BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge in which participants write short stories using a single word for inspiration. You can visit the BB’s blog to find out more about it: Blogbattle: Inspired To Write.
This week’s word is Tea.
Evening Tea (Jessie #5)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
I set my cup of tea down on the table careful not to spill it on the white cloth beneath it and, taking a deep breath, I say after gathering myself, “It’s not as easy as you think, Mom.”
“But it is,” She puts her cup down too and leans forward in her seat, “Look, Jess, I know the past year has been really tuff on you – first the accident, then Rick’s affair and then this,” she waves a hand at my belly and continues as if she’s not talking about her only daughter miscarrying her 6 weeks old unborn child, but simply making an observation about a filthy sack full of crap.
Looking at me she sighs heavily and continues, “But sweetie this is not how you deal with your problems. You can’t just take a break from your life and isolate yourself.” Adding more sugar to her tea, she continues, “You need to keep yourself busy. These things are not that significant dear. look at the bigger picture.”
When I start to protest, she raises a hand and continues her lecture, “All I’m saying is at least try to do something that’ll keep you busy and help you to get your mind off of such things.”
The clinking noise of her spoon makes it difficult for me to maintain a straight face. I start tapping my feet first slowly, then intensely and try to sound nonchalant, “And what exactly do you mean by ‘such things’?”
She looks up at me and furrows her brows for a second and then reclaiming her calm exterior she says, “You know what I mean, your accident, Rick’ betrayal, the baby and your failures on the whole.”
Unable to contain my anger any longer, my voice rises a notch, “My failures? What the hell do you mean by my failures?”
She sips her tea calmly and after patting her mouth with the napkin she says, “I didn’t mean to offend you, Jessie. It’s just a manner of speaking.”
The patting of my feet grows so intense that it starts to hurt me, “Seriously, mom?”
“What?” she says shrugging.
I pick up the spoon next to my cup and start pouring sugar in my coffee not wanting to fall for my mom’s sick game.
“Say something, Jessie. I came all the way here just to talk to you and this is how you treat me?”
I stop pouring sugar in my cup and tighten my grip on the spoon’s handle,”Stop it, Mom. Please. Just stop it!”
She sits straighter, making it clear that she disapproves my tone and says, “No, you stop it, Jessie. You need to face it. We both know that you’re blaming yourself for Rick’s affair. So say as much and be done with it. You can’t feel guilty forever.”
“No, that is so not the case, Mom. I’m not guilty of anything! He cheated on me not because I wasn’t good enough for him, but because he is a worthless piece of shit who doesn’t know what loyalty is. So please don’t go there because that’s really not the case.”
“Oh, but I know that this is exactly what’s troubling you.”
“Oh, so now you are what? A break-up specialist?”
“Well, considering my experiences I think you can call me that.”
Unable to contain the storm brewing inside me I look at her and fixing her with a glare I say gritting my teeth, “Stop it already. You’re doing it again.”
“What am I doing?”
Giving up, I get up with a jerk, pushing the chair behind me, and throw the napkin on the table, “Nothing.”
“Don’t you stomp off in front of me Jessie. I am your mother.”
I stop in my tracks and turning around I try to bite back the words that form in my mouth, but knowing her as well as I do, I let the words out of my mouth, “You’re again getting it all wrong, Mom. And that’s why I was trying to avoid meeting you in the first place. You just love assuming things. You don’t even try to find out what’s really wrong. All you know is to make others feel miserable for all the things that are going wrong in their life.”
“No. That is absurd!”
“Yeah? Well, tell this to someone who hasn’t spend 20 years of their lives living with you under the same roof.”
“That’s enough. I’m leaving.”
“Good for you. And please don’t bother checking up on me after today, because I won’t be staying here anymore.”
She gets up from her chair and throwing her purse over her shoulder she says, “Why? Is this place not good enough for you now that I know where you are?”
I shake my head and release a long breath.
“At least tell your old mother where she can find you in case if there’s an emergency or something.”
“Well, you won’t be calling me in any kind of emergency if you knew where I’ll be.”
She turns around and looks me in the eyes, “Where are you going, Jessie?”
“I’m going to Dewar.”
Her mouth falls open and she turns red. Throwing her off guard this way, even for a minute, makes me feel so much better. She quickly regains her cold composure and narrows her eyes at me as if I’m a 4-year-old girl, “And might I ask where will you be staying?”
She studies my face for a long time and then quietly makes a beeline for the door but before leaving, she stops abruptly and turns around, “Goodbye, Jessie. I hope you have a great time with your father.”
She spits out the words so ferociously that it feels more like “Rot in hell with your father,” which, I think, is exactly what she wanted to say.
You can read the previous parts of Jessie: Story About A Girl series here:
NOTE: This is a piece of fiction any resemblance to any person or place (living or dead) is purely coincidental.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.