She's standing ankle-deep in a rain puddle; her jeans are rolled up, messy, hurried. It's not like it matters - everything is wet.
It hasn't rained this hard since I was her age. Since I was small and lovely and still believed in happy endings. Since I was wise with youth. Since I was naive and pure.
For a second I feel sick with envy, and with how much I suddenly hate her.
She turns to look at me and she smiles.
The feeling passes.
She has mom's eyes - blue, not like the rest of us. Maybe that's why Dad can't look at her, even after all these years.
"What is God?"
(God is dead.)
I say, there's no such thing as God.
"Dad says there is."
(Dad is dead.)
I say, Dad doesn't know what he's talking about.
She's moved from the puddle; her feet are muddy and the ground squelches as she walks across the yard. She drops into a squat, little hand reaching with blind curiosity into the bushes growing against the outer wall of the house.
The feeling crawls back to me as she stands. Turns. Holds up her prize:
A dandy lion.
It's full and dry, every little white seedling still clinging tight to the center. Spared by the violence of the storm.
She twirls the stem slowly between her fingers and then suddenly blows hard; the whiteness expands, flutters in the air.
"This is God," she says through the flurry of white.
That night I dream of angel wings.