I hold her and wipe her eyes with the corner of my sleep wrinkled T-shirt. “It’s going to be all right You like Medora. She’s always really nice to you and she understands you. What more could you want?”
“I don’t want to go. It’ll be different when I get back. We won’t be the same.”
“We will. Only you’ll be all grown-up.”
More sniffles and few tears.
“Come on now. When you get back you’ll live three doors down. We’ll visit all the time.”
“You’ll be on to new things and they won’t involve me.”
I look away. This is true. I’m already formulating new ideas, new people have come into my life and I am ready to move on.
“I know. You’re right. But this happens in every relationship. You’re going out into the world and I mean the world. New people are going to hold you and talk about you. You can go anywhere now. Isn’t that exciting?”
She lifts her chin a little and her eyes get that look–the one that knows yes she has to go and be a big girl.
“Yes,” she says and holds her head up and straightens her shoulders.
I press the send button.
“In the Unlikely Event” the novel I’ve spent the last year with is leaving home for her final pass. When she comes back she’ll have a cover and she’ll be a book and I won’t be able to change anything, any part of her–that semi-colon that sits on my desk like a giant toad didn’t find his way into yet another book. He sticks his tongue out and tries to snag a paper clip–histrionics which I ignore.