Chapter 2: Changes

I read a lot of books. Not just children’s books anymore, I think I must have read every children’s book in the school library. I read grown up books too. My mother lets me have hers, and sometimes Mr. Ambrose, our math teacher’s husband, smuggles some from the library for me.

Reading is a curious thing. You have this bunch of pages covered with symbols and you look at them and suddenly your awareness is gone from this world and transported into another, and when you finished a good book, you feel like you lived a whole different life, and are wiser now, and maybe can do things differently in your own life.

But this is not what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about the changes that are to come to our life. How I know? It must be all the reading that made me aware of them. It must be the books that taught me to listen not just to the words someone says but to the quiet moments between them. To look not only at the things that are there, but also at the absence of certain things.

My parents are behaving differently. They are planning something. I hear them argue about money more than usual. My father is spending a lot of time away, playing music for people, but he is not earning as much as he wants to. My mother complains about not having enough space for her art and carving projects. She complains about not having enough time for her garden. And Father is tired all the time.

When I’m around, they pretend all is fine, and we sit at the fire in the evenings and tell stories to each other.


But when they think I have gone to sleep, they start having their discussions again.


I think they are not content with our life anymore. For me, it could not be better.


One day, when I am playing chess at the new chess table, my parents seem to forget I am in hearing range.



They have decided that they want to build a house to live in and a separate workshop for my mother’s projects and they want a proper garden area so it would be easier for her to work with her plants.

My father seems reluctant, because he has lived in a tent for a long time now and was happy with it, but my mother looks victorious somehow. I think this is what they have been arguing about. I am not sure what to think about it yet.

Later that day, mother starts a new carving project and invites her lady friends for the evening.


She still seems very happy, and completely ignores father, who has to spend the day with his guitar and me as a listener.


It feels strange when my mother announces to her friends that this “makeshift arrangement” will finally come to an end after all this time.


She looks so happy, so hopeful. I’m confused, and I don’t understand her, because there must be more than just the decision of building a house. There has to be something else on her mind.

I don’t know what to think of it.



2 comments on “Chapter 2: Changes

  1. cathytea says:

    I love this chapter! I really love the reflections on reading, and then I love how Lily becomes an insightful observer, listening to what happens in the pauses, through what she’s learned by reading! Really great!

    You know what? I also have a family (it’s actually the gen 9 heir and her husband and daughter from my legacy, after the legacy is over) living on this same lot–in tents! They built an indoor kitchen, but since they all love the outdoors, I’m not sure if they’ll ever move out of the tent! 🙂

    I really enjoyed your portrayal of the father’s mixed feelings about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Allie Mac says:

    Love the screenshots. They really added to the chapter. It’s sad that LIly’s parents no longer see eye to eye on their preferred living arrangements. Hopefully, they’ll both be happy once the house is built.


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