Mother This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By
More by this author
I sat cross-legged on the hardwood floor, straining my head to cooperate with the tilt of my mirror and the mascara wand on my lashes as my legs shifted over one another, again and again, determined to find a comfy groove in the wood. She says carpet floors make a house seem cheap and a family look poor. Suddenly, I heard that escaping of air accompanied by the creaking of bolts as my door opened behind me. She came in, arms crossed in her pristine white cardigan, the thick phone still gripped in one hand. We don’t even have caller I.D. on that old phone. She says caller I.D. is ridiculous, like cell phones and unmade beds. Her lips remained closed, drawing the wrinkles around her mouth into their perpetual frown, and she leaned against the post of my bed. I remember asking for a more modern bed one year. She’d just looked at me for a long time, lips pursed, eyebrows raised, as if I knew exactly what she wanted to say but didn’t bother to. She says that people are impractical these days, that antiques like my bed are a sign of diligence and conservation. Knowing full well she was watching my every move in the the mirror, I turned to face her. She didn’t clear her throat, but instead took in a breath, her mouth open wide in a purposeful donut shape. “Bonnie called me again today,” she exhaled, arms still crossed over her chest, and paused. My eyes were dropped to where I saw her only from the torso down, so I lifted them to her face, finding the frown lines pulling at her mouth even more. She says people who constantly make eye contact are pretentious, even snooty, and definitely self-indulgent. I learned this the time I had watched her scream about Father’s credit card debt as she threw beanie babies and Kindergarten graduation pictures around my room. I had kept my eyes on hers the entire time. Her slap left an imprint shaped like her wedding ring on my cheek. She didn’t turn to see if I had looked at her, she knew I had, and so she continued. “I mean, I’m a very patient person – I deal with this family without going crazy – but Bonnie literally drives me up walls. I tried to talk to her about that wedding next week, and as usual, she says something like, ‘I’m going. It’s what Mom and Dad would want from us, and no one else is going to do it, so I will.’ Like she’s so, so high and mighty or something. Of course, I only tried to be kind with her, you know how I am, I just deal with people all of the time and know how to be courteous. So I said ‘Now Bonnie, I don’t mean to be judgemental,’ because you know, I don’t,” and she looked at me, but didn’t want a response, “‘but aren’t you being a tad self-righteous?”





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm
excellent story i really liked this keep it up   could you please check out and comment on my story Numb.  i would really appreciate the feedback
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback