A Peak and a Pit
A girl comes home from school.
Her mom asks her the same question she asks her every day.
“What was your peak, and what was your pit?”
Today the peak is a math question answered on the chalk board.
Tomorrow the pit is a rude boy.
The math question leads to more math questions answered over the years, pride, hubris, and by high school an academic arrogance that will know no friends.
The rude boy becomes a nemesis for a decade, a bad memory in college, a forgotten figure in her 20's, and then a husband for fifty years.
The mom is now gone. The daughter is an old lady. The door swings open. A granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter, walks in, a frown on her face. A backpack hits the table.
Two questions are asked. Two questions are answered, staccato-like, in a perfunctory way, but incisively thoughtful nonetheless. Three words are left unsaid, for want of the popsicle.
“Not again, Nani.”
One day she will wake up, a grandmother herself, and realize the moral of those two questions the whole time.
It wasn’t just to get her talking.
It wasn’t just to hear about what was good about the day, and what was bad.
It was to say something that could not be said, something that would not have made sense at the time.