The leaves on the trees were still tender when he left, nibbled each morning by the deer that came to graze in the areas left too long neglected by the course owner and his mower.
Janelle pulled her sweater closer to her body as she swished the end of her nightdress through the ankle high grass on the way across the lawn to move the sprinkler, the earth under her feet cool and moist with the morning dew. The ground became more sodden as she put one foot before the other, not thinking about the mud squikking up between her toes or the grit under her nails as she overestimated the thickness of the hose when she clutched at it with an unthinking hand.
She dragged it to the nearest piece of concrete – just far enough to keep it from leaving a permanent scorch mark on her lawn – then padded back into the house to wash the grime off her feet.
All of this action, done in a fugue. There was no room in her mind for thoughts – the red wall of rage had been washed away with tears and was no longer the vibrant screaming presence it had been. Now her mind was white noise.
The children would be up soon. She would have to consider breakfast. She bent to get the Bisquick from the cupboard – long neglected as it was, family pancake Sundays a thing of the past for quite a long time, now – and ignored the twinge in her back. She was going to have to muscle through, no matter how bad it got.
“Pancakes!” The squealing voice accompanied the thumping of six-year-old feet and a full-body tackle-hug – or at least as much of her full body the little guy could reach. “Thank you for making pancakes, Mommy!”
They laughed together and got milk and forks and plates, but there was not enough milk in the world to wash down even a single bite of those pancakes.
THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY! THANKS FOR READING!