Can I Be – Flash Fiction

Can I Be
Flash Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart

Can I Be

As seen in the nine years old boy’s diary before his death-

‘I didn’t know I was bad. I felt it once but I made it go away. Jan 14.

I found out I am not bad. I saw bad today. That is not me.  Jan 21.

I had a good day. My uncle took me to a movie. When I came home he told me he was sorry. Feb 6.

I think I’d like not to be here anymore.  Feb 22.

I did what I was told. I don’t know who else to tell. Feb 28.

Today was good. I was told I could go to school again. I want to go to school again. I want to learn and read books. March 3.

My covers aren’t enough.  March 4.’

The boy was found dead March 5. The boys diary contained notes and drawings.

(edited timeline error.)

Little Guy

I tell Gavin I have much to show him. I pick him up and tell him I’ll show him the world. I walk him out of his room and down the hallway into the kitchen, then the living room. I open the sliding glass door. I step onto the deck.  I tell Gavin, ‘This is the beginning of the entire world.’

It's on the tip of his tongue.  His question about the world.
It’s on the tip of his tongue. His question about the world.
I answered his question.  He was pleased. Cheers.
I answered his question. He was pleased. Cheers.

He’s bright and happy. No more fever and all is well.

I read our infant Ernest Hemingway books

I’m reading The Old Man and the Sea to Gavin. Generally I read to him when we put him down to sleep. Gavin enjoys talking at us with a few words only he truly understands. Megan and I feel we have learned five of them to the best of our ability. Either way, we talk back, and he makes funny faces and smiles often.

I’ve chosen an Ernest Hemingway book to be the first full book I read to him because I believe infants need to hear words. Many of them. Not just, cat, dog, and hi baby. I think they are able to stuff these brilliant sounds into their growing brains far better than we know. We humans, especially adults, love to think we know everything. Then, we look at blooming teenagers and remind them they don’t know everything. Scratch that, I will never tell a teenager they don’t know everything because it’s possible they do and it’s possible I know so little that maybe I ought not be like all the adults I believed I truly knew more than.

Anyway, we read to Gavin. The first time I opened the book I told him who Ernest Hemingway was and when he was born. I then told him he wrote many books, one of which is the book I was now going to read to him. Gavin feel asleep after the first paragraph. He’s rebounded nicely and seems to listen for much longer stretches of time before nodding off into his dream land.

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Gavin- p.s. Three nurses came to visit you yesterday. Megan wanted to learn how to stretch your little body so you could grow perfectly well. We learned a few interesting things about you. The nurses did a number of tests. It turns out all of the fun facial expressions you’ve been making, and the number of words you’ve created and use are what’s considered to be advanced. I don’t care what tests say about a person. But, I thought you might like to know.  One of the categories you were tested on was called expressive communication. Normal values were from 40-60. You scored a 73. They also said you’re very handsome and that we should send your picture to Gerber. So, now your mother is sending your picture to Gerber.

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Isn’t it odd that our society is attaching test scores to you? You aren’t yet two months old. We’ll talk about test scores and society much more. Just remember, it’s important to be happy and to truly know yourself. Society hasn’t gotten there yet…so be careful when talking heads lean in closely to speak in your direction.

I’m rambling. I’m going to post this now and then go kiss your forehead. You’ll most likely grunt.