the sister mystery (part fourteen)

This story started here.

Of course, in a detective story it would have been a clever move for Ron, if she had been the murderer, to take the ID to deflect suspicion from herself. There are people who think that way (I was married to one, in fact), but I was sure that Ron was not one of them. Even apart from her age, that way of thinking would have been completely antithetical to Ron's direct approach to things.

This bluntness continued to be part of Ron's character. She could withhold information (she was good at that), but if she had something to say, she said it. A few years later, when she had finally decided that dating wasn't such a bad idea after all, she told me that she was considered somewhat odd in her school because when she said no to a boy she meant no, and when she meant yes she said so, apparently quite plainly. I commented that the boys must have found this somewhat refreshing. She shrugged. She didn't really care how they found it, this was what they were going to get.

We did wonder sometimes if we were doing a good job at being parents. It is true that we were totally unprepared for the experience, and our only rule was to try to examine every guideline we set for Ron, to make sure, as much as possible, that it was actually right and appropriate, rather than just doing unto her as had been done unto us.

Well, I guess there was another rule. We always had to be aware that Ron had come to us with a rather unusual history. She had lived on her own for quite a while before we adopted her, including avoiding or fighting off the various creatures that prey on prepubescent girls. So, she was stronger and more wily than most children her age, certainly in the United States. Combined with her pride and independence, this meant there were some things she didn't need, or in any case would not have accepted, from us.

Other than getting into fights, it didn't seem there was much in Ron's life that qualified as "fun." There were activities that she enjoyed, like delivering the mail and our daily walks together to school, but there was nothing that I could really compare to my own memories of being her age. But that was who she was, and we respected that.

There were times when she reminded me of the fierce children we had met during the war in Bellona, where there were soldiers as young as Ron, and unit commanders only a few years older.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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