As she watched the children playing, she began to relax a bit. She was never hugely comfortable anywhere; always, in the back of her mind, was the knowledge that things could go badly very quickly. And go badly they did.
As she relaxed, her grip on her treasure loosened a bit, and the smoothness of the glass caused it to slip from her grasp. A dance of lunacy ensued, as she grasped it, it slipped, she grasped it again, and it slipped again. She juggled it for a moment, and then, it dropped to the ground. To the cement surface of the carport. And the accompanying sound of shattered glass filled the immediate area. Everyone turned to look, and one of her most hellish nightmares occurred -- everyone staring at her. And she just knew, she knew, they were all laughing at her, every single one of them.
Her freckled cheeks grew beet red, she began to perspire, and she froze in place, wishing the ground would reach up and swallow her, protecting her from the gazes of the other kids. And as they just as quickly lost interest and went back to playing, the mommie came out of the house nearby. It was a mommie that didn't seem to like her very much. A mommie that came out a lot to send her on her way. Mother cub, protecting her own kids from the white trash that had come to play. Actually, most of the mommies were like that. They were always angry, and sending her away.
She didn't think it odd that all the other mommies were at home, because her mommie was at home too. But why didn't the other mommies sleep? Her mommie slept all day, and the babysitter came at night. Didn't all mommies sleep in the daytime? Why weren't these mommies in bed? Maybe that's why this mommie was mad. Maybe the noise woke her up. Her mommie was always really mad if she got woke up.
She didn't know why the mommies always told her to go home, but it made her ache inside every time -- and now was no exception. As the mommie came barreling out with a broom and dustpan, she pointed at the girl with the pale eyes and strawberry blonde hair, and said 'I told you to go home.'
The girl didn't move, but her gaze left the mommie's cold, angry face and moved down to her now shattered treasure. She noticed one large piece of glass with cold cream still intact, and she surreptitiously bent down and picked up the one piece left of her treasure as the mommie attacked the mess with her broom.
After the mess had been swept, the mommie looked back over at the girl, forlorn and carefully holding her piece of treasure. She came close to the girl and told her, as coldly and firmly as possible, to go away now and not to come back. And to throw away the trash before someone got hurt. Then the mommie marched back up to her home, calling her own kids as she went.
And with a crack, the screen door slammed shut, mommie and kids inside and safe from the trash. As the little girl stared at the door, the mommie turned around, and deliberately latched the screen door. She stood there behind the screen, yelling at the little girl to go away this minute and leave them alone.
The little girl stood there, aching deeply inside, tears welling in her eyes, blinking them back. Even at her tender age, she knew not to cry. She refused to let the tears come. But she couldn't hide the emotion in her eyes -- she had never been able to, and probably never would. Even without the tears, anyone could see what she felt if they just looked in her eyes. Like her mommie always said, 'you don't have to open your mouth, I can see the sass in your eyes.' When she got a little older, she learned how to hide her eyes, so that mommie and everyone else wouldn't see the sass there.
She stood there, still and quiet, for seconds more, looking at the back of the mommie as she disappeared behind the screen door. And then the little girl turned around, and slowly trudged away.