Pebble-hood

Mom and Dad were fighting.


Again.


When people asked, I told them I didn't know what started it. I said it had always been like this, as long as I could remember. Part of that was true. But part of it wasn't.


I remembered when we'd been happy. It had just been the three of us then, before Eric and Jessie came along. I was just a toddler, but I remember a day when Mom and Dad took me to a park. We ate a picnic and they played with me, Mom helping me up the stairs to the slide and Dad catching me at the bottom. I remembered them smiling and laughing, if only vaguely; it wasn't a sight I'd seen since.


I lost track of what the screaming was about. Sometimes I listened with interest, but other days I just let the shrill, angry voices flow over me. I am a rock, I told myself as I did this. I am a rock at the bottom of a river of hatred that flows over me, slowly wearing me away but not able to pick me up and move me anywhere.


There was one problem with this metaphor. Rocks could never get up and move anywhere by themselves, even if they wanted to. They had to sit at the bottom of the river until they were worn down to tiny little pebbles.


Or perhaps this was what made the metaphor most effective. Much though I wanted to resist, I could feel myself approaching pebble-hood. There was only one reason I even tried anymore. Sometimes I nearly lost track of why I was still holding out.


But that never lasted long. Jessie always started sobbing before I could forget.


I had a family to hold together.





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