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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: No Respect
By Michelle Roufley


Looking at her wrinkled reflection in the mirror, Lois noticed the dark sags under her eyes. She was so dependent now on everyone else for so much. She would become impatient, as she waited for someone to come over to pick up her grocery list. She would go to the kitchen for something only to find that she had already used it up.

“Maybe Sara will come today,” she hoped as she poured her milk over her steaming oatmeal. The thought of her eldest daughter immediately turned her mood sour. “Boy she’d could have really been something if she’d left that good for nothing husband a long time ago,” Lois fussed to herself. “Sara was smart, valedictorian of her class, captain of the basketball team, National Honor Society....the list goes on. Now all she does is sits home and have babies.”

After tipping the bowl and slurping the last of the milk up, Lois popped her head up to see a car passing by her window. She was immediately disappointed that it wasn’t Sara. “Maybe she’ll stop after she drops the kids off at school,” Lois concluded.

The morning dragged on as Lois washed her breakfast dishes, then sat in her easy chair rubbing out the soreness in her knees. She sat in the corner watching traffic, hoping she would catch a glance of the little red car Sara drove. Without even realizing she had snoozed, Lois woke to the sunshine flowing warmly through the window and onto her face. She squinted against the onslaught, and looked at the clock on the wall. She pushed herself forward as quickly as she could manage with her bones creaking. She had better get busy, Sara might stop in for lunch.

Then Lois recalled the last lunch she and Sara had together. She told Sara once and for all exactly how she felt. Sara was wasting away leaving her gifts and talents untapped. She was always doing something for that church that “he” belonged to, and brainwashed her with. She needed to be an example to her own girls. The day of the woman being barefoot and pregnant had long past. Women were now conquerors worthy of respect. She didn’t raise her daughter to be an underachiever.

Lois stirred the taco meat in the pan. She’d wait a little longer in case Sara was running late. With a sigh she made a face at the dry burger, put a spoonful on a tortilla shell, tossed some cheese on it, and ate her lunch, in the quiet.

The afternoon trudged on. Lois teetered toward the telephone on the wall when it rang loudly. Her spirits lifted to hear someone calling, and broken when it was another telemarketer trying to sell her car insurance.

Lois ate leftovers from lunch for dinner. She had planned enough for two, so she guessed it all worked out in the end. Then she turned on the television to watch the evening news. Shadows crawled across the floor as she clicked on the lamp next to her.

The telephone again rang as Lois hoisted herself up from her chair. She caught it on the fifth ring.
“Hi Mom, “ Sara greeted “how was your day?”

“Same as any other day,” Lois answered dryly “I sit here alone day in and day out, no one comes to visit, no one calls. I just as well not be here at all.”

Sara sighed and swallowed hard. “I just called to see if you needed anything.” She said trying not to let her mother hear the dread in her voice.

“You can stop by and get a list tomorrow.” Lois commanded.

“Mom, why don’t you just tell me what you need, and I can go get it. That way I will save a trip across town.” Sara suggested.

“You run here, and run there for every other reason under the sun,” Lois said defensively, “but you don’t have time to stop for a few minutes.”

“Look Mom,” Sara cut in “Mike’s home I need to go. I’ll maybe catch up with you tomorrow evening. Love you bye.”

She hung up leaving Lois hanging onto a silent phone. Lois put the phone back on the hook, wondering why this generation didn’t seem to have any respect. Lois sadly got ready for bed, and wondered where she had gone so wrong in raising her children. One wouldn’t even speak to her, and the other had made such a mess of her life. As she drifted off to sleep she wondered.......

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This article has been read 558 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/21/08
I know people just like this! How sad.
nicole wian02/24/08
This really touched me. I can personally relate to this story. Very realistic. Thank you.
Laury Hubrich 02/24/08
I really like this story. I love how you show this old lady pushing away the only one that really loved her. Very good. Please have someone proofread your work. Keep on writing!
Joshua Janoski02/25/08
This reminds me of my grandmother and her relationship to my aunt and uncles. It is sad when this happens, but it is a reality for many families.

I liked the descriptions and the dialogue. Very good writing.
D. Phenes02/25/08
This story made the theme stand out the most for me. Great job.
LauraLee Shaw02/26/08
You did a REALLY good job writing this piece. It flowed well, and you captured the emotion of the two parties perfectly. Your ending left the reader hanging, and that was very effective here.