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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Broken Bridges
By Jennifer Wetter


“Watch your mouth young lady,” my mother sternly warned.

Her temper and her tone warned that I’d better cautiously tread the sea of Making Mother Mad.

“Whatever,” I snapped. Antagonistically I stormed up the stairs, down the hall, slammed my bedroom door and finished my tirade with deafening music loud enough to deafen even the man on the moon.

Snidely I gazed at my digital bedroom clock watching and watching.

One….two…three… in perfect sync with my timing my mother came screeching through the door not quite like a banshee but rather a very mad mother.

I smiled, she seethed. It was a match of wits and wills that I’d finally won.

She exasperatedly sighed, “Lydia….what is wrong with you? I just don’t understand you anymore. We used to be so close; we used to talk about everything. Anymore it’s like we’re complete strangers.”

“I just want my daughter back,” she continued.

Despair and despondency plagued her heart and were etched in the movements of her face. Tears began to fall but to no avail could she hide them from her reflection or me. Instead her heart and her hurt were gently sewn into her shirt sleeve for all to see.

Time passed I don’t know how much or how long. Perhaps it’d been just a few minutes or maybe an hour. I listened for any noise coming from anywhere in the rest of the house but I was only greeted with silence.

I quietly tiptoed down the hall and placed my ear against her door. I felt like a small child at Christmas time eavesdropping on my parents’ and Santa Clause’s conversation. Instead I learned Santa Clause doesn’t exist and neither does his Christmas joy. Instead of eavesdropping on my parents’ and the man-formerly known as Santa Clause’s conversation I eavesdropping on my mother’s and God’s conversation.

“She used to be so compassionate, so cheerful and so caring,” my mother whispered. “She used to love you so much Lord.”

My mother continued, “Please forgive me Lord. I’ve failed you and most importantly I’ve failed my daughter. I’m so sorry Lord.”

“No,” I mouthed silently. “God, you know it’s not her fault. I love her so much but ever since, ever since……”

Her heart is still hurting and so is yours, a silent voice echoed in my mind. I looked around the hallway but it was empty just as my heart felt this very moment.

My mouth went numb and my thoughts ran dry. I didn’t know what to do, where to go. I needed to get away from here and from her. I needed to go somewhere; to anywhere even everywhere was fine.

My legs felt an incessant urge to run; my heart and my hurt had no choice but to follow. My legs said to run so run I did. Although I don’t know how long I’d run my legs finally decided to apply their brakes.

Dark, depressing rain clouds hovered over the picturesque suburb. The place I’d called home for the last eighteen years. The same place that held so many memories of hope, of hurt and of heartache; the one place I never wanted to see again but for a short time it was still my home.

I gazed around until my eyes set themselves upon a familiar scene, my Aunt Tess’s house.

Cautiously I wandered to her front door and rang the doorbell. If anyone would know what to at least I knew she would.

“Lydia…what are you doing here,” my Aunt Tess replied. “Your mother is frantic with worry. She said you just ran out the front door.”

I paused. “She blames herself for what I’ve become.”

“It’s not her fault, I promise,” I cried as my Aunt Tess gathered me into her arms. “I want to tell her I’m sorry…but I don’t know how.”

“Her heart is still hurting and so is yours,” my aunt whispered. “You’re both still grieving and grief cannot be rushed.”

“God knows you’re grieving but it’s easier when you can grieve together,” she continued.

I sniffed. “But I don’t even know where to begin.”

Aunt Tess simply replied, “With love and with listening.”

The next morning my mother and I sat at the breakfast table together for the first time since my father had died.

“Mom,” I asked. “Can we talk….”

Her eyes connected with mine and for the first time in a longtime we smiled at together and God smiled with us too.

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This article has been read 505 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom04/24/08
You have woven so much into a small space. You made your characters real to me and I especially love this -

"cautiously tread the sea of Making Mother Mad."

Keep writing, you have much to say.
Fiona Dorothy Stevenson04/24/08
Needs a bit of work but your story well illustrates the difficulties that can arise between hurting people. Keep on writing. God bless you.
Merryl Vaughan04/25/08
I read this with interest (as any mother would). Thank you.
Patty Wysong04/26/08
This is great. You've done such a good job portraying the defiance and yet defeat of a teen. I could feel the battle and personal struggle, as well as picture this as it unfolded. Good job!!
Marilyn Schnepp 04/26/08
Although this is mainly about a mother/daughter relationship, an aunt was thrown in for good measure. And, it seems the aunt did solve the problem...good job.