Sandra sat on the bed and took Charlie in her arms.
“Are you okay?”
Charlie drew her knees to her chest and hugged them. She said nothing for some time, then, “There was a girl named Leelah – Leelah Alcorn, only that wasn’t the name her parents gave her. She was trans like me and her parents didn’t believe her either.”
Charlie looked her mother in the eye. “One night, Leelah took a walk along a highway. When she heard an eighteen-wheeler approaching behind she stepped in front of it.”
“No!” her mother cried, holding Charlie as tight as she could. Sandra couldn’t stop the tears as they began to fall, or the sobs. “Don’t think that, Charlie, please!”
But Charlie continued, as if unaware of her mother’s embrace. “That was all I could think of as everyone flew past me on Manning Road.”
Manning was a residential road notorious for speeders.
Her voice became crisp with anger, “All I had to do was step to the left and this is done with!”