Heads or Tails

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“Heads – you go live with dad. Tails – I do”
“Remind me again why we have to do this?” Tessy asked her big sister.
“Because, ding-dong, we don’t want dad to live alone, the sadness would kill him!”
“But why can’t we stay together? You and I?”

Alex let a long sigh come out. “Stop being such a baby. Do you want mom to live alone? Is it her fault they’re getting a divorce?”
“I’m not a baby, stop calling me names, you’re not nice!”

Tessy looked at her big sister, and fought the tears. Her heart was beating so fast she thought it would break in half. Why couldn’t everything just stay the same. Why couldn’t they just pretend to like each other just like everybody else always did. It wasn’t that hard. She was nice to that evil Patricia every day at school because her teacher told her to. And she hated Patricia. She smelled like ear wax and broke her favorite crayons.

“Well? Are you ready?”
“But dad lives so far away now! I don’t know anybody there!”
“You promised. Remember? You crossed your heart and everything!”

That part was true. Alex even made her show her hands in case her fingers were crossed. But that was then! Before the divorce was even real. Now everything was too final and sad.

“So which was it again Alex? I forget. Heads you go with dad?”
“No! You never listen! Heads YOU go. Tails, I do. Ready?”

She made a fist and tucked her thumb under her index and put the quarter on top. Tessy’s eyes were stinging from the tears which she refused to wipe away. *Ting!* The quarter flew up to eye level, she watched it flip over and over. Her hands were sweaty. Her eyes blurry. Her heart thomp-thomping away. Meanwhile the quarter flipped over and over and slowly came back down. It landed on the back of Alex’s hand which she immediately covered with the other.

Tessy held her breath as she waited to discover her fate.

This is a Studio 30+ writing prompt based on this: “She held her breath”. Join the creative fun now!


12 thoughts on “Heads or Tails”

  1. As the father of 3 daughters with blended families, this meant something to me. I know my youngest girls, 7 & 8, have similar discussions.

    Great work delievering this in their subtext and style.


  2. I love telling stories from a point of view I have never experienced – it helps me get inside people’s heads.

    I also love reading them. You did a great job with this, Marie. I was holding my breath right along with Tessy.


    1. Kids you work with? I thought you were a professional full-time blogger reader writer and commenter? Shocking news! And thanks B-Man, you have the gift of making me gush!


  3. Now that is how we’d like our children to think. Unfortunately, too many (if not most) or them, would only be thinking of themselves. Very nice story…


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