To the brink

Jack stared at the closed bedroom door before letting out a breath. The ringing words still echoed in his head.

“I hate you,” his youngest, Anna, had screamed.

Now what? Race in there and either throttle or lecture her? He knew the books said not to do that — but to be so disrespected by his own child, dug nails into his already fragmented pride. He had to pull back, separate, and get his wits about him. The danger he knew was that entering the domain of the ‘bitch’ meant that she had won — he would be on her turf — not his own.

So slowly he turned away, and stepped back down the stairs to the dining room. God bless it — I wish I had some wine — or at least a hard drink to fall back on. But he knew better than to get inebriated when dealing with the she-demon. Impaired judgement was bad enough when having to battle wills with a precocious terror.

Instead he slipped into a chair and stared out the window, hoping his anxiety would drain away like the sunlight already had.

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