Flares of Little Warning

“There’s your new mother,” our father said. “How d’ya like that?” He leaned on the glass door labeled Pool, and nodded in the direction of a lady in a bikini, suntanning on the pool deck.

The summer when I was nine and Juliana was four was our first motherless summer. Our father crumbled slowly after the initial shock of her affair. He was like so many sidewalks in our small central-Florida town, where the roots silently broke through. It was the Fourth of July, and we watched our father for signs of cracking.

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