Unwelcome Relief

The Daily Post Prompt Word of the Day Relieved

Thoughts rushed into her mind like a tidal wave.  This can’t have happened.  This didn’t happen.  How do I make this stop.  The Christmas sugar cookie dough in the refrigerator. This can’t be true.  This is a bad dream.  How do I make myself wake up.  The dough is going to go to waste.  How could she do this to me.  No.  I just talked to her.  What had she said.  Is she here.  Can she see me.  This is not true.  Could I still make the  cookies.   Is this a joke.  I can make this not be true.  Does she regret it.  This is a mistake.  It was him. I hate him.  He did this.  This isn’t even possible.  What have I done.  Thank God this is over.

Wait.  What?  She was relieved.  She had felt it slip in like a cool wash over the other red hot throbbing feelings.  It was over.  There would be no more conversations in which she would begrudgingly attempt to console her mother as contempt crawled just beneath her skin.  No, she should not feel relieved.  Only a terrible person would feel relieved at a time like this.  No one can ever know that she had felt this way.  No more embarrassment like there had been at the Easter egg hunt party when her mother showed up to her home with her disgusting long haired, bearded tattooed husband with the grossly long pinkie nail on his right hand.  No more humiliation as she would sit by and listen to her mother tell the story of when she was two years old when she had found her in a closet with the pages of her father’s porn magazines open as she was tying herself up with the laces she had removed from a pair of shoes.  No more looking at her mother’s dry and calloused hands that made her uncomfortable.  No more looking at the toenails that she grew too long wondering why she could not groom herself properly.  No more panic and fear listening to her mother explain to her how she was just like her.  No more rushing over after receiving a phone call from the disgusting man that she needed to talk to her, that she was threatening to kill herself.  No more shock at the remarks asking how exactly did she think a basket full of candles, bubble bath and beautifully packed and expensive skin care products was supposed to help her right now.

She had driven right by her shop after the phone call.  She was going to the store to get more butter for her super cute signature Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer cookies with the little red hot candy for the noses.  She had slowed down and looked into the parking lot and saw her mother’s car.  She had been about to turn in to sit and visit with her for a bit.  It was something she did often, pop into the pet grooming shop to say hello or go to her house early in the morning to have a cup of coffee and smoke a joint.  These were some of her favorite times despite the mountainous resentment about the past that she just couldn’t shake.  Her mother had been a terrible mother and was guilty of hideous behavior and routine acts of abuse and neglect.  She was still livid about waking up in the morning to get ready for her job at Burger King to find her mother up all night, sitting on the dirty couch with dirty people passing a dark, nasty glass pipe of methamphetamine. She was still angry that her mother refused to find a way to pay for the books she needed in order to attend high school in this large city she had moved her to against her will.  She was still furious about waking up after weeks in bed suffering from mononucleosis to find her mother naked and passed out on the floor with the boy from high school that she had a crush on, both barely covered by the crochet blanket as she gripped a tequila bottle in her sleep.  She was still angry about her mother and husband deciding that taking the $800 she had saved waitressing at a pizza restaurant was appropriate punishment for giving out the phone number to a boy she liked. She was 23 years old now and her mother couldn’t really hurt her anymore.  Her mother was still her mother and she smelled like forever.

She didn’t turn in to the parking lot that day.  She was busy.  She was having fun making the cookies.  She was enjoying her life and she did not want to let her mother in it that day, to cast a dark cloud on what was supposed to be her special holiday in her new life with her new husband and her beautiful daughter in her big house on top of the mountain.  The conversation over the phone had been bothersome and annoying.  Her mother had wanted to know which day was it they would get together, Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  She really didn’t want to get together on either of these days.  She didn’t want her mother to ruin it, to spoil the contentment and ease she had created for herself.  On the phone she had been dismissive.  She had told her she wasn’t sure yet, she would have to check with her husband to see what their exact schedule for those days would be.  When her mother had pressed that she needed an answer right away, irritation had crept into her voice when she told her that she would have to get back to her.  She had been aggravated by her need to use what she had in her life, the life she had created despite her, to try and fill that endless black hole that was always and had always been there, incessantly taking from her.  She had slowed down, put her turn signal on and was about to turn in and park.  She changed her mind and went on to the store, buying several pounds of butter for the perfect cookies.

When she got home she left the butter out to soften.  She took the second batch of the cookie dough she had prepared earlier that day out of the refrigerator and unwrapped it from its cellophane.  She placed it on the cool and dark granite countertop.  She smiled as she admired the several dozen perfectly baked Rudolph’s with the exquisite shiny bright red noses spread about pieces of parchment paper.  She looked out the freshly washed wrap around windows of the house on top of the mountain.  The sun shone brightly illuminating a faultless turquoise sky.  A carefully decorated fresh Christmas tree stood tall and beautiful.  An exquisite angel made of dried corn silk looked down upon the piles of vibrant magnificently wrapped packages.

The phone rang for the second time that day.

 

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