Gretta's Mother This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


     Gretta sat in the courtroom. It was not where thesix-year-old wanted to be. Spring was just beginning and it was gorgeous outside,with birds chirping, sun glowing and kids playing. Alas, Gretta was stuck in thedumb old moldy courthouse, and she didn't even know why.

Her elegantmother, Helen, sat erect in the chair in front of her daughter's pew. Grettagazed at the golden curls that eased their way down Helen's slenderback.

Across the room, a younger, dumpy woman sat holding a two-year-oldboy, who was squirming and squealing, "Daddy."

That's my daddy,Gretta thought.

   Her father, a businessman, sat in frontof the mysterious woman and her little rogue. He turned and waved at them, notGretta. Tears forming, she glanced away toward the tan wall. The clock's tickingechoed in the room. Time was slow and painful.

Gretta needed to get up andwas thankful when her mother said they were going to take a short break. Out inthe hall, Helen sat in the corner and cried.

Gretta had never seen hermother cry. She was always strong, her heart unbreakable. Today Gretta realizedher mother wasn't superhuman like she'd thought. She didn't understand hermother's pain from the loss of a high-school sweetheart and betrayal of afriend.

"Mommy, who's that lady?" Gretta asked.

Hermother looked up with bewildered, puffy hazel eyes.

"What lady,honey?"

"The one with the boy?"

Helen cried harder.Get it together, she thought. "That's your daddy's friend, and the littleboy, too," she lied. I can't tell her,

she's only six. When she'solder I'll tell her it's her brother.

Tears streaked her face as she gazedat Gretta, who didn't realize her father would soon be gone from her lifeforever.

Someone came to get Helen. She stood up, straightened her pleatedskirt, wiped the mascara from under her eyes and took a deepbreath.

Gretta smiled at her mother with admiration. Helen couldn't helpbut smile back. Soon it would be over.

She took Gretta's hand and walkedback into the courtroom, ready to take on the world like a mother is supposed to.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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