So I was all excited about fixing the treehouse up, for the boys. Then I find out that Agnes was all excited about tearing it down. This explains all the sudden, secret appointments she's had this past week. It’s a hazard, an eyesore, a burden she’s been trying to figure out since they moved here. All what, 18 months ago? There’s dust inside it that’s older than that. She said she got a good price to raze it and build something new and wanted me to help with that. She revealed this like she was announcing we were all going to the moon for a birthday party.

It was chaos. We both started talking at once, the boys were sobbing. My poor mother just sat there, not knowing what to do.

I said, “There's no need to destroy it, it’s completely structurally sound, it just needs some cleaning up,” and she snapped back, “How would you know?” And I said I just went over there and looked, it’s just a matter of taking the time, which then got her yelling about being a single mother and not having any time, and since when did I care about that treehouse, and I yelled back about her not caring that her children cared about it, and we were just going back and forth and...then she said someone who ignored her own family for a job she then couldn’t keep shouldn’t have so much to say about caring.

And it went dead quiet. I could feel my mother’s eyes on me but I was glaring so hard at Agnes that I hoped her stupid hair would catch fire. She grabbed the kids and ran out. In the corner behind where she had been sitting, I was not surprised to see a red glow. Of course he was there. I know he heard me earlier.

But I was preparing myself for a fight with my mother. I was thinking, this is why I work so hard and shut everyone out. It’s so much easier. This pretty much made the decision for me, to crawl back to Hennerson across the country and after a few awkward days showing them I am fine, I can have peace again. Just, leave all of this back here where it belongs, I don't need any of it.
But she just looked at me. The silence was unexpected. Eventually I said, “I’m getting everything under control.” And she held up a hand to cut me off and said, “Ayaw.”


Everything in my head shut up immediately, like I had gotten splashed with cold water. The red light had gone, too.

"I'll fix it," I said.

I'll bring these over to Agnes tomorrow.

I'll bring these over to Agnes tomorrow.