Welcome to Unwritten's May Flash Fiction challenge! Every story (600 words max) begins with this sentence:
I never expected to be in this position so soon, saying goodbye to my son.
I count myself blessed beyond measure to have in-laws I truly love and admire. So, today's story by Leona Pence pulls at my heartstrings. No family is immune to petty bitterness and hurt. Read on to see what I mean...
A Mother's Lament
I never expected to be in this position so soon, saying goodbye to my son. Tears fell in rivulets down my cheeks as I dumped a plate of cupcakes into the trash. I carried a wrapped gift into my spare room and added it to the growing mound that my grandson would never see.
My son had telephoned the night before promising to bring seven year-old Neil to visit me. It had been six long months since I’d seen him. Ten minutes into that visit, my daughter-in-law, yet again, became angry over an innocent remark and stormed out.
I arose early and made a batch of cupcakes, carefully decorating the tops to grab a young boy’s fancy. I remembered my son and daughter’s pleasure over these treats.
I glanced out the window just as my son’s car pulled into the driveway. My heart sank in my chest when I saw that he was alone. Oh my God, what have I done now?
“Mom, why in the hell do you go out of your way to piss Sheila off?”
“I haven’t spoken to her in six months,” I countered.
“And you didn’t see your favorite child’s Facebook boast that you paid for her son’s school clothes and books?”
“She doesn’t have any money, Jack. She’s about to have a baby and Bill lost his job. I had no idea she'd post that, but you've never let me buy your son anything. ”
“I didn’t hear you offer to pay for his school supplies. Sheila’s right. You always loved Jill best, and now you’ve chosen her son over mine. You don’t deserve to see him or me.”
“Jack, please. I do love you very much.” My words fell on deaf ears. The coldness emanating from his eyes chilled my soul. His last remark will be forever etched in my mind.
“I love Sheila, and a wife trumps a mother anytime. I’ve made my choice. “
He didn’t even say goodbye.
Two months later, I heard through the grapevine he’d moved his family 2000 miles away. I knew I’d never see them again.
Leona Pence is a sixty-nine year old widow, mother of four, grandmother to eleven, and great-grandmother to a four month old boy. She started writing very late in life, after her husband died six years ago.She credits F2K for giving her confidence in her abilities. She's been a classroom Mentor there since April of 2010. She's currently revising a novel that she'd like to have published someday, hopefully not posthumously.