Saturday night was movie night. Dad took us. This was Mom’s time, a few hours of perfume‑y magazines and white wine and wearing her fuzzy blue bathrobe with no one in the house. At the theater we giggled and threw popcorn and people told us to shush. Dad, he didn’t care. He didn’t say anything, one way or the other. He’d just sit there in his seat and stare at the ceiling like it could open up at any moment and something might magically pull him out. It was always the same theater, next to the Mexican restaurant which was next to the ice cream place where teenagers went when they were drunk or stoned or both. I don’t remember the movies much, only the feeling of disappointment as we drove home, our tiny fingers tracing circles on the foggy windows in the backseat, there was some rain maybe, a light pissy little drizzle, and the smell of licorice and sweat, and all of us inside, and everything else outside. My brother, my sister, my other sister, me. We were a gang, a force. At some point, however, that was no longer the case.
Andrew Roe is the author of the novel The Miracle Girl, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, and Where You Live, a collection of short stories. His short fiction has appeared in Tin House, One Story, The Sun, Glimmer Train, The Cincinnati Review, and other literary magazines.