Marley's Migraine- Part 2

About a year ago, I started posting something I said would be serial story, something I’d post each month in a handful of installments until the whole story was told.  I originally composed this story to read aloud at a writing competition and the many migraineurs in the crowd said it really resonated with them—that’s when I decided to share it with you all, my readers.  And then, well, I forgot to keep posting.

So, to refresh your memory, here’s  a link where you can read what we’ll call Chapter 1 of “Marley’s Migraine”: 

And below, without further ado, you’ll find mini-chapter two.  I promise I’ll continue to post these monthly. The story, as a whole, is short, so it’ll only take a few months for us to reach the end of this story.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 4:18 AM

Marley wakes with a start, the blue light of the TV flickering, her mouth sour.  It’s always disconcerting, waking up at this time of night.  The streetlight outside burns orange and her desk lamp stark white.  Her dad must have thrown the afghan over her when she passed out after school; now it’s scratchy and hot against her skin and she shakes it off.

She furtively looks around her as she wipes drool off her chin. Most of the pain is gone. Her stomach has stapled in on itself: hunger pangs pulled her from sleep and now dizziness is hitting her in waves. Marley stands shakily and creaks open her bedroom door, peering down the hall.

4:21 AM

The fridge, as usual, is filled with things that strike her as inedible.  What does one do with a Tupperware full of kale?  She opens the snack drawer and spots the Kraft singles and margarine:  grilled cheese it will be.  It’s the only thing she knows how to make with the stove, if you don’t count heating up canned soup.

Marley unwraps two slices of plasticky cheese and plops them between two slices of plasticky white bread.  The margarine sizzles; she lifts the handle of the pan and twirls her wrist so the yellow pad zooms around the periphery, becoming smaller and smaller until it’s morphed into bubbles. As the sandwich cooks, the rich smell of the margarine hits her at once and her stomach lets out a loud growl. There are a few Kraft singles remaining; hastily, Marley unwraps them and shoves the cheese into her mouth, eager to quell the discomfort in her stomach.

4:32 AM

Marley looks at her backpack, slumped on a kitchen chair, still unopened.  Sighing heavily, she stands up, puts her paper plate in the trashcan, and rinses her hands quickly, not bothering to use soap.  She wipes her hands on her pants and heaves the backpack up, thumping it on the table.  Her mom has taken to leaving the kitchen light on at night, knowing that Marley will probably be working alone at the table hours after everyone else has gone to bed. It’s already so lonesome for you, says Marley’s mom, I don’t want it to be dark and cold, too.


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