When I woke up the next morning, it felt like a bad dream. There was no way my mom said those things to me, there couldn’t be. If it did then I had to be able to get through it and move on. This separation would only be worse. I reluctantly rolled over, scared of what I may face but knowing I couldn’t ignore the moment any longer. 

I grabbed my phone and looked at the screen. Good Morning Beautiful, how was your night? 

He had begun texting me this every morning which came from this song by Steve Holy. It made it seem like one day I would wake up next to him and everything would be perfect. 

Smiling because at least one thing remained intact, I replied. It was ok. How was yours? 

Well I fell asleep right after we texted and have just been waiting for you to wake up lol. 

I’m up now. 

I know we were going to get together tonight, but would you want to come over earlier and hang out all day?

Yes! Let me check with my mom. 

I was screaming inside. I absolutely wanted to get away and spend my time with Jake and his family. The fear that last night would have a long lasting impact on our relationship felt inevitable with an unbearing weight. 

I accepted that I had to get out of bed because I had to ask my mom if I could spend the day at Jake’s house. If there was ever a reason to face her, this was the best I could think of. I knew that I had to pretend nothing happened. I had to act like everything was fine. I swallowed my pain as I walked the hallway into the kitchen. My little brother was sitting at the table eating a bowl of cereal with a huge smile on his face. My mom was back on the couch the tv was on but no one seemed to be engrossed in it. 

“Good Morning.” I smiled as I entered looking at my mom but focusing on my little brother who just looked incredibly happy with his cereal and smiling. I snuck another glance at my mom trying to keep the same smile. 

“Mornin’!” My brother turned to look at me smiling  with a mouthful of cereal. 

“Morning.” My mom replied without looking at me. 

I opened the fridge, my stomach growling with hunger and then I heard our conversation come flooding back to me, “More to love I guess” and I could feel her finger tracing and poking my stomach. I immediately closed the fridge and my hunger evaporated. 

I turned to face my mom, all I wanted was to go to Jake’s house, but I needed to ask her first. 

“Mom?”

“Hm” her face turned to mine. 

“Can I go to Jake’s house today? He invited me over and we are just going to spend the day together.”

“I thought I already said you could go AGAIN tonight.” The again had an inflication in it as if to say, I’m letting you go all the time and you would be leaving the home again which is a privilege. Then she asked one of the questions I had been fearing.

“Why doesn’t he come here?” I knew I needed to divert immediately. The sink was once again covered in dishes, there were visible dust bunnies all over the floor, and empty wine bottles lined the counter, and this was just the kitchen. 

photo: H Williams, creative commons license.

“Well, I was already going over there for dinner  tonight, so we were just going to spend more time together today, just watch tv and hang out.”

“Can’t you do that here?”

“We can, but since I’m going there tonight, can’t I just go over earlier?” 

“You’re embarrassed by me. I get it. I don’t care, go.”

“No mom. I’m not embarrassed about you, we just already…” The truth was I wasn’t embarrassed by her, except for when she was the angry her, but I felt like that was much less likely to happen with Jake around. I was just embarrassed that the house was dirty and how instead of the wonderful Twilight Zone  I entered at his house. He would enter a Twilight Zone that would have actually fit into the series for him. As I was thinking she had already interrupted me and was giving me an answer.

“Fine. You can go. I know you like it there better anyway. Besides, I don’t really want to look at you right now.”

“Ok, well I’ll have Jake pick me up in an hour or so.”

I was dismissed by a hand wave. 

I didn’t know why my mom didn’t want to look at me, this made no sense to me, I thought I had been polite and calm, but really I didn’t want to look at her, my heart hurt, so I was just happy I was leaving. 

I can come over. Can you pick me up in an hour? 

Yes! I’ll be there. See you soon Chica. 

I sped-walked to my room and got ready to go over to Jake’s.  I knew we would just be lounging around and laughing all day so I threw on comfortable clothes and was ready a couple minutes before he was supposed to pick me up. Figuring it was better to spend time with my mom before I left just to attempt to smooth anything over and make it easier. I walked back into the kitchen. My brother’s cereal bowl sitting on the table but now they were both watching a movie together on the couch. 

“Jake will be here soon.” I got no response. “What are we watching?” I plopped myself down next to my brother sitting on the arm of the chair. 

“Shhhh!” the both said. 

So I sat quietly watching minutes pass by as I anxiously awaited Jake to arrive. It felt like forever in a room where the air was heavy until I finally saw Jake’s truck. 

“Well, he is here. I am going to go.” I was pretty much talking to no one at this point, just sharing information. 

My mom rose from the couch, patted her hair and walked me to the door. 

Jake always came to the door to pick me up. I opened the door and walked over to him. 

“Bye,” I said looking at my mom. 

“Hi Jake!” All of a sudden my mom had energy and happiness in her tone. 

“Hi Ms. Knox. How are you?”

She smiled and looked at him. “I’m great! You two have fun! Have her home by 11.”

“Of course.” 

“Bye mom, I’ll see you tonight. I love you.” I expected her to say nothing back and was shocked when she said, “I love you too, have fun.” 

I walked out the door hand in hand with Jake and was thrilled to be out of the house and going to what had quickly become what felt like my second home. 

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