• I sat on the cold hard seats, drumming my fingers against the plastic. Fighting back the tears, I stood up as the teacher approached.
    "She's in the classroom." The teacher paused. "You'll be taking her home?" She asked, apprehensively.
    "Yes." I said, quietly. "She'll be back when... when it's stable." I said, struggling to find the words.
    "I understand." She said, smiling. I nodded, and she turned to the classroom. I followed, silently, wondering how to explain this.
    "Hey Laura." I smiled when I saw her.
    "Hey Laney." She said, grinning up at me, and it broke my heart to tell her.
    "Mommy's in some trouble, Laura, so you have to come home now." I said, chewing my lip.
    "Trouble?" She said, giggling. I shut my eyes, trying to remember that Laura was only 6. How do you phrase something like this in a way a six year old understands?
    "Mommy got hurt, honey." I said, slowly.
    "Oh." She said, and the tears started to well up in her eyes. I wrapped my arms around her. My little sister. She sobbed, her frail body leaning against me as I held her.
    "It's going to be okay." I said, stroking her hair. It wasn't, but we'd work it out somehow. The tears I'd been trying so hard to hold back leaked out, dampening her soft brown hair. "C'mon, lets get you home." I said, holding her hand tightly. We left, and the taxi took us home to an empty house.
    "Now what?" She said, sitting down, clearly upset.
    "I've phoned dad." I said, after a pause.
    "But dad left!" She said.
    "I know, I know... but he's all we've got." I told her.