Begin the story here…

We began to re-reorganize the pots and pans and coffee filters back to their original places. It brought to mind my mother. She had always had a knack for organization and always told me so. I had, according to her, never been very good at organizing. And it was with satisfaction that I slid the coffee can and the colander back where I had originally put them. She would probably say they were in the wrong place, that it would be much easier if I put the coffee over in the other cupboard and the colander over by the sink. But I didn’t care. I would put the things where I wanted.


The next morning as I set about making coffee, however, I found the kitchen rearranged once more. This time I told Olivia that she was not allowed in the kitchen unless I was there. And she stomped back to her room without complaint. I walked by her room the whole weekend listening at her door. My hand would reach for the door knob, but I found myself hesitating as if I knew I was not wanted there. It made me sick to my stomach. As Monday came around and it was time for Olivia to go to preschool that morning, I found we had hardly spoken three words to each other all weekend.

“I don’t want to go,” Olivia protested.

“What? I thought you were starting to like school,” I answered turning around in the driveway. Olivia was still standing in the doorway. Her little nose was the only spot touched by the sun.

“Come on, now, or we’ll both be late!” I argued with her. But she did not move. “Olivia, I mean it. We have to go now.” In response she simply looked me in the face and shook her head. I marched back, intending only to grab her little hand and close the door behind her, but as I tried to close the door, her fingers refused to move. She screamed. Little beads of tears came rolling down her cheeks.

Her middle finger would bruise. But it had not broken the skin. The worst of it was the shock. She stood there staring at her own finger and back at me with a look of horror in her eyes that I had done this to her.

*This is part 9 of the story. Continue to the next part…

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