1. a short oblique stroke (/) between two words indicating that whichever is appropriate may be chosen to complete the sense of the text in which they occur: The defendant and his/her attorney must appear in court.


Today was Monday. Sarah’s parents never had anything positive to say about Mondays. The day arrived with regularity, and yet they seemed surprised. They detested that day above all others. And now she hated it too.

She swung her legs nervously back and forth, unable to stop the motion. Her mind felt tormented with thoughts of what might be happening behind the big red wooden door. She lowered her gaze to the bright cream carpet, but found herself staring at the door.

Everything was changing, unraveling.

This particular Monday had been circled on the calendar in red for several weeks. It was the day her parents would go to the lawyers and “figure everything out.”

“Would you like me to get you a snack,” Matt asked.

Sarah shook her head, unable to verbalize a response. Her stomach was in knots. She couldn’t eat.

Matt was her mom’s new boyfriend. He wanted to be helpful, but he wasn’t able to do the things her daddy could do. That made Sarah feel bad for him. He tried; it just wasn’t good enough for her. She didn’t hate him, she just wanted her daddy back.

Suddenly the office door opened. Both of her parents looked upset. But there was something else in her daddy’s eyes. It was sadness. Before she realized it, she was on her feet, rushing to hug him. She wrapped her arms around his legs, utterly short compared to his 6’5 stature. He kissed the top of her head.

“I love you Sarah,” he said, quietly in her ear.

She looked up at him, expecting more, but he straightened and stared at Matt.

“Paul, we have to go, please make this quick,” her mother said, slipping on her sunglasses.

Sarah stood like a virgule between Matt and Paul, feeling utterly confused, as her mother looked away.

Her daddy pinched her cheek like he used to and headed toward the elevators, disappearing between the silver doors.



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