That Fateful Day

(We make an astonishing number of decisions every single day, starting with whether to get out of bed. Some are big; others, not so much. Sometimes, what seems like an insignificant decision turns out to be pretty big, after all. What follows is a story about one one of those times in my life. What about you? Any seemingly little decisions in your life that turned out to be not so little that you want to share? Just leave them in the comment section below.)

For once I kept my mouth shut. It was a simple question and I had the very simple answer. But I must have sensed Daddy’s fervent, unspoken prayer.

All the men at the door wanted to know—the men with whiskey on their breath and rifles in their hands—all they wanted to know was where their wives were. The wives who were sisters. The wives who had run away from the husbands after they, the husbands, had returned from a long day of hunting and drinking only to drag all the wives’ clothes outside, throw them in a pile, and set them on fire.

The wives, as it happened, were cowering behind the very door where I stood next to Daddy. We had been only minutes from shepherding them to our car to take them to the safety of their mother’s home when the men, the men with the whiskey breath and the hunting rifles, banged on the door.

It would have been so simple, so natural, for three-year-old me to point and say, “They’re right here.”

But something stopped me. And that may be the only reason I made it to four.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s