They always say that you shouldn’t guard your children too closely. That if something was meant to happen to them, then there will be nothing you can do to stop it. Whether your child disappears from the front yard or gets on a school bus and never comes back, danger will always be around but if it wasn’t meant to be then you are safe. As I’m texting this, I wonder if this is what they meant.
I won’t say the obvious because you already know. I’ve never given you a reason to doubt that your little girl loved you. We’ve always been good…it was just a fight. I’ve always been mature about these things and I know we didn’t mean what we said to each other. You know I never meant what I said. At least I hope you do…
I need to hurry; I can hear it outside the bus.
It’s already gotten the other kids.
None of them even had time for this.
I think it’s true when they say “what’s meant to happen happens.” It’s ok…I’m not mad, I just thought that for one moment, you wanted to replace me. I know that I alienate you sometimes with the way I think, how fast I learn, how much older I act. But know that even though you believe I look down on you, you were always my parents and the baby will always be my little brother even if I never meet him.
…it’s on the bus now; I can see ten of its spidery feet. It can smell me so I know I don’t have long.
I won’t say the obvious but I will say what I should’ve said before I got on this bus.
Mom, Dad, I’m sorry…
None of this is your fault
Lily’s mother lowered the blood covered cellphone and looked at her husband. They, as well as the other parents, exited the blood splattered bus calmly. They stepped through the gore and carnage with indifferent faces, never even bothering to look back at the dried out husk of the creature that had taken their children, nor the limp body of their beautiful daughter…whose body was strangely bulged with something moving just beneath the skin. As they stepped onto the blacktop road and looked at each other, Lily’s father placed a caring hand on his wife’s womb.
“You can care about this one now; we don’t have to give this one up…”
“I know….but…” the wife looked back at the bus. “But sometimes…I wish she wasn’t born first.”
“Remember, honey, this is not our fault.”