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Family Day – Fragment #79

Hilary was fine until around two o’clock when the party she had been invited to was scheduled to begin – hayride, barbecued hamburgers or hot dogs, bring a bathing suit if you want to use the pool. She sat in the red velvet wingback chair in the corner of the living room supposedly reading Cormier’s “The Chocolate Wars” for English Lit. But imperceptibly a fuming rage started to build in the pit of her stomach, rising past her rib cage, slowly filling her lungs until the words danced on the page, useless and stupid.

Her father, a relief projectionist, was at work for the entire afternoon and a good part of the evening. Her mother was in the kitchen preparing Sunday dinner (some kind of roast, some kind of potato, vegetable medley, gravy, Yorkshire pudding if the roast was beef), slated to be ready for dad’s supper break. Mona, her sister watched television in the other room, the faint background sounds of cheerful laughter and upbeat music only further fueling Hilary’s profound sense of injustice.

The reason she hadn’t been allowed to go to her classmate’s party was that “It’s Sunday, our family day when we spend it together,” her mother had reminded her, instructing her daughter to decline the invitation. “No exception to the rule,” she said, smiling gently at Hilary.

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