TITLE: COUNTING CHANGE
Two hundred and forty five days ago, after my father left, I started counting all the changes in my life. The list is long.
Sixty days since Mama quit smoking. Two days till my first day of middle school. Fifty-eight days till my little sister Katie, turns six, and thirteen years till she can move out. One and eighty days since I cut my hair so short, anyone who doesn't know me, thinks I'm a boy.
Now Mama wants me to visit my father. And that's just not going to happen. I don't think she can make me.
Sixty-eight days after the accident, Mama found the first cross, planted upright in the very spot on our parking strip where Jack Donner slammed on the gas pedal instead of the brake. It's been sixty-nine days since Mama took the rough wood cross out of the ground and threw it in the woodpile to burn. Today, two hundred and sixty nine days later, there's a new cross on our lawn. It's the ninth one.
Mama takes a paint chip, Pink Boa, and sets it down beside our red kitchen cupboard. "I want that cross off the lawn."
"It's not on the lawn, Mama." I slide the red kitchen curtain back and catch sight of the new cross someone jammed into the same spot. This one is painted white. "It's on the parking strip."