Excerpt from Making Magic

Excerpt from Making Magic © 2020
A Tale of Resilience
Adelyn Zara

Sneaking down the stairs, Dara knew that Mommy would be angry that she’d gotten out of bed again.  But the voices were getting louder and louder.  Daddy was finally home; Mommy was mad again. It was like this all the time now.

“Is it true, Mandy?”

“What do you think?”

“Can’t you just answer me for once?”

Dara snuck into the kitchen, hiding from her parents on the other side of the stone-covered island wall.  As she heard her mother begin to shriek, Dara placed her first two fingers inside her mouth and began to suck hard on them. Mommy wouldn’t like that either.

“Ok, here’s my answer.”  Something was placed hard onto the countertop.  “I’m stuck here all the time with that brat!”

“Dara is NOT a brat.”

“You don’t know nothing.  The kid cries at everything. She doesn’t look people in the eye!  She wanders around sucking her fingers – it’s disgusting!  I went out with Alexis to the mall and people will stop and comment on her little girl -  ‘oh, isn’t she so cute?’  But my child shrinks back into her stroller, sucks her fingers, and gives them the worst look.  She’s weird, Donovan!”

Hearing the disparaging words, Dara sucked harder on her fingers. She’d shrunk down next to the hard stone, trying to curl up into a ball and disappear.

“We could take her to a doctor,” Donovan’s soft voice said.   “Maybe she needs some help.”

“Help!  What kind of help can a 3-year-old get?  She’s got all the toys, the clothes, the attention any kid could want!  She’s just weird.”


“And you are never home!”  The sound grew in volume again.  “I’m here all the time with the brat, and you are never here.”

“You knew this was going to be my life when you married me.”

“To be stuck inside this house?  With a kid?  No, I did not!”

“What were you expecting?”  A long pause followed that question, the air still fraught with tension.  “You knew that Dad wanted me to come into the business.  You can see how hard he works at it, how he expects me to learn about it while shadowing him.”

“You go to way too many functions without me!” came the accusation.

Donovan shifted to the end of the island, a movement seen by the balled-up child who was still wishing she was anywhere else.

“I heard that you were sleeping with Demetrius Evans.”

Mandy picked up her glass and then set it down on the counter.

“Where’d you hear that?  Who said?”

“I want to know if it’s true.”

Another beat of silence.

“Someone told me that you and he were together a lot at the last event I took you to. That you wandered off to one of the hotel’s rooms while I was speaking.  Is that true?”

Mandy still didn’t answer.  Dara’s heart raced.  She didn’t know why Daddy could be so angry that Mommy was sleeping.  Weren’t they always telling her to go to sleep?
“Demetrius is a nice guy.”

“IS THAT A YES?!”  Donovan’s voice exploded with anger.  This time the three-year-old could not contain her fear.  A loud whimper escaped her finger-filled mouth.  Tears began to fall.

Both parents peered around the side of the island, seeing their daughter in her pink frilly nightgown and fluffy slippers, hunched up, two fingers of her right hand tucked into her mouth.  Donovan reached down to scoop her up, quickly rubbing her back, saying, “Shhhh.  Shhh, sweetie.  It’ll be ok.”

“That’s easy for you to say!”  Now Dara noticed her mother’s dark anger-filled eyes.  “You aren’t here when she cries!  You aren’t here when she sneaks downstairs because she won’t go to sleep!  You aren’t here!  You are gone all the time, Donovan.”

“I’m working.”  Donovan realized that his little girl was now shaking.  He tried to lower his voice and continued to rub her small back. “I’m giving you the lifestyle that you wanted and making a future for our daughter.”

“Some future . . .”

Donovan’s soft circles felt nice to Dara.  She placed her head on his shoulder but didn’t release the fingers from her mouth.

“So?  Did you sleep with this asshole?”

Mandy shot him a mean look.  

“’This asshole’ is making your company a ton of money,” she answered and then grinned.  “And, yes, I did.”

If she thought she could wound Donovan by being honest, she was right.  He felt the swift pain in his chest as soon as she admitted it.  The circles gentled, Dara’s eyes shutting with pleasure. 

“Happy now?” taunted Mandy.

Donovan shook his head, barely keeping control.  But he didn’t want to upset the nearly asleep child in his arms, so his voice stayed quiet.

“Hardly,” he replied.

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About the Author

I'm a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and very much not perfect. My own multiple health problems led me to write about women who experience life's traumas, but bounce back because they are resilient. I strive to bring happily ever afters to all my characters.

On Word and Upward!