frankie had found parker curled up on her bed, clutching a piece of paper and sobbing. she was bewildered, having never seen her mother in such a state before, and had tried to pry the paper from her mother’s grip, trying to figure out what was going on.
after a few minutes of sobbing, her mother had composed herself and sat up on her bed, wrapping her arms around her knees with a hoarse, “i think you’d better sit down, francesca.”
and so frankie sat, listening as her mother began to speak. it wasn’t long before her own eyes began to well up with tears.
“so…” frankie said softly, once parker had finished talking. “my dad… he was murdered? and this letter…” she grasped the now-crumpled piece of paper between her fingers. “…this is from the person who killed him?”
parker nodded wordlessly, and frankie lapsed into silence for a moment, her mind racing. she didn’t know what to say, how to feel. how are you even supposed to feel?
she rose from her spot on her mother’s bed, heading towards the bedroom door, her hand perched on the doorknob. but, she hesitated, breathing out a soft sigh. “why didn’t you tell me?”
“i was trying to protect you,” parker responded quietly, her voice wavering. “i didn’t… i just…” tears began to slide down parker’s cheeks again. “how do you tell your child their dad was murdered?”
frankie’s grip on the knob tightened. “so… you just decided to lie to me instead? lie to me my entire life?”
“frankie…” parker let out a soft sigh. “baby, it wasn’t like that… please, come sit back down so we can finish talking about this.”
frankie whipped around to face her mother, face stained with tears. “talking about what? about how someone murdered my dad? about how you lied to me?” she wiped the tears from her eyes, turning back around and wrenching open the door. “i think we’ve talked enough,” she whispered, slamming the door behind her.
“frankie!” she heard her mother call as she ran through the living room and out the front door. “frankie, i’m sorry!”
but she just kept running.