TITLE: FUGITIVE FAMILY
GENRE: COMMERCIAL LITERARY
It took Tuesday two days to notice her father had moved out. Their paths didn't cross much at home so his absence revealed itself in subtle ways. The framed picture of her family at the beach, the one with Tuesday's legs covered in sand and shaped into a mermaid's tale, vanished from its usual perch atop the end table in the living room. Her dad's chipped Pasadena City College coffee cup disappeared from the drying rack by the sink. The front hallway became a leather junkyard of discarded purses and shoes. When her mother started smoking indoors, something her father expressly forbid, Tuesday finally thought to ask, "Where's Dad?"
"Sit down, honey," her mom said, motioning with her cigarette to the seat across from her at the kitchen table. Her ash fell to pieces on the stained tablecloth. Tuesday sat in the wooden chair, which creaked under her weight, and looked out the window at the colorless morning sky. A hummingbird floated up to the empty feeder hanging under the porch awning and then disappeared.
Tuesday waited for her mom to talk but she was too busy examining the raw edges of her fake nails. Another clump of cigarette ash dropped, this time on her mom's skirt, causing her to jump up and brush herself off. She reached into a cabinet, pulled down a purple glazed ceramic bowl and placed it between them on the table. Her mom tapped her cigarette into it and said, "Your father left us."