Chapter 3: Stories Told


Davey was under the kitchen table, flipping through a picture book. Mommy had dressed him up so that he could go out with Daddy and Karl. He had already eaten breakfast and had been sitting with his backpack next to the door. Then Davey got bored and crawled under the table. He was nearing the end of the book when the phone rang.

Mommy picked it up before it rang a second time.

Davey lifted the table cloth a bit, just enough that he could see Mommy.

"Where are you?" Mommy said.

She had been washing the dishes and still held one of the blue rags in her hand.

"You can't keep disappointing him like -" Mommy walked away, towards the living room but the house was quiet and Davey could hear everything. "I don't care about what happened last time, you're supposed to be spending time with your son."

Davey scooted closer to the table leg. He dragged his book after him. It was the one Daddy had got for his birthday and he had wanted to show Daddy how much of it he could read.

"Frank, I'm not going to tell you again," Mommy said, her knuckles turning white around the rag in her hand. "If you can't make him a priority, you have no right to be part of his life."

Mommy slammed the phone back into the cradle and sighed.

Davey crawled out from the table, dragging his book with him, and stared up at Mommy. "He's not coming." Davey said.

"No, he's not." Mommy kneeled down next to him, her flowery dress spread across the off white tile floor. "I'm sorry, baby."

Davey frowned and threw the book on the ground. "He's a liar."

Mommy smiled at that, like the way she smiled when she was mad with someone else but didn't want them to get mad. "How about we go out instead?"