“It won’t be long until dark, Jade, so I ‘spect we should finish up our lemonade and get you goin’ on down the hill.”
“Yes, ma’am, Miss Ellen. Thank you for the lemonade and for being my friend.” I smiled at her and looked down at the kitchen floor. I noticed the checkered pattern and the way my shoes fit into the blocks just right. My bottom felt glued to her chair at the mention of ‘get goin down the hill’. I desperately wanted to walk down her hallway to her guest room and sleep one night without fear.
She clapped her hands together, waking me out of my daydream and gave me another big hug, squeezing me real good. It felt so nice to be wrapped in those loving arms. Really nice. I stepped down the porch steps and gazed in the direction of my house. My heart felt like the sun, sinking in the background. A flushed, golden haze covered the sky line and the lightning bugs began to sparkle. I still had a picture of my mama’s bruised face in my mind, so I listened intently for any commotion as I stepped into the yard. All seemed quiet at the Gentry house, I held my breath as my feet slid across the hardwood and gently turned the doorknob to my room. The screech of the door challenged the silence and I stood still and waited to see if the silence would speak. My heart chimed with the clock in the living room as I quietly released the door knob and clicked the lock. I hesitated, but no one stirred, perhaps the demons had grown sleepy. I had learned to be painfully quiet in order to not rouse them from their slumber. Rousing them could be most fearful.
Photo by Vintage Antique Door Red Fine