by Joshua Asmah
I’m sitting there, clicking away at my laptop, working on a new story.
My cousin’s on the floor, playing a puzzle game on a tablet. She’s almost done.
“I don’t like it when people fight,” she says, as simply as a 5-year old can say.
Downstairs, her parents are having a yelling match. They’ve been at it for hours. Loud, harsh voices echoing through the empty house. They show no signs of stopping.
I look up at her and sigh. “What do you like?”
“I don’t like it when people fight.”
“Do you love your parents?”
She taps away at the screen and doesn’t answer for a long time. I wait. Write. “Mommy and Daddy fight every day.”
“I don’t know. I don’t like it.” She finishes the game. “I won.”
I nod. “Good job.”
She starts the game again. “I don’t like fighting.”
“What do you like?”
“When they don’t fight.”
“And when is that?” I ask.
She stares at the screen and taps some more. I wait again. “I like this game,” she finally says.
I decide to let it go.