Frannie and I sit under the apple tree, drinking store-bought apple juice in paper cups. I may only be ten, but the irony isn’t lost on me.
The grass hasn’t been mowed since the divorce; its long blades prickle my bare legs between my cut-offs and ankle socks. Frannie laughs at the birds as they flaunt their wings and sing. Frannie wears a sundress over ratty jeans and bare feet because Frannie wears what she wants. It takes a ferocious energy to fight with Frannie, energy Mom doesn’t have.
Mom appears in the kitchen window, washing the lunch dishes. If I stood behind her, I would hear plates and forks clanging together louder than usual. Dad, you’ve gone and wasted your one week of vacation, spent it with your new family in Disneyland, even though the three of us have waited for you all summer.
I wonder what a broken heart sounds like. I bet it makes a splacking sound. Not the crunch of lettuce between bread in the ham sandwiches we ate for lunch, or the crisp crrrrack-plop of an egg against the frying pan, but the mushy splat of a rotten apple falling from the tree.
Sarah David is a Teaching Assistant at Northern Michigan University where she is studying Creative Writing and Pedagogy. She also teaches teenagers virtually and writes flash fiction and mysteries. Her short work has been published in Thrice Fiction and is forthcoming in ELM. When she has a free moment, she can be found splashing in Lake Superior with her two-year-old son.