Mom insists I drink my medicine. She hands me the mini measuring cup, filled with two ounces of ooze.
Her and Dad argue. I can hear it through my wall. I cover my ear with my pillow. It doesn’t help.
She stares at me, waiting for me to drink the syrup. She looks so tired.
Something crashes and breaks. Dad gasps. Mom is breathing heavily. Their door slams and footsteps pound down the hallway and upstairs. I hear them above me, until they leave the house entirely. The other pair of feet quietly follows. I am alone.
I stare at the milky liquid. I tilt the cup, and it slowly shifts to follow. I look back up at Mom. The motel light above us flickers. She sighs. “I won’t make you drink it, sweetie.” She steps into the doorway. “I’m going shopping. Be good.” She leaves.
I tilt my head back and drink the medicine. It’s bitter and my head shakes at the taste.