Worried, I looked at my mother, and my attention pivoted between the light that was reflecting here and there to the fact that my parents never just talked anymore, they never asked each other how they were or talked about how dumb their kids were. Instead, they just traded quick barbs and careless comments, long mumbled curses and tired reprimands. But mostly, more often than not, they just sat and stared, their eyes ablaze and their faces frozen in rigid lines that looked like cracks on a thawing lake, yet they lacked the promise of a warm oncoming spring. Cold and fragile, and threatening to break at any moment, that’s what my parents were.

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