• Lisa Champagne

Easton and Addie

I chase Addie through the kitchen as she infectiously giggles running with bouncing red curls and spaghetti noodles dragging behind her. I jog slowly pretending to be winded, so her little body and big spirit has a chance to win our game.

Addie climbs on top of our marble countertop island shouting at me fiercely with victory displayed on her face. “I win. I’m the spaghetti Queen and you’re my servant.” I can’t help but smile at her sweet baby doll face, hiding her fierce strength in its cuteness.

I reply to her with humor in my voice as I bow deeply. “At your service Malady. Your wish is my command.”

Addie looks around our white modern kitchen, searching for a task for me to do. “Please make me a royal plate of food.” I bow again, accepting my orders and heading for the cabinet that holds the plates.

Our kitchen is full of expensive appliances, marble countertops, and large stone vases with elaborate purple flower arrangements. The space screams money, but there’s warmth and personal touches hidden within the cabinets. My mom makes us decorate dishes every year, obsessed with spending time as a family. My dad’s plates are the worst with unidentified objects he calls art.

I grab one of Addie’s plates with rainbows and unicorns and begin to make her a PB and J. Her little freckled nose scrunches as she impatiently waits for me.

I hand Addie her sandwich, which she quickly begins to devour, enjoying her winnings. In the process her hands and mouth become completely covered with peanut butter.

Her dirty exterior draws me to her as I playfully say, “you are the messiest queen I’ve ever seen.” I grab her from the counter and wrap her in my arms as she fiercely fights against my hold, trying to break free.

She suddenly and unexpectedly stops struggling against my arms, flipping her body upwards and placing her little innocent hand on my face. “I love you.”

I smile with pure love. “I love you too, Addie Sue.” When I hold Addie in my arms, all the darkness in me dissipates, allowing me to breathe again.

Addie has always been my anchor to the goodness on earth. I’m not innately moral like the rest of my family. Sometimes I can't help but feel something's wrong with my wiring. I can feel other’s emotions and hear their thoughts, making me think my powers are from the devil himself.

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