All lined up on the particle-board shelf, the glass cats stared back at me, shiny and purrfect. The toys I wanted most. My small hands turned them, my young voice squeaked out words, speaking for the orange tabby, the black kitten. I marched them about—hours of solitary play in my bedroom.
What I meant to say, when the red anger took hold of my tongue; when the tears spit from my eyes like acid rain on a rampage; while you sat on the green couch not listening—thunder outside not drowning me out—what I should have told you is I'm sorry, but more. Thank you for loving me in my smelliest moments.
"Get out of the bubble," he told me, his Jabba-the-Hutt booming laugh still echoing in his office. Go do something new, stretch yourself beyond the boundaries of this small Adventist community.
Then he folded me in his bear hug of cardigan vest and ink.
. . . .
And now here I am, no longer a stray but still apologetic and stretching, stretching.
(from a recent writing workshop experiment).