part one of three

Photo origin
giorgia napoletano

I walked through
lights strung up
And pink balloons
The party long over
I knew Ellen would be outside
She loved lights
Then I saw her
Coloring in her Frozen
coloring book

“Hey there, kid
what are you coloring?”

She looked at me and shook her head
“If you don’t know
Then I can’t tell you”

Hey i like your balloons and lights out here
Pretty cool party …
Happy birthday,by the way
I’m sorry mom couldn’t be here”

She didn’t miss a beat
Of coloring
And writing
Lines with an ink
Pen into the pictures
“I don’t like pink
And I’m 11
You can stop calling me
‘Kid’ now” She doesn’t talk to anyone
Not anymore
So it’s hard to miss her
You know?
you should have a dog
Since you moved
I bet you could get one
A big golden retriever”

I laughed and shook my head
Sitting down beside her in the grass
“Nah what would I do with a dog?
Besides I need a cat
They’re smaller
And have personality”

She glared at me
“You’re the dumbest..
I bet a girl made you
Like cats too
Didn’t you learn anything at college?”

She started coloring again
“I think mom is having an affair
She’s real happy after we all go to bed
Talking on the phone
And going on the computer…
She’s hysterical
Like the girls at school.”

I was shocked
How much she could pick up on

I tried to be sarcastic
But this was exactly why I came home
Dad had called last Friday
And asked me to for a weekend
“Just a weekend”
he’d said “to feel things out…I’m worried”

When I went back inside
I found mom fixing a plate
“Hey when did you get back?”
I asked

She looked tired
And older
“Just got in dear,I’m going to go lie down for a while.It was a long flight.”
She stopped and gave me a warm hug
“I’m glad you’re here,it’s good for Ellen.I don’t think she has many friends at her new school.”

I tried to smile
“I like the new house mom…I’ll talk to you in the morning.”

She waved her hand walking up the stairs …”ok dear”

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