Elsie sat on her side of the couch – her feet on the cushion, her knees up against her chest.
Hildreth sat on the other side of the couch – completely at a loss for words.
She’s been sitting like that all day. How can I snap her out of it? Or should I just let her be a little longer? Maybe she’ll snap out of it herself? Can she do that? “Elsie?”
So, what should I do? “There’s an ice cream parlor in this town that’s open 24/7.”
“But they save their best flavors for people who come in the middle of the night.” I’m not sure why I’m even mentioning this. “Wild exotic flavors like—”
“I’m not interested.”
Great. That didn’t work. So, now what? He thought and thought and thought. He shrugged. “So, you’re upset at Ambrose. You’re hurt. You’re all of the stars in the Miserable Woman constellation.”
She scowled at him.
“So.” He smiled. “I say go back upstairs and trash his room.”
“Get all of that bottled up negativity out of your system before you get sick.”
“Trash his room…That’s such a juvenile thing to do.”
“Sure is. But it will be wildly cathartic. You need to do it.”
“He’ll be so mad. He’ll blame Mark Caten.”
“That’s Mark’s problem.”
She considered his words in a strained sort of silence.
And another idea’s shot dead.
She smiled, surprising him. “I’ll beat you upstairs.”
The dresser was the first to fall. She kicked its sides and stomped all over its back. She flipped it over, yanked out every drawer, and threw them on the floor. She kicked them from one end of the room to the other and back again until they just couldn’t stand the abuse anymore and disintegrated.
Elsie yanked down the light blocking curtains, tangled them into a mess, and threw them into the closet.
But she saved all of her energy for her attack on the bed.
Hildreth stayed out of her way as she shredded the blankets, knocked the bed over, kicked out the bedsprings, and stomped all over his pillows.
Elsie stopped in mid-stomp and sank to the floor. She keened out a wail full of hurt and pain.
Hildreth came over to her and knelt by her side. “Elsie.”
She flung herself into his arms and cried.
“It’s okay.” He kissed the top of her head. “It’s okay. I’m here, Elsie. I’m here.” He waited a minute. “We should toilet paper the room.”
She laughed, despite her tears. “Yes. Let’s do it.”