“I’m hungry,” squealed her three year old grand daughter, Marie. A chorus of echoes from her five year old daughter, Raye, and two year old grandson, Landis, followed. Audrina rubbed her bleary eyes, as she creaked off of the hard carpeted floor.
“How could they be so awake already?” she muttered to herself as she heard the clangs and bangs of pots and pans in the kitchen. Her husband, Aaron, must be fixing them something to eat. The sun didn’t even peak through the thin black curtains in her room yet. The clocks bright numbers flashed 7:03 am. Audrina stretched and began to fold up the blankets that her and her husband had slept on the night before.
They had been sleeping on the floor for a week now. Ever since she discovered that first horrible bug crawling into the edge of the bed. Immediately the bed had been torn out of their bedroom. They hauled it out to the fire pit and torched it. Large flames flickered through the air as their mattress, box spring, and couch burned to ash.
The devil bugs were back. At first all Audrina could do is hang her head and fight back the tears. They thought they had left them in the city. Left them long and far behind. The demonic little bed bugs that made the familiar “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” a horrible little saying that filled them with disgust.
When they had moved all their belongings were left behind. Only the few things that could fit in the dryer to kill off any bugs that may be hidden within them were brought. All things were bought new. New beds. New dressers. New couches. All that was left was to build the girls room and buy them beds. Now they had the horrendous bugs again.
Audrina knew how they got them. Though she knew there was no one to blame. Her stepdaughter had been living with them in the city. Likely carrying the bugs to her boyfriends house when she moved in with him. Only to be kicked out with her three children in the middle of the night. Barely enough time to gather their things. There was no time for drying. No time for searching. No time to rid her belongings of the horrible little things.
Her step daughter took the break up hard. Turning to whatever she could find to ease the pain of the head games she found herself trapped in. Soon, two of her children were living with Audrina and her husband, getting the love they needed while their mother, Audrina’s step daughter, learned to loved herself again. The third innocent child was being held hostage by his father in an ugly battle for custody. Along with the added children in Audrina’s home came the children’s stuff. Along with the children’s stuff came the horrendous bugs.
It was of no ones fault. Perhaps maybe the boyfriend who so heartlessly made her flee in the dark, cold hours of the middle of the night. Perhaps the very devil himself who cast such a hard life on such a young girl. Perhaps it was Audrina’s fault, for letting the busyness of her very life distract her from drying everything that got brought over.
Regardless, it didn’t stop her now. Despite the pain that coursed through Audrina’s body since the accident she feverishly washed and dryed, bleached and cleaned, tossed and burned everything that she could. Plans for the girls bedroom were put on hold. No sense building more space for the bugs to invade.
“Mommy! You’re awake!” shrieked Raye.
Audrina groaned. Yes, she was awake, but not nearly enough to handle the exuberance that these children demanded. Of course, Marie and Landis followed closely behind Raye. Shoving the last of the clothes into the washing machine, Audrina turned to the children, “Yes I am, “she said, dryly.
It was the start of another day, and Audrina was far from ready for it.