Solace in Prudence

Dedicated to 6Pru 2K'16, this story is based loosely around Kate Maryon's 'Shine'.


6. Telephoning the past

I fly into her arms and we squeeze each other tight, holding on, not wanting to let go. I'm so glad to see her.

“I’m so sorry babe, I’m so, so sorry.” Mom sobs into my hair.

Mom cries and cries and I worry that she can’t stop. She clings on so tight that her nails dig in.

Politely, Catherine coughs, and I remember that I don’t have much time to make her feel better. To make us feel better.

“What about me?” I whisper. “Why did you do what you did ? What happens to me while you’re in jail?”

I have so many questions and not enough time.

Mom answers shakily. “Just give me some time to sort all this out and we’ll be back together in no time.”

I don’t know what to believe anymore. I know it’s not normal to be in a police station in the middle of the night. And I know that I’m the only person who can calm her down. Inside, I’m fuming because our whole life is always about her.

“Maybe you can telephone someone from your hometown?” I suggest.

“Oh I don’t know honey. It was so long ago. I can’t just call them out of the blue when I’m in trouble and ask them for help.”

“Mom! This is about me, not you. They’re my family too, not only yours.” I plead.

My mother drags her hand through her hair. “Ok,” She sniffs. “I’ll try my best.”

Catherine tells us our time’s up. She takes hold of mom’s shoulder and heads for the door. I grip mom’s other hand, not wanting to let her go. We’re both hanging on, tugging gently. Mom’s hand and mine slide apart until we’re just touching fingertips, until there’s just space between us.

I crumple on my yellow chair.

“I love you, babe.” Mom whispers.

“I love you, mom.”


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