Justine and her daddy

Justine loves her daddy. She does not see him as often as she’d like. She misses him. He works for television and has to be gone quite often too.

When he is there, he habitually sits on the couch while reading a book. To be close to him, Justine does the same thing. He has even installed a reading lamp over her place on the couch. And, at night, they read, each of them in their respective corner of the couch.

The couch is also Daddy’s bed. One day, shortly after her mama left for the hospital, daddy started sleeping on the couch and, now, he does it every day.

He daddy makes her discover a lot of things. He puts vinyl records on, explaining that this is Brassens singing or that this is the music of “Peter and the Wolf” and he tells her the whole story. He’s a really great story teller. One day, he brings to a big building with colorful posters behind glass windows. Inside, he gives money at the counter and they go sit down in a large room with a lot of seats. He daddy asks her to stay there. When he comes back, he has pop-corn and drinks for her and him. The room becomes all dark and, suddenly in front of her, images appear. It’s her first movie at the theater and it’s magical. It’s like a giant story book with tons of beautiful moving images. Justine falls in love with movies.

Justine likes to tinker around with her dad. She’s the best at giving the right tools at the right moment. She loves everything he teaches her. He never talks to her as if she was just a little girl.

However, Justine is scared of her daddy’s fits of anger. A few times, he was really angry at her mama, so angry that he would throw punches at her. Justine remembers this one time when she was much smaller. Her mama was at the door with a suitcase, as if she wanted to leave. Her daddy went to get her mama and pulled her inside the house by her arm. Justine was making herself as small as possible in the door frame of the basement’s stairs. She did want them to see her. Her daddy keeps pulling her mama and throws punches at her.

They’re in front of her and Justine does not know what to do. She’s very confused, she’s scared, she’s sad and she does not understand what is going on. Suddenly, her daddy lifts his hand to slap her mama, Justine moves backward to avoid the hand and… falls in the stairs so, tumbling down so fast all the way to the concrete floor of the basement.

Her shoulder hurts so much and she starts crying as loudly as she can. Upstairs, her parents stop fighting and her dad races down the stairs. He takes her in his arms, Justine cries even louder because of the pain. He calls a taxi.

Justine ends up at the hospital with her daddy. Because she’s little, she’s a bit scared. But, since her daddy is there, she knows that everything will be fine. The doctor talks with her daddy and explain that it is the “bone of the collar” that is broken and she will have to wear a harness to make her heal. He daddy is worried but the doctor says that at her age (she’s three fingers now!), it heals quick quick.

A few weeks later, Justine does not hurt anymore and find this harness very annoying. She finds a way to take it off and brings it to her daddy. “I don’t want it anymore”. Her daddy looks at her, surprised, makes her move her arm and seems to think that all is fine because he says “OK”.

Since her mama came back from the hospital, daddy does not hit her anymore. The other day, he lifted his arm up in the air and mama said something. Justine does not know what but he lowered his arm immediately. All that Justine knows is that something is broken between her daddy and her mama. They don’t love each other anymore. It must be it because they don’t hug each other like before.

She’ll talk about it to her cat, Minou Gris, tonight when she will be in bed. Him, he always listens to her. And he’s always purring. That’s his way to tell her he loves her and it makes Justine feel good. She’s so lucky to have Minou Gris.

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