She put together the dough for her caramel sticky buns and jumped in the shower. When she walked past the stairs, she saw the brown satchel. She picked it up and the feel of the supple leather, albeit blemished and marred, carried her back twenty years. It had belonged to her father.
She remembered the sting of the bag when her mother had thrown it at her. She demanded Ellie fill it with her things and barked at her to get ready for their drive to the coast. Her parents were delivering her to catch the ferry to Friday Harbor. Her mother, Caroline, had been threatening to send her away for as long as she could remember and today she was finally getting her wish.
On that day, Ellie had stomped to her room, which had been an afterthought addition in the garage. It was easy to keep clean, since the twin bed took up most of the space and left room only for a small bookcase and closet. Even though her older sister was out of the house, Ellie hadn’t been allowed to take up residence in the old room she had shared with Ceci when they were young. When her younger brother, Teddy had gotten old enough for a room, her dad had added onto the house. Teddy’s room was palatial, outfitted with a queen sized bed, a flat screen television, fancy computer gaming boxes, and new furniture.
Through hot tears, she had crammed her meager supply of clothes and toiletries, one pair of shoes, and a small stuffed animal from her twin bed in the brown duffle. She cried when she said goodbye to her dog, Freckles. She pleaded with her parents to allow the dog to accompany her, but her mother had refused. Her brother, who her parents called “Baby Bear”, was holding the dog when they pulled away from the house.
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