This is part of a series, “Scene from a memoir I haven’t written yet.”
I still remember that look on my mother’s face, a creeping mortification that her little girl, her only daughter, had a dark side.
Time slowed and twisted. In my mind, I had a terrifying thought: Could I have stuffed those kittens in my dresser drawer after all? I had denied it wholeheartedly, but in this surreal moment I worried: Did I?
A few days earlier, I had been thrilled to get the news that, yes, we could keep two of the grey puffballs of joy from my friend’s cat’s litter of kittens. Oh, how I loved those little, fragile kittens.
When I got home from school, though, my mother greeted me with a scowl. “Why did you lock your kittens in a drawer?” she asked. I insisted that I didn’t, and my mother took the patient approach.
“Your kittens could get hurt if they are in a drawer all day,” she said. She had heard them meowing in my room as she put away my laundry.
I told her again that I didn’t do it. She said I needed to take care of my kittens, or I wouldn’t be able to keep them.
“I will, Mommy,” I promised.
But the next day I got home from school, and my mother met me at the door again. This time she was even more upset.
“Why did you put your kittens in your drawer!” With my new denial, she seemed more worried than angry.
The next morning, I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want anything to happen to my kittens. Off I went, though. During our morning work, my teacher’s phone rang. I needed to go down to the office.
My mom was there. She gave me a big hug and a cupcake. She had been sitting in my bedroom watching the kittens when they disappeared under my dresser. They climbed into the dresser from a tiny gap in the bottom and got stuck in the drawer.
The sweet frosting was nothing compared to the world making sense again.