Carpet and bare walls

30 Jul

They always bickered who would pick up, and who would drive home. The Sunday visit to Dad’s house. Last time Mom picked us up, so this time she had to drop us off.I thought about my Dad’s new baby  as we drove. Judy had a baby boy. They named him Michael. We weren’t allowed near him. Last time I was there we just sat on the cement steps out front. I noticed a pale blue egg on the ground under the Oak tree.I went over to see it and there was a baby bird with hardly any feathers.It looked naked and almost transparent. I scooped it up and ran for the front door, screaming “Dad”!  He opened the door, “Shhhushing” me right away, then Judy showed up behind him. Excitedly I explained that I found this baby bird, and can we help it. Maybe it wasn’t dead, and could he please look at it, and can I keep him. “Get her out of here” was the shrill voice of hate paralyzing me with fear. Judy pointed her finger back outside, mumbling about germs and disease as she slammed shut the door. As we drove,I hoped this week would be different. I smelled my hands and arms, I still smelled like soap. My clothes were clean, my hair was pulled back, and I was silently praying Judy would be nice and let me see the new baby.

Our car came around the curve and slowed to a stop, out in front of our Dad’s house. We all saw it at the same time. Before my Mom could put it in park, the four of us kids jumped out of the car. We stared in disbelief at the SOLD sign on the front yard of their empty house. All curtains were gone. I ran up to the windows and cupped my eyes to see in. Carpet and bare walls. No sign of my father, or Judy, or a baby boy named Michael ever living there.It was completely empty. I saw my reflection in the window and I could see that I wasn’t even crying. But, inside was the loudest, wailing, silent scream that nobody ever heard, as we piled into the car to drive back home.

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