Chapter 4: Home

Dragging her feet as she moved down the hill, the clockmaker’s daughter slowly worked her way home after a long day at school, her feet leaden, each step taking more effort than the last.  The sun shone bright above her head, not a cloud in the sky, she focused her gaze on the ground as she shifted the weight of her heavy backpack from one shoulder to the other.  Her back ached from the sheer volume of books that she carried on her 5 mile trek each day, to and from school.  Sometimes she wondered if the honors classes she was enrolled in were worth the weight of the books they required.

She looked at her watch and saw that it was 2:55 pm.  School let out at 2:25; she needed to be home by 3:00.  With resign, she picked up her pace.  The knots in her stomach were weaving together, pulling tighter with each step.  Please let The Waitress be in a good mood, she begged God.  Please!

By the time she rounded the corner to her street, the tremor in her hand was visible.  Her head ached with tension and her stomach was churning, acid jumping up into her throat.  As quietly as possible, she lifted the metal hook on the gate, knowing that making any noise at all might set off The Waitress.  Her dog came barrelling out to greet her.  She was so happy to see him, the one person in her family who loved her unconditionally, but she refrained from showing it, knowing that The Waitress didn’t like attention directed at anyone other than her.  She quietly whispered to the dog, “I love you little guy.  I missed you today,” while scratching him behind his fluffy white ears.  He licked her leg and she winced, hoping that The Waitress didn’t see any of this through the window.  Taking a deep breath, she painstakingly turned the door knob with excruciating silence, so as not create even the hint of any noise.  Then just as painstakingly, she closed the door as gently as possible, making no sound as the door slid back into the jam and the knob engaged.

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