There it was, the dictionary that bedevilled her every night. The awful ceremony of her father inserting his thumb into an index notch, rifling through pages, eyes closed, forefinger landing on a word.
It was never one she knew. “im-PAV-id,” his choice that time, when the mocking, immobilizing eruption was particularly bad. Fearless, he said it meant. Funny she couldn’t make herself fearless, he said.
Well that was over. He was gone. The Sally Ann was coming to clear shoes, luggage and other detritus from that sad house. She pulled the dictionary from the pile and tossed it in the garbage. There.