A year passed the country girl by without causing any scenes living in Alabama. She kept her nose clean, along with her potty mouth. Life seemed to get back to normal for the tomboy, except the bullying in school, and her mother’s personality. In order to stay out of trouble in the sixth grade, Celeste made sure never to attend school without her shoes. She stayed intent on not misplacing them ever again; nevertheless, she slept with her shoes by her bed guarding the object diligently. She was happy to take note that Pecker Pete left their homestead, she thought maybe he had finally got eaten up by a wild animal, which made the tomboy happy to no end.
Her father’s consonant travels caused more of a depression to Celeste’s mother. After that horrible day when Ernie whooped her good, her mother hadn’t spoken. The little girl thought it was her fault for causing her mother to slip off her rocker, so she kept her distance and moved heaven and earth not to cause anymore trouble to tip her mother overboard. Celeste learned to distinguish her mother’s odd patterns in behavior. She observed her mother walking around the house all fired up, chatting and mumbling under her breath when her father left for another music gig.
Gone were the days when Celeste and her mother worked side by side as a team to care for the farm. Celeste took care of all the chores, cooking, cleaning, and making dinner. Their family eventually stopped talking all together, due to her parents constant fighting. Celeste would retreated to the barn for peace, and quiet in order to escape the drama in her household. Many times she slept out in the barn on the lush hay stack with Ringo the coon. Her relationship between her father became estrange, ever since she witness Ernie giving her father a heated tongue lashing. At one point, she was sure Ernie was going to knock her father out with his fist, but the confrontation never happened, nor did she investigate the reason why the too were arguing.
In the end, her mother became withdrawn with each passing day. Celeste watched her mother’s beauty change into someone she no longer recognized. At times she would worry that her mother was not eating enough, so the tomboy fed her mother small morsel’s here and there to sub-stain her withering body. Often she thought about picking up the phone to call her mother’s father, and tell him what was happening to his daughter, but she did not. She knew her grandfather didn’t like her father, so she stayed quiet about the topic. A few months passed her by in the heat of summer without mishaps, until one particular hot sweaty day when Celeste’s world changed for the worst!