but I didn't. I just stared at them morosely with a baby in my hands. Something had happened to my parents, I could tell it. It had smelt like wet cardboard the day granny had the stroke that had paralyzed her, this was worse. When I didn't ask questions, Rosie and I were shuffled into the car with the repugnant smell and awful siren. Rosie cried all the way but nobody asked me to make her stop. All I got were pitiful glances. Nobody talked to me. When the car pulled to a stop, the female officer took Rosie from me amidst protests from us both, and the man took me to the most awful sight of my life. Fucking rusted pipes!\nMy parents car had been wrecked but I didn't throw up until the body bags were opened. I had to identify the lifeless body of my parents lying there like the carcass of h animals. I threw up until I had nothing left to throw up anymore and then I threw up some more. That was when my screaming started. I screamed until I was pulled away. The sight was so gory and nothing any child should see. They smelt of blood. That horrible smell of rust that wouldn't let me breathe were my parents' body lying on a bridge somewhere. I couldn't even ask what it had been they were rushing to. The lady officer kept repeating how sorry she was that I had to see that. My parents had no ID card on them and the telephone's number was the only one they could reach. There was really nobody else to do it since my parents were both the only child of their parents. But all that wasn't getting to me, the water under the bridge looked so blue and all I thought about was jumping into it. I would have, but my sisters cries jerked me back. She was crying and reaching for me. I don't know how but I ended up back in the car with Rosie in my arms. As I held her, I knew suicide wasn't the answer. I wasn't alone, I had this crying bundle of joy with me. It wasn't easy but I had to grow up at thirteen and become the mother she needed and the sister I was. Childcare system or not.\n\n

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