• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 11

A Winter Afternoon

She gets the saucepan. The red stove plate is at nine. She has even pressed booster because dessert is soon. “He wants pudding. He gets pudding,” says Mummy. But he’s not even my real dad. I stop her hand halfway, pull her hand toward the door. I point to the snowy hillocks without snow angels. The stove plate is burning. A fiery red glares at us. Nine flashes on, off. She wins the fight.

The red circle ends its temper tantrum. She lowers the heat to six. Full cream milk and corn starch thicken like the snow outside. My mother’s hand flicks me away as if I’m an annoying red bug. I sit in a corner of the kitchen, where the hinges are loose and the door hangs. I bury my head in my knees and cry. When that doesn’t work, I think about the fiery cooktop and have a tantrum too.

The man that’s not my real dad bends down, smiles. “How bout we go make a snowman while the pudding cools?” I’m on a roll, so I say, “No snowmen. I want to make snow angels.” “Then snow angels it is,” says the man who could be my dad.