1. Context - I played Scrabble alone b/c I was in trouble and being ignored.
2. Can you follow the conversation? What could make it clearer?
3. How old do you think the child is in this scene? Why?
I invited myself to join the game of Scrabble I never
finished thirty years ago. I went first. Vertical. FRIEND. Little Kelly’s turn.
Horizontal, ending on the E in Friend: TROUBLE. My turn. Vertical, starting
with the L in Trouble: LOVE. Her turn. Horizontal. ALONE ending with the E in
love. My turn. Vertical, surrounding the E in alone: PRESENT. Her turn.
Horizontal. SHAME beginning with the S in present. My turn. HERE vertical from
the H in Shame. Her turn. She’s not sure what word to write. It is the only way
she will communicate, through the letters. She is too afraid I will end up
ignoring her too. This is much safer than talking. She looks at me, frightened
and small, seated cross-legged, back straight. She holds my gaze. I don’t even
smile because I know she won’t trust it. She needs to feel safe, not have me
explain it to her. She goes back to TROUBLE. Then changes her mind. She
hesitates on FRIEND. She adds two letters in front of the D. BA. Her eyes are
locked on the gameboard, tears welling up making it all blurry. Our
conversation is now a smear of memory. I go back to HERE. I make my first
horizontal word. HUG from the H. She looks up at me, unsure if she can trust