Sarah rushed into the house, pushing past the dog gate that never turned the right way. She yelled a quick “Hello!’ to her mother, like she used to do when she come home from High School.
Sue walked in from the kitchen, but Sarah just flew past her, to her bedroom. Sue didn’t know to follow her and ask about life, or sit at the dining room table to wait for her to leave again.
Sarah kicked the mass of clothes on her floor out of her way and pulled open her closet, not one dress hung there, she hadn’t had too high of hopes, there wasn’t as much as a t-shirt the last time she checked. All the clothes she owned where now with at Nick's apartment or on the floor of her old bedroom. She closed the closet in frustration and made her way to the dresser, in hopes there would be at the least clean underwear.
“I haven’t put a load of your clothes in the wash lately; maybe if you called I’d be able to do some for you ahead of time.” Sue stood at her door, almost unsure of herself. As soon as she said it she regretted it immediately, she didn’t want Sarah more upset, she just wanted her to say “hi” once in awhile, maybe tell her about the boy (or should she say man?) she had dragged through a few weeks ago, or god forbid stay for dinner. All Sue wanted was her daughter back.
“Sorry I can’t call you every five minutes Mom! “ Sarah retorted, unable to find a piece of decent clothing, all her clothes at Nick’s apartment were dirty and the laundry mat cost money. The truth was, Sarah wanted to call her mom a lot, she wanted to sit down with her, cry on her shoulder, and let her Mom make everything better. But Sarah felt like she had lost her mom a while ago, she couldn’t connect to her anymore. Sarah was deep in a hole, full of the nightmares that had woken her in the night when she was a child, but now when she awoke terrified, nobody was there who could make her feel better. Telling her mother all this would be admitting she was a child, it would be losing, and as much she hated feeling alone, it was hard enough as an adult.
“I don’t need you to call every five minutes. How’s your boyfriend? You’ve never introduced him.” Sue winced; once again she could not bite her own tongue. She felt a wedge being pushed between her and her daughter with every criticizing word that flew out of mouth, as soon as it formed a thought in her head it just spilled out. She had no filter anymore, and it was making everything so hard.
“I’ll try when I’m not so busy with work, okay Mom? And Nick, Nick’s his name, is in college so he’s busy a lot too.” Nick had graduated from college three months ago, and Sarah worked weekly at her bartending shift, only when her friend Janet couldn’t cover for her. The truth was, seeing her mom was a reality check, and it was easier to escape reality with Nick then come to come to terms with it with her mom.
Sue watched as Sarah picked up a handful of clothes from her floor and shoved them into her bag, like Sarah would always do before leaving. Sue never knew if she was going to see her daughter after she left, and this time was no different.
“Just, be safe.”
“Yeah, okay Mom.” Sarah walked past her Mom, despite every fiber of her wanting, no needing to break down and cry right there, to let her mom make it better, despite her heart yelling I LOVE YOU MOMMY, her brain, her stupid, conceited, childish, good-for-nothing brain, made her walk right out past her Mom, through the dog gate that never opened the right way, down the creaky stairs, and out the door, away from everything she needed.
Sue sat on her daughters bed, and like every few weeks when this happened, she would pulled her daughters pillow to her chest, inhaled the scent of her daughter, the only thing that seemed real anymore.