#67 I, Isabel Scheherazade have Robert Frost in my head even though it doesn’t fit exactly (or maybe at all) but it’s residing heart and brain-side even tho: “I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” (It’s the “made all the difference” that’s ringing a bell in me.)
Olivia. I pretend I’m lurching on the deck with my sextant. If he had been just a LITTLE bit off? I start to fall and catch myself (and my imaginary navigating tool). They would have been hundreds of miles away in this huge sea with no one around to rescue them.
Hmmmm, Olivia frowns and taps her front tooth with her pencil. She eyes me like she’s trying to see around the corner of my mind. This isn’t about Ernest versus Mr. Worsley, is it? It’s something else, I bet.
(Olivia talks like her family counselor sometimes; but I’m not dissing it. Having someone really listen to you? Like Olivia was for me? It helps you get a handle on stuff.)
It’s not about Ernest and Mr. Worlsey? I say. It’s about not being even a little off, you think?
Olivia nods. Like, you know…
Like for my parents.
So, we don’t change heroes after all. We get busy piling up the books and checking spelling, drawing pictures, and outlining them in black.
That night after Olivia leaves and we’ve done all our supper, stories, and go-to-bed stuff, I look out my window. The moon is fogged in. Just like the night of Mom and Dad’s accident. The visibility was bad that night. The police said if they’d gotten to the intersection just a second later or a second earlier they would have missed Mr. Smith’s truck.
Just a few seconds. Made all the difference.
Like for Ernest and Mr. Worlsey.
Only Ernest and Mr.Worsley survived.