The Vacation This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

August 12, 2010
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The woman wore a blue polka dotted shirt dress which swung to and fro at the bottom as she walked all over the kitchen preparing the tea. When the pot let forth a high scream she took it and poured it into two cups and stirred a spoonful of sugar into each. Then she placed one in front of her daughter at the table and one in front of herself and sat down. Her daughter gripped the cup and watched the stream trickle upwards and then looked up at her mother.

“So do you want to hear about it?”

“About what dear?” Her mother sighed and the tea rippled beneath her.

“About my vacation with the girls.”

“Sure, tell me.”

“Well don’t you sound excited,” the girl laughed. “Let me just say though, it was absolutely amazing.” She looked up waiting for a reaction from her mother. When she didn’t receive one she went on.

“Well first of all, the house was three stories high. Three stories!” She looked up at the low ceiling of their only floor. “There was a chandelier and a porch with a glass table and four bathrooms. The decor was terrible though-- ugly prints everywhere. Not what you’d expect from a million dollar house.”

Her mother nodded. “What did you guys do there?”

“Well we rode these adorable little bikes all over town and swam in the ocean and went in the boats. Every night we would have a meal with candles and wine glasses. There was no wine of course, but it was nice all the same.” She lifted the tea to her mouth and took a small sip and then dabbed at her mouth with a handkerchief as if she was still dining over the glass table.

When she was finished she continued. “The best part though was the men--- yes, men. These were no boys. And my goodness I’ve never seen so many attractive men in my life, especially not in this town. The were all tall and dark and polite. They would tip their hats at us and say ‘Good afternoon ladies.’ It was the cutest thing. Me and Tina and Sadie would giggle of course. We couldn’t help it, but Dolores would just wink or give them a quick smile over her shoulder. That little minx!” The girl took her last sip of tea and put the empty cup down. Her mother was already finished and took the cups to the sink, rinsing them off. The girl got up and took the wet cups from her, drying them with a towel and then putting them back in the cupboard. When they were finished, the girl sat down and looked up expectantly at her mother.

“Well? Don’t you want to hear the rest of the story?”

The woman put a hand to her temple. “Maybe we should finish it later, dear.”

“Please mother! This is the best part! Besides, I just got back after being gone for five days, you’d think my own mother would want to talk to me.” The girl pouted.

The woman sat down without a sound. “Okay, go on.”

The girl smiled. “Okay, well like I said Dolores has a way with the men so of course she’s the one who finds a nice guy, right? Anyway, we’re biking over this bridge, just riding a long, when Dolores stops. We didn’t know she had stopped, we we just continued along over the bridge. Apparently, though, Dolores had seen a duck in the water with all the baby ducks swimming behind her and she was bending over the edge of the bridge to get a closer look and she fell! It was the scariest thing. It was a miracle she survived the fall in the first place, let alone what happened next. What are you doing?”

Her mother had gotten up and was turning on the stove. “I have to make dinner. Your father’s going to be home any minute.”

“Well are you listening to the story? It gets really good, I promise.”

“Of course I am. Just keep going.” She said over the stove.

“Okay, so next thing you know Dolores is splashing around in the water below, just having a cow and this guy who was walking over the bridge hears her screaming. The guy takes off his jacket and shoes and dives in-- just dives in! Then he swims to her and wraps his arms around her and says ‘I’ve got you now’ and swims her to shore. By that time we realized Dolores was not with us anymore and we went back and what do we see but her all wet on the shore kissing some guy! They were inseparable ever since and now Dolores is staying there for the rest of the summer with the guy who saved her life. Isn’t that just crazy?” She exclaimed putting her hands up. “Dolores always was the lucky one.” She looked up to see that he mothers eyes were shiny and tears were welling up below.

“What's the matter? When did you start getting sentimental over love stories?” The girl laughed.

Her mother half-smiled. “It’s just the steam from the pan, I’m fine.”

“Well wasn’t that a great story?” The girl asked.

“Yes, it was fine. Now maybe you should go and clean up for dinner. I think I just heard your father.”

“Okay.” The girl grumbled. “You’re in such a weird mood today.”

As soon as the girl disappeared upstairs, the woman crumbled onto the floor. She put a hand over her mouth so that her daughter wouldn’t hear and tears rolled over the hand, through the creases and cracks. Her husband came in through the door and saw her there and her rushed to her side. He took hold of her arms and lifted her up into one of the kitchen chairs.

“Shh.” He said. “Shhh. What's the matter?” He said looking into her swollen eyes. She tried to talk, opening her mouth and then closing it as a sob escaped, but she couldn’t, so he just held her in his arms until her shaking subsided.

“The funeral was a month ago and she’s still telling that silly story!” The woman said, wiping her eyes.

“She told it again today?” He took a seat beside her, placing his hat on the table and loosening his tie.

“She thinks it was an accident and some boy dove over the bridge to save her. She thinks it was yesterday.” The woman got up and began to set the table.

“Let me do that,” her husband said, taking the silverware from her. She sat down again. “I thought the doctor said this was just a coping mechanism. He said she would get over it.” He said.

“It’s been two months. She is not okay...” She paused when she heard the sound of footsteps down the stairs and then leapt up, grabbing some dishes and putting them on the table. “Just in time, dear. Dinner is ready.” She said as her daughter appeared in the kitchen.

“Oh good! I’m hungry.” She gave her dad a kiss and then sat down and her parents followed.

When they were settled, they all filled their plates with mashed potatoes and green beans and meat loaf and were chewing silently when the girl said, “Oh Daddy, I have to tell you what happened yesterday!” Neither of them looked up as her unwavering voice blended in with the sound of clinking plates and chewing.

Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

-Missy- said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm
This was a great story! The idea behind it is awesome! Good job, and good write!
waligreen replied...
Sept. 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm
Thank you!
AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm

The good:  This is so creative and unique!  I love it!  The story line and characters are awesome, and the emotions are great.  It also flows really well. :)  Great writing!

The bad: The detail in the first paragraph is a little much...

The random:  THIS IS AWESOME!!! Never stop writing.

waligreen replied...
Sept. 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm
Thank you so much (:
MaddieGr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm
Oh my god.. I love it.. so much.. I'm speechless but I wanted to leave a comment :p
waligreen replied...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 7:04 pm
Thank you so much! :)
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