Sunday, January 04, 2009

Returning Home, January 4, 2009

Prompt: Write about returning home after a rough weekend.

2 comments:

elliottinteriors said...

Carol, Thank you very much for the daily prompts. As usual you have an uncanny ability to show up in my life at exactly the right times. I have been extremely busy for the past 4 months and unfortunately my writing/journalling is always the first to be filed into the "Later" folder when it should be tap dancing on top of ALL the "To Do" files. On my flight back from Arizona I opened your email and the link to the daily Prompts and having 3 hours and 20 minutes of rare,unscheduled time I pulled my journal from the bottom of my breifcase and started. Thank you, thank you, thank you. How is it possible to forget that like sleep, fiber and exercise I am not a whole person with out this time. I can't wait for you to announce where the 2009 retreats will take place, sign me up!!!!! Happy New Year. Love and Hugs, Sandra

Jill said...

The Breakup

“Mom?” Lynny calls from the bottom of the steps. She lets herself in with the key under the mat. No one heard the knocks.

“MOM?” She stands dead-still, hugging her knapsack to her chest, right ear cocked up the steps, her left still ringing from that loudspeaker. Lynny knew she should never have stood so close to the stage, but Charles wanted to be near enough to catch the sweat dripping off the band. And what Charles wants, Charles gets. Likewise, what he doesn’t want…well, maybe Lynny should have seen it coming. She had heard the rumors.

“Mother, are you here?” she tries one last time before setting down her pack, slipping off her boots, and heading upstairs. No answer. Lynny flicks the light, discovers a new coat of paint. Lavendar this year, Mother must be in a purple phase. Lord knows, it’s better than black. How many Midwestern wives paint their walls jet black? In the middle of winter, no less?

Carpet is new also, a whiter shade of gray, and thick, so thick Lynny’s toes get lost in the fibers, her soles leaving footprints as she climbs. Each time her foot sinks, her mind drops as well. Where is she? Her car’s outside. Why isn’t she answering?

‘Maybe I should have called,’ Lynny thinks. She was so distraught after the Charles breakup – in a text message, if you can believe – that she just stuffed some clothes, unwashed mostly, in the nearest bag and split. Barely managed to scribble a note for her roommate Josie: “Sorry about the mess. Going home for the weekend. Charles is an ass.”

Lynny remembers her mother had sounded a little different on the phone lately. Her voice slightly softer, like she’d had a lot on her mind. Lynny had been so wrapped up in the Charles mess that she hadn’t even thought to ask. Now that she thinks about it, shouldn’t her father be home. He has Fridays off.

“Dad? Mom?” Lynny turns the corner at the top of the steps and comes up short. A lump under the covers in her parents’ bedroom, nothing stirring.

“Oh my God.” Lynny rushes around to the other side of the bed, her Mother’s, and pulls back the covers, just enough.

“Lynny,” her mother wakes from her sleep.

“Oh my God, Mom, I thought you were…hey where’s Dad?”

“Dad?” Lynny’s mother speaks as if she’s not quite sure she’s ever met this guy named Dad.

“Yeah. Dad, where’s Dad?”

“Oh you know, working.”

“Working. But it’s Friday. Doesn’t he have Fridays off?”

Lynny’s mother sits up in bed, glances over her shoulder at the family portrait mounted on the wall behind her, then says, “Well you know your father, he picks up an extra shift when he can.”

Lynny had never known her father to work one second longer than he had to. And what’s that on Mother’s arm? Lynny asks.

Mother tells her it’s a cat scratch. They don’t have a cat.

“Oh you know, neighborhood cat.”

“Mother, what’s going on? What’s wrong?”

“Oh honey, everything’s fine. What’s up with you. I didn’t know you were coming home.”

Lynny forgets for a second why she came, then admits her mother was right all along about Charles.

“Well honey, it’s better you get rid of him now than ten, twenty years from now.”

“Get rid of him? He dumped me.”

“Whatever. Let me just tell you, honey, you’re better off. Men are dead weight. Don’t get tied down like me. It gets a whole lot more complicated to get out then.”

“Get out? Mother, are you and Dad getting a divorce?”

“Divorce? Oh, honey.” Lynny’s mother begins to chuckle, then erupts into a laughter that seems as if it will never end. Finally, when she’s able to regain her breath long enough to talk, Lynny’s mother says, “It’s a bit messier than that, honey. But what isn’t these days? If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my forty-seven years, it’s that no matter how hard you scrub, nothing is ever clean. Nothing.”

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