Teeth

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Chapter 20 - Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy Jig

Chuck and I rode quietly together back to Wendi’s house to pick up Andrea. Theaters profess silence is golden before every movie, but I disagree. Silence is nothing, not worth the amount of copper a penny’s made of. I see my marriage playing in frames quickly moving and turning into long episodes of silence interrupted by bits of yelling and accusation.

Palm trees and lush plants flashed by my car window blurring into green and gold and brown. The blue sky was constant, and the green mountains in the distance grew larger. Everything around me was paradise. The hum of the car’s engine and the vibration of the tires on the road lulled my body into a state of relaxation. I should be happy.

We finally pulled up to Wendi’s apartment complex, and my relaxed state was broken when the Mazda’s engine sputters off. It took three sputters before the engine finally dies. Chuck got out. He waited for me to get out.

I wait.

“Are you comin’?” Chuck asked.

“Will you just run in and get Andrea?” I asked hoping to avoid Wendi and admitting how mean I was earlier.

“No,” Chuck said and crossed his arms across his chest. “You come, too.”

“Fine,” I said as I got out of the car and barreled toward the stairs. I reached Wendi’s door first and banged on it. Wendi answered the door a few moments later with Andrea in her arms, asleep.

I looked at Andrea while she slept in Wendi’s arms. Her tufts of rabbit-soft blonde hair flew into the air. Her curling eyelashes sat on her pale cheeks. Her pink lips sucked as if she was drinking her bottle. I told Wendi how sorry I was about how I acted earlier. Andrea stirred slightly as I pulled her into my arms. She nuzzled against my breast. This is why I am here.

“It’s okay, Lilian,” Wendi said as she noticed the resolve on my face. Chuck grazed past both of us and retrieved the baby bag from the couch.

“Thanks for watchin’ her, Wendi. How much do we owe ya?”

Wendi looked at Andrea’s face and ran her finger along her cheek. As if this was the last time she would ever see Andrea, Wendi said, “It’s no charge. Take care of that baby.” Wendi looked at me when she said this, and we understood that this really was the last time Wendi would see her.

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