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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: Life Stories

My Mom
Jude Perera

Mom did her best to patch us up; but my hurt was too deep, I couldn’t hack it anymore. The bastard never said a word in defense; I wish he had. Some guilt at least; he just stared back; a bit lost as I tore into him. I can’t remember what I said; it is all an angry blur now; he took it like a man. I think I wanted names; he was a vault; that pissed me off more. A torrent of tears would have calmed me somewhat; but he had none; I wanted it. There were no vulgar displays; he didn’t get down on his knees; he should have. I’d give anything to know why he did it to me; I can’t hate him still; god knows I want to.

I kicked him out of course; he left without a word; didn’t take anything with him. I am hanging out for that call; it’s almost two weeks now; perhaps he’s back with that slut. But I heard some good rumors that she had hightailed and he is all-alone, poetic justice. But they are rumors after all; my breath is short again.

He perved shamelessly; even in my presence, but with callous indifference. I repaid in kind with the same indifference. We were so comfortable. I had him body and soul; I lived off it; then this; it is pure treachery. The last three years couldn’t have been a lie or was it? I can’t shake it off; the two of them; the sound works; how many times? It’s a curse. I want to do the same; but I can’t get past him; I can’t do it.

My cheeks are quite wet; its been streaming down for the past hour; I didn’t even feel it. His pillow’s soaked as well; it still smells the same; all him. I can’t chuck it out. I hope mom doesn’t see; it’ll break her. She was the worst hit; that stunned me more; she never had time for me. She moved in straight after he moved out; she’s been my lifeline. Perhaps I never read her right. I feel bad now; she had her reservations; a single glare snuffed them out. I had no time for her and her tuppence worth then; she didn’t have a bloody right. Yeah; that’s right; she said he looked a phony; not ready for the long haul.

This was after he surprised her with twenty roses; I could have easily throttled her and him. I latched on to him later; I just wanted to introduce him; there was no need to win her to our cause. It was meant to be basic curtsey. He laughed it off; he was easy, he was confident; confident in us. I had nothing to prove, nothing to defend. Well he proved me wrong two weeks ago.

Well Mom smiled warmly enough for the photos; but she was always just civil to him throughout our brief marriage. Strangely; she visited me more than ever before, I wanted her out of my hair; she was looking after me I guess. But he never took any of that frost on board; he was Mr. charming, it never bothered him. I am sure I imagined that spark of grudging admiration in her. It doesn’t surprise me anymore; he had infinite patience; he never gives up. She has proved her point now; she never rubbed it in though. I feel really stupid now; I’d never be able to read anyone again; I don’t have the skill set. I hate myself; I feel cheap; he should crawl back, I want to crawl to him.

I told him no the first time he flashed the ring. It was stunning, four carats of pure white. I wasn’t ready of course; the lights were dimmed; Bette Midler crooned the rose in the background; the restaurant staff played their part. I hated myself then. You should have seen the look on his face; he was shattered. He was one patient bastard though; he played friend to perfection; gave me the space. Too much space; I almost ran out of hints to inspire a second round on his knees. I couldn’t breath; my heart was thumping, I just wanted him to finish his damn drill. I prayed to hold my nerves; I wanted a dignified Yes; my scream almost floored him. The crowd was in stitches; he owned me ever since.
I am shaking from head to toe; his pillow can’t dull my sobs; my belly hurts like hell. Suddenly I am cushioned in a bear hug; I didn’t hear her enter; I didn’t think she heard. It is so comforting; I don’t have to act; I gave it up two weeks ago. I am a child again; I want to. She’s crooning something; I don’t know what, it is soothing.

When I come around she’s lying next to me; fast asleep, one arm over my waist. I slept like a log. Her pretty face is heavily drawn; slight rings under her eyes; she shares my stress. Her red head of hair is slightly faded; spiced with some grey. She looks hot still; waist; super slender; legs perfectly toned and waxed. She couldn’t pass for my mother; I am kind of proud. Well she widowed pretty young; she deserves a break. Perhaps that could be my project; she can’t waste for me. I just want to wake her up and thank her; but she needs her sleep. She had not slept over the past few weeks; I know. I have heard her sobbing late at night. I must learn to smile; force it at least; that’ll make her day.

I gently remove her arm; and slide off the bed. It’s already dark outside; I hate the dark; it is kind of depressing. I pass her room; I can see the neat bed and the pressed pillows. There is that tell tale mosaic on them; I don’t deserve her; I just want to catch up for lost time. I know I can pull through, with her. Who knows she might help me back to the dating game; we can help each other. My own laugh shocks me; it sounds strange; it feels awesome.

I can finally rip through his shit and throw them out; well he hasn’t come back for them anyway. I am spilling guts; I tiptoe back to my room; she is still lost to the world; in peace. Its painful progress; I’d kill myself if she wakes up. She needs this sleep. Finally I am out his briefcase in my hand. I always wanted to go through it; didn’t have the strength. I dash the contents on the floor; I am in the lounge room. A few formal looking documents; The Daily Telegraph from two weeks ago; pens, pager; photo; envelopes lie scattered on the ground. Photo; I am on edge; my legs feel funny; my heart’s deafening; I thought I had guts. I take a closer look; a grainy old photo of an attractive red head, she looks familiar. I can’t bear a second scrutiny. My hands are clammy and shaking violently; it can’t be good for the heart; damn her to hell. I know I can make a new start. I crush it and throw it into the bin.

Huh; now I remember; she looked a bit like Mom; now that’s funny. It’s a crazy feeling; I want to show it to Mom, coax a laugh from one of us, that’ll make her day. My heart’s funny again as I pick it from the bin, but its more bearable than before. I can’t still bring myself to take another look, but Mom I am sure will help me make a slut out of her. I feel good after a long,long time.
© Jude Perera
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Email: gogo72au at

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