After cake, we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted. We could stay inside and play games or go outside and run around getting grass stains on our pants.
I stayed inside exploring the house. The big yellow kitchen with the old fashioned faucets, the window above the sink looking out to the grassy area where they had their parties. A dark space below the steps behind a door I thought lead to nowhere.
I had to pee before I went outside so I asked June if I could use the bathroom. The one downstairs was busy. She told me where the other bathroom was upstairs.
I creaked up the stairs to the landing, turned right and rose up the steps to the second floor.
I stood at the top of the steps. I can still see clear as a bell both ends of the hallway.
To my left just past the top of the stairs the bathroom door opened to black and white tiles, green walls, a pedestal sink and an old cast iron tub with curled feet.
I crept softly to the right toward two doors next to each other along the left wall, half way to the end.
One of the doors was open. I looked inside. A nice big bedroom with a high ceiling. A good sized window looking down at the sidewalk. The same sidewalk that June and my dad walked on around the block that night. The night that it all began.
I continued walking to the bedroom at the end of the hall where I stared at gray light slicing through the three dormer windows. The light seemed to anchor itself onto the wood floor casting a dreary pall throughout the room except in the corners where what light there was could not penetrate the dark gloom of that third bedroom where later I was to learn that Jim had blown his head off with a shotgun.