'round and 'round

It'd been raining all day.

She couldn't hold still.

The wind was gusting and the house felt chilly.

It was her sixteenth lap around.

"Kitchen ... den ... hallway ... dining room ... seventeen. Kitchen ... den ... hallway ... dining room ... eighteen. Kitchen ... den ... hallway ... dining room ..." She ran into Mother who had just made coffee. Cinnamon was her flavor of choice. The impact sent the heavy glass spice jar tumbling to the floor.

"Niiiinneeeteen," She said timidly.

The screen door rattled.

Back at it She went. "Kitchen ... den ... hallway .... dining room ... twenty. Kitchen ... den ... hallway ... dining room ... twenty one ..." She screamed triumphantly, but not at the count. The rain had stopped and the sun had peaked through a hole in dark clouds. She ran outside and screamed again. This time louder.

"PORCH!!"

Mother swept the floor and was careful not to bump her nails. The nail polish remover was open on the kitchen table, and the scent of solvent was strong as it diffused throughout the room.

This time, the screen door slammed closed as She came running back in.

"Hallway ... den ... kitchen ... dining room. Twenty two." She'd reversed her direction and wondered if she should be counting down. "Hallway ... den ... kitchen ... dining room. Twenty ... oops." The nail polish remover fell to the floor. Mother smirked as wind caught her hair. The smell was overwhelming but soothing.

Mother didn't mind.

Nor did She.

They were both reminded of fresh juice ... and of Father. Father loved fresh juice and he picked oranges every day in the spring and in the fall.

They both wished for a glass of fresh squeezed juice in the morning.

"I can't wait to see him," Mother thought.

"Father'll be home soon," She hoped.

But, he would not be home.

Not in the storm.