“Bye!” she hollered when the bus first rumbled into view.
She waved furiously on day eight.
Day twenty-two brought impenetrable silence.
On day thirty-six, she hugged me fiercely before racing off.
On day sixty-four, she muttered, “I hate you!” over some perceived slight (it was her mama’s birthday).
She kissed my cheek on day eighty-one.
Day ninety-six’s “I love you” sent me soaring.
On day one hundred fifty-nine, her eyes shining pools, she whispered, “I’ll miss you.”
Heartsick, I buckled her into the car. “I love you!” I cried as she rode out of my world and back into her mama’s.