Also Known As Harper

Ann Haywood Leal

Square Fish

“Hey, Hem.” I moved a couple of boxes aside so he could come in. “You don’t believe in letting a person settle themselves in before you get to bothering them, now, do you?”

But I patted the corner of the bed. Hemingway’s company wasn’t so bad. He had a way about him that made all the tired go out of a person.

“Mama says we got to move pretty quick here,” he said, eyeing all my boxes.

“Not just yet.” I straightened up a stack of poems on my bed. “She just wants us to get a head start, is all.”

“Thing is…” He bit at a hangnail on his thumb and I knew what was coming. Hem always got fidgety when he was thinking about Daddy. “How’s he going to find us?”

I pulled his thumb away from his mouth. “He’ll find us if the time comes.”

I knew how badly Hem wanted Daddy to come walking back up our front steps, and I wanted that for him, I really did. But I wasn’t so sure I wanted that for me.

He got up and took a good look out my bedroom window. “It’s almost time to go out, Harper Lee.”

“You know I’m not going to go out to the porch,” I reminded him.

He leaned forward as if he was going to tell me a good secret. “But I’m thinking I might wait on the driveway path today, right out front, you know? Just so as he can see me better.”

But deep down, I think Hemingway knew as well as I did, when Daddy had made his way down that driveway path a whole year ago, he had never figured on coming back.