The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Written at Inglis, Dec. 2013.   Lori (center) with her brother and sister-in-law.

The sun glints on my hot pink nails as I pull back the heavy door to Klein’s Market.

“Hi, Mom.”

She glances down at my nails, then back up, smirking.  "Hi baby girl.”

Her voice is soft, like always.  I have to strain to hear it above the din of the market.  She’s dressed in her white uniform and white apron.  I step back as a customer arrives.  She scoops him Utz potato chips from the big metal can, weighs them – taking a few off now, putting one back on – and makes his change. “You know,” she says to me.  ”I saw you this morning.”

Now that I’m older, I realize: she always knew.  I used to hide out by the creek before school, wait there for her car to go by, then sneak back to the house and play hooky.

For a half-second I’m worried, but then she fills another bag with chips and passes it to me, smirking, and I know she’s going to let me slide again.

She always knew

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