Saturday, January 21, 2017

Confessions and Other Things I'd Like to Forget

When I was little, my mom would tell me and my sister crazy stories about her childhood.  I’ve heard countless other stories from more family members, so I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book of short stories about the outrageous things that have happened in many of my relative’s lives.  I have about 17 interesting stories I want to write out so far and I decided to post some of them on my blog.  Since a lot of these stories occurred before I was born, I have to fictionalize them a little, but they are all based on real events.  Here’s the first one I decided to write.
This is a story about my Grandmother and my Mother.  I will be writing from the perspective of my mother.

Mom was in a bad place.  Well, I’m not sure I would really call it a bad place, but I wouldn’t call it a good one. 
Ten months had gone by since Dad and Mom got officially divorced.  Mom spent seven of those ten months dating Rob.  My mother ran a dance studio in the Valley and Rob was one of her students.  One day, I guess Rob just caught Mom’s attention.  Don’t get me wrong, he was cute and all, but there was just one thing between Mom and Rob that really made me cringe.  Mom was almost 50.  Rob was 23.  I was 20.  So you can see how this situation would make me feel a little strange.
            I mean, seriously, I could have been dating Rob and it would have made more sense.  I had just recently gotten out of a relationship myself that sent me from my dream situation living in New York to this nightmare that was my mother’s love life.  And to top it all off I was living with her, in the boring Valley where I grew up, . . . and with Rob.  
            “Lou,” mom calls me Lou, “Rob makes me happy.  I know you might not get it, but after Daddy, I just really need a nice guy who is going to treat me how I deserve to be treated.  But kindness aside,” she leaned in and lowered her voice to a whisper, “the sex is great!”
            Yeah.  Not exactly something you want to hear from your mom, but that was the kind of thing I heard even before Mom and Dad got divorced.  Where are our boundaries you ask? What boundaries? What does that word mean?  I’m not sure I’ve ever heard it before. 
            And then Rob walked into the kitchen in his underwear.
            Rob and Mom’s relationship ended as quickly and as intensely as it had started.  Mom was a mess and my siblings and I had to pick up the pieces.  But before we could do that, we had to pick up mom’s stuff from Rob’s.
            A few weeks before the breakup, Mom found love letters that Rob had written, but they weren’t to her.  They were to another girl from the dance studio.  He wrote about how she danced, how the line of her leg reminded him of a warm summer’s day or some crap like that. 
            Mom and my siblings and I tried to figure out who the letters were for.  Rob had been dancing with a girl name Leah for the recital, so she seemed like the most likely choice for his love.  One thing seemed off, however.  Leah was only sixteen, which meant that she was seven years younger than Rob.  But Mom was convinced it was her.
            A couple days after their breakup, I went to Rob’s apartment to pick up some of Mom’s things.
            I parked my car in front of the pale grey walkway, feeling as uncomfortable as I usually did around Rob, but this time it was at his apartment.   I shut my car door with a slam and started towards the door.  I tapped on his door lightly, waiting for a response, but hoping for none. 
            Unfortunately, the door opened with a creak and revealed Rob’s floppy red hair and porcelain skin.  “Hey.”  I said awkwardly.
            “Hi Laura.”  He gave me a warm smile and I found it odd that he was so normal in such an awkward situation.  He led me through the door and I stepped into the living room timidly, hoping this would be quick so I could make it to a movie with my best friend Karen in a few hours.
            “So, how’ve you been, Laura?” he sat casually on a stool by his counter.
            “Uh, I’ve been fine, just, you know, cheering up Mom and everything.”  I shifted nervously, wishing this would be over soon.  I had hoped we could just skip the small talk and get to the boxes, but it seemed Rob had other intentions.  Maybe he was trying to get back with Mom, but I didn’t get why that meant he would need to chit chat with me.
            “So, Laura,” he started, I wondered why he kept saying my name, I knew what it is, “There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”
            This could not be weirder. “Um, okay, I have to get going soon though, I have something at two.”
           He ignored my excuse to leave and continued, “There’s another reason why your Mom and I broke up.  It was never right, but there’s another reason.”
            “I’m sure she would be interested to know what it is, you should give her a call.  Are these the boxes?”  I walked over to the few boxes lying on the ground and picked one up.
            “Your Mom doesn’t need to know.  Only you do.”  He took a step closer to me.
            “I’m not sure I get what you mean.”  I made an effort to avoid eye contact with him, looking to the boxes to make sure I didn’t miss anything. 
            “I’ve been writing these letters, love letters actually,” for the first time since I arrived, he looked away from me, down to his feet, but I didn’t feel any less uncomfortable, “I’ve been writing the letters to you, Laura.  I’m in love with you.”        
            Take a moment to vomit or scream if you need to, believe me, I will.
            So right about now you might be thinking, “That’s bullshit.  This has to be made up.  It sounds like a soap opera.”  But this is the cold, hard truth, as much as I wish it wasn’t.
            Naturally, I dropped the box onto the floor with all of its contents and dashed for the door, not paying him a second glance.  This was a man who had been involved with my mother!  Who had had sex with my mother!  And now he was in love with me? It doesn’t get much more twisted. 
            Rob called me a few times after that day, I never answered.  My brother and sister went back for the boxes.  I told Mom a few years later about Rob’s confession.  How we didn’t see it coming, I’m not sure, but I’ve tried to block out the whole thing as much as I could. 

            Usually having an older, attractive, and talented guy interested in you is a good thing.  Usually seeing a hot dude in his underwear in your kitchen is a good thing.  And usually having someone confess their love for you is a good thing.  But never when it’s your Mom’s rebound. 

4 comments:

  1. Nice work. This piece shows you have a knack for dialogue. And I'm impressed with how well you adapt to your mother's perspective.

    If you'd like to further enhance this (or if you want something to try as you continue this series) I'd like to read just a bit more descriptive imagery so that I can visual some of the characters a bit more. Also, I would love to know how Laura's mother reacted when the truth came out years later. Did she laugh? Get angry? Say, "Boys will be boys?" Reactions are a wonderful way to reveal a character's nature.

    Keep up the excellent work!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'll make sure to include more descriptions as I keep writing and add in her reaction. Thank you for the feedback!

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