January 11, 2008

Fiction Friday: departure

This Week’s Theme: Write a scene that ends with your character saying,
"I never want to see you again."

"But what does it mean?" Crystal could be so dense sometimes.

I'd been sitting on the corner of her bed, and as I stood I saw her profile in the dresser mirror. Long, blond hair; petite, upturned nose; those infuriatingly natural eyelashes framing her deep, crystal brown eyes. I looked away from the mirror, out the window. I didn't want to catch her eye until I composed myself first, so I shrugged.

"Debbie..." Crystal knelt on her bed and grabbed the pillow to her chest.

It had been a mistake to read the letter out loud to her, but she'd helped me so much in the past week. Ten days ago we were not much more than school friends, chem lab partners who hung out at free period so boys wouldn't bother us. This morning before the letter arrived we had become temporary roommates, and her mom did all the mom sorts of things for me--made my lunch with Crystal's before school, picked me up from the drug store each evening when my shift was over, set a place for me at the family table every night.

I leaned against the frame of the window, feeling the deep bruise in my ribs and my arm and savoring the dull pain. Ten days and I still didn't go to gym class because I couldn't bear changing in front of everyone with those huge blue bruises yellowing around the edges.

"Deb..."

I breathed deep and turned to Crystal. She'd been such a good friend.

"Does it say anything else?"

I had stopped reading my mother's letter out loud at the point where it said, "and I'm moving to Houston with Jimmy." Crystal had gasped out loud because she knew what Jimmy had done to me, that the bruises were from his big hands and his empty vodka bottle. She knew I'd told my mother what he'd tried to do, that it was only because he was so drunk I got away before he could do it. For ten days Crystal had been preaching faith to me that my mother would kick the bastard out of the house, knowing I wouldn't move back in until she did.

Crystal reached out and took my hand. I could see tears forming in her eyes. "Debbie, does it say anything else?"

"Yes," I whispered. It says, "I never want to see you again."


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7 comments:

lissa said...

What a sad scene. And for a mother to say such things to a child. I think Debbie might be better off without her.

There's so much realism in your fiction writing. We all know things like this happens more often than we want to hear.

btw your fiction friday link at write stuff is incorrect, there's seem to be some extra words to the link.

keith hillman said...

That was such a sad tale. The way you phrased it made it seem so real. I'm so glad I read it.

Paul said...

I knew what the last line would be, but who it came from and how it was delivered still blind-sided me. Good work.

Jodi Cleghorn said...

As a mother this pokes me in places that really hurt - I can never understand how a mother could put her own needs for a prick of man - over her child's need for love and security.

I worked in a high school and heard this same scenario more times than I would ever have wanted to.

Your writing is clear, simple and carries a huge punch as a consequence.

Thanks also for your comments over on my story!

gautami tripathy said...

It is always so painful when a mother does not believe her child. I have known few such mothers in my work for abused children.

notfrommars said...

Ugh, so brutal. Very well written. Thanks for sharing.

Maria said...

I liked that the ending was also the ending of a letter....