#69 I, Isabel Scheherazade think this night has been unruly (another favorite Dad/Shakespeare quote), and I can see that our Olivia is going to need a navigator of the Worsley sort. Like us.
I can’t stand it there anymore, Mr. Pop.
I put my arm around her. At your house, you mean? I know what this is about. The fighting?
She shivers and sobs. They just shout, and tonight they’re throwing things.
At each other?
I don’t know, Mr.Pop, but I’m hearing the crashes, and Mom’s screaming, and Dad’s yelling.
Do they know you’re here? Didn’t they see you leave the house?
They don’t even remember I’m alive, Mimi!
Olivia gets her crafty Cam Jansen-Nancy Drew look.
You climbed out your window and then did that apple tree thing. Right? I am very impressed with this girl.
Right. For a second Olivia smiles. Worked great.
Pop is frowning. Olivia sees this. Don’t make me go back. I can’t! Not tonight!
Pop and Mimi look at each other. Pop says, I’ll call and tell them you’re here, that you’re going to stay the night, and that you’ll go to school with Isabel tomorrow.
That’ll help, I say. But I think, Not much.
Pop picks up his iPhone and goes out of the kitchen to talk.
Olivia turns to Mimi. You’ve heard them fighting, right? Mimi nods.
I nod. We’ve all heard it, especially since the start of school, but not for most of the summer when we first came. Were they getting along better then?
They felt sorry for you guys. What happened to your Mom and Dad? It made them look at each other differently. At least that’s what they said. They started therapy. That’s when I got my own counselor, that Robert guy.
Olivia likes Robert. At least now she knows this isn’t her fault and stuff like that.
Then they quit it. And every night, if they’re home together, it’s like…kaboom!
Mimi hugs Olivia.
Pop comes back, gripping the phone, and says, All set, Olivia. So, best go to bed, you two. Morning’s coming.
So, there she is, over in the corner under the slanting wall. It’s funny. My bedroom used to be an attic room, and it must have been dark and stuffy. But Pop put this dormer in when Dad was little. It juts out from the roof and lets in light and air. It’s like a nest for me. Like it must seem for Olivia now.
Her parents and their fighting have put her out on the open ocean. Like Ernest.
It could be we’re gonna have to be her Mr. Worsley.