First Blood

I bolt awake, heart choking me. My daughter, taller than me in only twelve years, stands half in the moonlight. Trembling.

“What?”

“Something’s wrong,” she says, grabbing my hand. “Can you come with me?”

She leads me to the light, and suddenly I know. I tried to prepare her, but how could I?

“It’s your period,” I tell her, when she shows me.

She cries. I hold her close, my child who forever needs physical comfort over words.

“Can I still play basketball?”

So many times, I have told her anything will still be possible. In that moment, it’s all forgotten in the sight of the first blood.

I brush her hair back and tell her all of it again. She stops crying. I don’t let go.

When I tuck her into bed, I crawl in and pull her close. My child. My young woman.

——————

150 Words
Written for: Flash!Friday
Required Concept: Coming of Age
Photo Prompt:

Past and Present No 2, by Augustust Leopold Egg, 1858. Public domain photo.

Past and Present No 2, by Augustust Leopold Egg, 1858. Public domain photo.

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