Well Met By Moonlight - Page 9

“How long did this go on?” she asked so softly that I almost didn't hear her.

“Until I was five or so,” I answered, “right before I started school was when Mom . . . took care of things.”

She clearly didn't like my answer, but she asked, “How?” anyway.

“For all his faults,” I began, “Dad wasn't much of a drinker, but he did tend to drink on the anniversary of Mom's death.” I paused, not sure how to proceed, thinking that she really wasn't going to like this answer. “For obvious reasons, she was furious with him at this point, and even more so since that night he forget to get a babysitter for me before heading out to the bar . . .”

“Wait!” she interrupted. “He left you alone?” she asked in angry disbelief.

“No!” I said with a laugh which took me by surprise. “But he would have if Mom hadn't been there, and by the time he got home she was as mad as I'd ever seen her. Mom started reading him the riot act as soon as he came through the door, and let me tell you, Mom did not mince words even though I could hear her.”

A thin-lipped nod was her only response.

“But I wasn't the only one who could hear her that night” I continued with a shake of my head. “Dad could too, and by the time it was all over, I was the one comforting him.” I lapsed into silence at the memory.

“Then what happened?” she prompted after a bit.

“Not much,” I was startled into admitting. “I stopped talking to him about ghosts, and he stopped hitting me.”

“Just like that,” she said, sounding skeptical.

“Just like that,” I repeated. “After that he was an okay dad by comparison . . . right up until the day he left for work and stepped off the platform into the path of an oncoming train.”

Page 9

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