I open the door and Helena collapses against my leg. I look up at J-F; he shrugs. Must've been a rough day at daycare.
She makes no move to make herself at home. Her shoes and sweater stay on. She stays put. I crouch beside her.
Her little body leans into mine, heavy with the weight of the world.
We stay like this for more than 10 minutes. I've dropped to my knees by now, my fingertips still on the doorframe for balance. She isn't exactly hugging me, more like trying to sink back inside me.
Do you want to talk about it? She shakes her head. A deep sigh escapes her, and I think to myself, My god, what have they done to you, what cruelties has the world shown you to age you like this, for you to know already the dark truths of our life, you, so young, is this how it happens, at age 3, you've stared into the abyss.
I'm not sure how the spell was broken, but soon after, we're sitting on the sofa side by side eating raisins. Almost normal.
There's still some sadness in her voice. She tells me — and I don't know if this is the reason for her existential spleen or simply something that happened earlier in the day — A. keeps telling C. that she's not my friend anymore. A.'s not my friend anymore. Because of our house, the things at our house. A. won't be my friend anymore because we don't have any robots.