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Judie Finds Her Mum

Here's a short story from academic, author and poet, Faith Brown that I got from her website. I love short stories and this one is awesome.

As I watched my mum prepare dinner in our small, neat and modestly fitted kitchen, I thought that these three words best characterize her: tall, elegant, beautiful. Even in her simple track suit she looked stylish and out-of-place in our near austere apartment house. The kitchen has a slightly cracked cup hanging from a peg because it was Dad’s favorite mug.

“Mum, don’t forget the PTA meeting tomorrow at four.”
She was opening a second can of tomato and onion mix. She paused and looked at me apologetically. “Sorry love, I can’t leave the office till six.”
I should have seen that coming but I’m too much of an optimist.
“Not again!” I screamed.

By this time she had stopped opening the can altogether. “You know I’d have liked to be there, honey.”
I couldn’t bring myself to look at her. “Just forget it, Mum.” I said dejectedly and walked out of the kitchen.
“Judie, come back,” my mum called out but I ignored her. I was tired of hearing the same excuses.
In my room, I lay on my bed cradling my warm pink Canadian teddy bear, Pinkie.

“May I come in, Judie?” my mum asked softly from outside my bedroom door.
When I didn’t respond, she opened the door and entered. I turned my back facing the wall. I felt her slight weight depress the bed as she sat. “I wish I didn’t have to work so hard but this job pays our bills,” she said. My mum works as a paralegal in a leading New York law firm, Neumann and Neumann. After a while as if waiting for me to say something, she continued, “Before your dad died we spent lots of time together but things are different now.” There was a long silence. Then she added, “I know that I’m not the best mum but I love you and I’m doing the best that I can.”

I didn’t have anything to say to her. I was thirteen but I knew that my life was not how I wanted it to be. When I remained in the same position, my mum gently rubbed my shoulder and left the room, shutting the door quietly. I turned, lying on my back, staring at nothing.

The following evening...

(That is all I'm posting here... head over to her website and read the full story there.)

† Have a beautiful day. †

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