I walked down the hallway to my room. As I passed the bathroom, I saw my mother press her wedding ring into my father’s hand.
“I can’t take anymore,” she said. “I’ve had enough.”
He laughed at her and tried to give it back. I continued to the sanctuary of my bedroom and closed myself inside. It had seemed like they were getting along. Summers were always an easy time. I worried that the fighting would start again.
I awoke early the next morning to a dark, silent house. When I reached my hand into the bathroom to turn on the light, I ran up against something that should not have been there and withdrew in surprise.
Wearing a pink bathrobe cinched tightly at the waist, my mother emerged with a scowl on her face. She accused me of punching her in the stomach.
“You’re crazy!” I cried out indignantly.
She repeated the accusation and pushed past me.
“I didn’t even know you were in there,” I responded defensively.
But she had already slammed the door of her bedroom, leaving me to stand alone muttering to myself. I couldn’t wait to get out of the house. I hastily ate a bowl of cereal and got dressed without watching any TV. A weight lifted from my shoulders the moment I stepped outside.