“I can smell your bleeding heart from down the hall.” She covered her mouth and tried to hide her smile. He puffed up a little more with the disrespect. “Is something about this funny?”
“Hilarious.” She laughed, unable to stop herself at his outrage. “You think I’m going to get my panties in a twist because you call me a bleeding heart? That I should try and change my ways because, heaven forbid, the world can tell that I’m a bleeding heart?” She laughed again, sitting farther back in her chair. “I am a bleeding heart. If what you’ve said is true, that a bleeding heart is someone who wants to help out other people as often as they can, thinks that as a country we should try and better the lives of the lowest classes, someone who even thinks that the,” She leaned forward to whisper conspiratorially, as if they weren’t the only two in the house, “Democratic party might have some good ideas.” She sat up straight again and rolled her eyes. “Go ahead, rant and rail about how you failed me as a father, and how I am a disgrace to the family name and my ancestors. But—You’re not hurting my feelings. All you’re really doing is raising your blood pressure. And the doctor did say not to do that.”
He opened and closed his mouth three times before just pointing to the back of the house. “Just—just go to your room.”
“Okay. I’ll try to keep my bleeding heart smell to myself.” She winked at him, and it was all he could do not to yell down the hall at her. He sank down at the kitchen table and ran his hands through his hair.
“She’s a kid, Frank,” his wife replied from behind her newspaper, “She doesn’t know that she doesn’t know what she thinks yet.”
He let his head fall to the table with a thunk. “Yeah,” he sighed, “That’s what I’m afraid of.”