- Vol. 03
- Chapter 08
Image by Jean Cooke
Just Because She Comes Back“It’s not nice to stare, honey.” She takes my arm. “Come lets go… It looks like it’s gonna rain.” My body listlessly follows, but I can’t help looking back.
“Is Daddy going to meet us there?” We’re going to our summerhouse. We go every July.
“I told you. He’s not coming anymore.” Her tone has changed. I look back one last time. All I can make out is a familiar spec in the distance.
“Why not mommy?” The clouds darken and some drops fall on my dangling arm. She’s still holding on.
“Shoot. Come on we really have to go!” We quickly climb up the stairs running along the side of our summerhouse. As soon as we get inside, thunder claps- she looks distraught. “We almost got caught.”
I press my face to the window. The cold rain colors my cheek as I breathe white fog on the glass. She unpacks my bathing suits, tanks, crocs, shorts, panties, and back-ups too. I struggle to write in the glass my fathers name. L. c. c. I got my e’s and c’s mixed up again. I haven’t practiced my spelling in a while. We don't have time to anymore. It should say Lee.
“Hun, what are you doing?”
“I’m just looking for that lady…” She reminds me of my father.
“Don’t go near that lady, sweety. She is not a good lady.” She comes over to me and bends down on her knees. “There are some people who don’t treat people nicely.” She kisses me on my cold cheek and walks to the kitchen counter.
“Why? Is she sad about something?” The last time I saw my father he was crying.
Just Because She Comes Back“Some people are bad just because.” She comes back down to me. “Promise me you wont talk to her ever.” She notices my window drawing and wipes it, letter by letter, with her thumb. The rain stops.
“I promise mommy.”
Later that night, after she tucks me into bed and reads me a story, I over hear her talking on the phone. Her pacing blocks me from hearing clearly.
“I can’t ta…
He’s everywhere! Everywhere I lo…
Even today, A spitting image…
Even… ...saw it.
She doesn’t stop asking about…” She starts to cry.
I give up listening and try to sleep.
But the lady is on my mind.
Her wide eyes are just like mine.