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Her mother stopped the car on the side of the road. Her face was mottled purple, but the color was slowly evaporating into the A/C’s strong power. “Why can’t you just be normal?” she demanded of the girl.
The girl would have put her hands on her hips if she’d have more room; instead she gripped her cell phone even tighter in her sweaty palm. She’d just been telling a story, telling her mother about her day. One little word, of course, about fantasy pushed her over the edge.
Fantasy meant anything that was pure speculation. Her mother had been the head cheerleader in high school, and she maintained that the only thing that kept you on top was not dealing with opinion. Though every story had a grain of truth.
“Define it for me,” the girl spat out. “Define normal. Because obviously, I have no idea what it means.”
A song came on the radio, one of that week’s Top 40, and the girl resisted the urge to turn it off. She liked different music, songs that dealt less in singing and more in speaking. Rap, or Crap in her mother’s dictionary.
“Normal isn’t something you can define. It just is.”
“So then how the hell can you expect me to be normal, if it’s something that doesn’t really exist?” The girl resisted a gasp. She’d just cursed...Hopefully her mother didn’t catch it, or didn’t comment. She couldn’t take much more of this.
“God doesn’t have a definition, and He exists.” Of course. That was the jump she would make—the religious one. The girl couldn’t claim to be religious, but she wasn’t an atheist. She believed in something.
“Not to everyone.”
Her mother reared back her head, banging it against the headrest. “Are you saying you don’t believe in God?” Her voice had risen to a piercing shriek, shooting millions of pieces of shrapnel through the girl.
“No, Mom, I’m not saying that! I’m saying....I don’t know what I’m saying.”
“Well you’d better figure it out quick, girl. Like what it means to be normal. Because I will not have my daughter parading around like a floozy when all the Women’s Society’s girls wear designer dresses that go to their knees....”