This is how the story ends.
Maya is in her room screaming. It’s long after a second-grader should be sound asleep. Long after I need to be sound asleep. I’m so exhausted that I can’t remember what set off the tantrum, and who cares, the tantrum is almost a nightly event.
She’s so loud that Didi, who is doing homework in the kitchen with something he calls music blaring through headphones into his ears, gives me a helpless look. He’s just started junior high school and is having a hard time.
“I’m sorry that this is the kind of home you have.”
He nudges the right side of the headphone a bit off his ear and shrugs. “It’s not your fault.”
I cast desperately around for an explanation. “Maybe it’s because she needs a father.”
“She’d probably scream anyway, and there’d be three of us suffering.”
I sigh. “I guess it’s not the kind of little sister you dreamed of having.”
“I don’t remember any dreams. One way or the other.”
I head for Maya’s room to try to calm her down.