That night when I pulled into the gravel driveway, the moon hung low over the apple orchard. Remembering the smooth fabric of Anne Spicer’s dress, I loosened the velvet bow tie at my throat and took a ragged breath. The sting of peach schnapps lingering in the back of my throat, I saw him standing at the back door. But I lowered my head and went in anyway. The belt was lying in its usual spot on the dining room table. Nearby, crumpled up on the floor, lay one of Anne Spicer’s dresses. He must have found it under my bed. It was the one she forgot to take with her earlier that afternoon after we scrambled to put our clothes back on when my father’s car crept up the drive.
It was the last time my father beat me.