“Mom, it’s me. Don’t go home. It’s bad.”
This was the message from my daughter.
“Meet me at the bookstore.”
It was our distress signal.
Wherever we were, we would make an immediate detour and head for the bookstore. If we were home, we'd quietly slide out the door, leaving behind the chaos.
On days like this, when Romeo’s anger consumed the house, the bookstore was our sanctuary. The designated safe zone.
Here, the girls could escape to another world, a peaceful world.
In this bookstore, I found out my oldest loved French poetry. (She can speak some French and a little Finnish but zero Spanish. Fantastic!)
In this bookstore, my youngest discovered the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. (This later helped her ace two book reports. Right on!)
In this bookstore, I discovered Gabriel García Márquez. (And Seattle’s Best coffee!)
In this bookstore, despite the circumstances, my girls and I shared our love for reading.
In this bookstore, because of the circumstances, my girls and I escaped our reality, if only for a few hours.
Since then, we’ve started a new life. We left Romeo and the angry house.
And since then, we’ve returned to the bookstore but on new terms: Because we want to!
So now that the bookstore is closing, I thought about closing this chapter in our lives. But we can’t. We’re still healing, still coping, still remembering.
But we’ll get there…someday. And when we’re ready, we’ll close that chapter for good.
Until then, we’ll find another bookstore.