On family and all that is left at 7 pm

His kidneys failed, I’m told. The both of them. Tubes crisscross over and under his bed in a room crowded with empty seats, fuzzy television screens, useless nightstands, and a whiteboard that reads: “Goal: Increase activity”.

The lights are turned off and it’s 7 pm.¬†Flash back to the days when we were young and restless.

With muddied hands (mama told us to stay away from the puddles but we never listened) we run to the kitchen sink without making eye contact. Because once we make eye contact, mama gives us that look that means we’d better be in bed in less than five. She asks whether we’re tired. “No,” we say, but we are. We are just too young and too proud to admit it. And at 7 pm, the lights go off.

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