Bad Things

Of all the men mom had married, there wasn't a single one that could replace my dad. Except one.

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12. Lunch Disaster

The drive to mom’s house felt longer than usual. Liam had some errands to run and couldn’t make lunch. Since I didn’t want to show up alone, Harry was his replacement. Harry parked his car in front of the house. “Are you sure about this?” asked he. I have never been more sure of this moment.

Harry was the only other person that I felt safe with. The other was my dad. I honestly wish he was still alive. Though, I knew things would turn out differently. I wouldn’t have met Harry because mom wouldn’t have met and married him.

“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want you to be here.” I reassured him. Harry nodded before getting out of the car. When I got out, I stood in front of my house. For some reason, the house seemed to feel bigger or I just felt small.

It had been two years since the last mom and I had seen each other. It was my college graduation. He looked over at me. “You ready?” Absolutely not! I didn’t know what to expect to be honestly. I wasn’t sure of the kind of man mom was going to marry.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.” I told him. I walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell. The door opened. To my surprise, it wasn’t mom. It was a man who stood before us around her age. “Hello. I’m Kathryn. I’m here for lunch with my mom.” I wasn’t sure if introducing Harry to the man was a good idea. 

“You’re Alice’s daughter? Wow, you look more beautiful in person. I’m not saying that you aren’t in pictures. I’m Jared.” Jared holds his hand out towards my direction. I reached out to shake his hand. “Why don’t you two come in?” I entered the house, which almost felt nostalgic. I wondered how Harry felt coming back here after the divorce.

We walked into the kitchen. Before any words were spoken, I stood frozen in place. Mom was home at the stove cooking. I shouldn’t find this scene surprising. Mom mostly cooked. Harry cooked when he was off from work. Jared walked over to mom and whispered something inaudible, which made her turn to face us. “Liam couldn’t make it?” asked she.

“He had errands to run.” Mom nodded slowly in response to my answer before returning to her cooking. Well, those were the most words spoken between us in the last two years. At graduation, she only said ‘Congratulations.’

“Jared, I need to speak with my daughter alone. Do you mind staying here and keep—“ She cleared her throat while motioning over towards Harry’s direction. Jared nodded and took his place at the stove. I follow mom to her bedroom. She definitely changed the interior of her room. I closed the door behind us. “Why did you bring him here? Where is Liam?” Mom crossed her arms over her chest. We’re doing this again?

“I told you. Liam’s running errands mom. He couldn’t make lunch. If you have a problem with Harry, then it has nothing to do with me."

“The divorce had everything to do you with you."

I knew it. She would put the blame on me, or try to. “Mom, you just didn’t like the fact that Harry was starting to have feelings for me. You can’t deny that fact. You knew that from the very day you introduced the two of us that he wasn’t going to be yours for long."

“Do you really love Liam?” No one had ever asked me that question before. I didn’t have an answer. Well, I didn’t know how to answer her. “Answer me."

“I don’t have to. Mom, you made it clear from the very moment I moved out that you stopped seeing me as your daughter. I think you hated the fact that I reminded you so much of dad that—"

“Don’t mention your father to me."

“He would be so disappointed in you. Dad loved you. Then after he died, everything changed. You changed. Mom, I don’t think you dealt with his death for even just a second. You didn’t even grieve.” I knew I hit a nerve because immediately after, mom slapped me across the face. She had never hit me before. I looked at her with my hand touching where I had been struck.

“I came here to reconcile with my mom and to tell her that maybe I’ll go to her wedding. Now, I don’t know what to think anymore.” I stormed out of the room and called out to Harry that we should leave. Harry followed. We get into his car. I told him to take me back to his place.

I didn’t want to go home. Harry nodded and made the drive back to his place. As soon as we entered his place, I broke out crying. Harry wrapped his arms around me, holding me close. “She’s a horrible woman.” I said.

“She’ll come around. She lost her husband, and now she’s lost you. She’ll realize it soon enough."

I pulled away and looked into his eyes. “I hate her."

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