“Please, Izzy. I l—I want to understand.”
She caught the sleight of words and she stopped, only to crouch down on the floor, to wrap her legs in her arms.
He froze where he stood, like the glass in the windows. Terrified. “I want to understand,” he repeated, as though to bury what he’d done. What he’d almost said.
He saw her shoulders heave, then stop, and suddenly she fired back to life. She wrenched her hands free and he saw it happen before it happened—she pulled the ring from her right finger and threw it across the Rubicon—and as she did this, she yelled. She yelled a jagged yell, high in her throat. Not a scream. Not a cry. Something more desperate and more angry. She didn’t have to summon anything from those dark depths—it was always there, at the surface.
Finney knew he didn’t know what to do, but he dropped to his knees behind her. He didn’t touch her. That would make things worse.
He could understand, somehow, why he left.
He pitied him, in that moment. He pitied the little ring.
She wasn’t easy.
She wasn’t safe.
Sometimes she wasn’t even kind.
“I’m here,” he said—not just to her, but to the deserters. He hoped they would hear him, or feel him, or feel her. It seemed impossible not to feel her once you met her, even if you were nowhere near her.
Writer of illustrations.
Scholastic book designer.
Repped by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.
Current books: RUBY'S HOPE by Monica Kulling, Page Street Kids, Fall 2019
Upcoming: ROSIE THE RIVETER, Imprint/Macmillan, Fall 2021*
This is a gallery-quality giclée art print on 100% cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks. Each art print is listed by sheet size and features a minimum one-inch border.