The Pearson’s became my second set of parents when I was a freshman in college. I had found their ad hanging in the student union, that they needed a baby sitter for their son Jake. I jumped at the chance to earn some extra money. Jake and the Pearson's liked me from day one – and the feeling was mutual. Mrs. Pearson, or Susan as she preferred to be called, had always been rail thin, she attributed it to all the running she did. She like her husband was a doctor, working at the infirmary at my school. Mr. Pearson had his own private practice. He was a round man, with a brush over like Donald Trump. And then there was my boy Jake. With his bleach blond hair and bright blue eyes, his rosy cheeks looked like apples fresh from the tree. He was the most adorable baby, and had grown into a handsome little 1st grader. I never really understood why the Pearson’s never had more children. The house they lived in was massive, far too much space for the three of them.
The holidays were always spectacular. Susan always did her own decorating even though Mr. Pearson insisted that they hire someone. Susan insisted that hiring someone would take the fun out of Christmas, and would take away from her own personal touches. I think Susan ignoring Mr. Pearson’s wishes to hire a decorator disturbed him. He always had the need to control everything and everyone around them.
The Pearson’s always had the biggest tree and the brightest decorations ever – however two years ago a fire broke out in their attic, and all the decorations were destroyed, Susan never was the same after that. She said that there were treasures up there from her parents and grandparents; things that could never be replaced. Every year since then, Christmas was just a little bit different, not as many decorations and the lights not as bright. The outside lights that wrapped the house and the trees that lined the driveway were no longer lit.
I was always invited over; I brought Susan and Mr. Pearson gifts and far too many for my boy Jake. They were always good to me and treated me like their own. But every year since that fire, things just seemed different, and this Christmas was the icing on the cake.
The Pearson’s always had an extensive list of friends who came for Christmas dinner, but like everything else at their house, since the fire, that list got smaller each year. Haddy McPherson, was new on the invite list this year. I had never heard of her or seen her face. Trust me; Haddy has one of those faces, and a crackly voice, you could never forget.
“Muerto”, he whispered.
My thoughts of the Pearson’s had been interrupted by a small voice that whispered to me the word “death”.
I looked down to see whose voice it was, to my surprise it was my boy Jake.
500 words based on a sentence selected by Dive