Another excerpt from this year’s NaNo story, The Law of Immediate Forgiveness. Amy June Pilgrim gets some distressing news from her mother, Lisa Marie.
“Your father called, Amy. At least, I think it was him.” Lisa Marie let out a long, slow breath. “I haven’t heard his voice in five years. But it sure sounded like him.”
“What did he say?”
“He didn’t say much. Funny, like you, first he asked for his dad. I wonder how he knew Marq was living here?” Lisa Marie focused on something far away, behind Amy June. “I couldn’t believe it, Amy. I just couldn’t believe it.”
“What did you tell him? What did he say? Is he here? Is he coming back?” Amy June couldn’t believe how her mother was dragging this out. Her father had called! He was alive, he was somewhere he could call, and he wanted to call them! Why on earth wasn’t her mother rushing around, finding him, bringing him back? What did grown-ups think, time was infinite or something?
Slowly Lisa Marie focused on her daughter’s face. She seemed to be coming back from some other place and time. “What? Oh, he hung up before we could talk about anything like that, kiddo. As usual, your father heard that he wasn’t going to get what he wanted – to talk to Marq – and so he split. Made like a banana and split. Hung up on me, even. The bastard.”
Amy June burst into tears. She stayed perched on the kitchen stool where her mom had sat her down, held herself around her rib cage, and sobbed.
“Oh, honey,” her mom said. “Remember what I told you before. Your dad’s leaving was a deliverance. I just didn’t want to keep this a secret from you. You’re old enough now to know about this kind of thing.” Lisa Marie touched her daughter’s knee. “Don’t cry. Pull yourself together. I’ll bet your grandpa will be back any minute, ready for his game of hide and seek.”
That really did it. Her grandpa’s disappearance, the notes, her throbbing ankle, and now her mother’s news that her dad had called, and then disappeared again as quickly as hanging up the phone, it all overwhelmed Amy June. She stumbled off the stool and ran upstairs to her room, slamming the door, and laid on her bed, staring at the moon out her window, watching the clouds cover and uncover it as the wind blew them through the valley.
For the first time, she wished she were dead.