“This cereal is really good daddy, thank you” Ellie said as she wiped her mouth with her hand.
“Ellie, what did we say about wiping our mouth?” said Darrell, pulling a paper towel off the roll.
“Sorry daddy, I forget sometimes… please don’t be mad at me.” replied Ellie with her head down to her cereal.
Darrell took a breath, “Here” he pulled her chin up and wiped her mouth with the paper towel, “I’m not mad at you darling, I just wish you would listen to what I say.”
“I’m sorry daddy, I will be good. I need to go to school now,” Ellie started to get up from her seat.
Darrell grabbed her wrist, “Finish your cereal first.” He had a big smile on his face.
Ellie’s breathing got faster, “Okay daddy, I will, don’t be mad.” She then went on to finish her cereal as fast as possible, trying to control her breathing.
“So… you haven’t asked me a question for a few days now” Darrell paused, “Why is that?”
“No reason, I just don’t have any questions” replied Ellie, “I’m finished now, see.” Showing him the bowl, “I’m off to school now.” Ellie got up from her chair and tried to get to the front door.
“Darling!” commanded Darrell, “How about this? You can ask me anything, and I promise I won’t get mad.”
Ellie had her hand on the door, her breathing started to get fast again, “I don’t have any questions, daddy-”
“Don’t lie to me, I said I promise I won’t get mad” he said.
Her hand still on the door, “You promise…?”
He cracked a smile, “Yes darling, I won’t get mad.”
She took a second with her hand still on the door, “Can we see mommy?”
Darrell began to press his teeth inside his mouth, “No! Ask me something else.” his eyes were more serious now.
“I need to get to school daddy-” she started, her hand still on the door, wanting to just open it and leave.
“Ellie, ask me something else. I promised… I won’t get mad.” he said.
She took a deep breath, “Why is mommy in the basement?”