Don’t see him again. That’s what I said to her, not that she was listening, but somebody had to say it and so I did. The chosen one. That’s me. Something got to be said and I say it. Blurt it out, get it over with, all the cards on the table, slam, dunk, and unappreciated.
Deeply unappreciated. That’s me also. That’s I if I’m to be grammatically correct, but who ever says That’s I? Predicate nominative. The nominative case of the pronoun. Another example of saying what’s right, what’s correct even though it’s uncomfortable, deeply uncomfortable.
Don’t ever see him again. And it’s her—it’s she—I’ll never see again, not until she flounces back in here tonight, just missing dinner as I’m pushing back from the table, daring me to ask where she’s been. I’m the mother. She’s 18. Enough said.
My words are still heavy in my head. It’s as if I wrote them on the kitchen shades, on the door she slammed when she left, on her tire tracks in the driveway. How else to say it? He’s no good. He’s shifty-eyed, lying, surface slick. Oh, yes I know the attraction, but she doesn’t need to go there. Her father taught her that. She must have learned something, saw something, noticed at least.
Shit. Hell. Damn. Why can’t I keep my mouth shut? I turn on the water, get a drink, look out the window. She’s coming back, huddled around herself, forgot something no doubt, won’t look at me when she storms in, swoops by, grabs her purse or her phone or the scarf she forgot, zips past as if I’m a ghost. That’s what she’ll do, and I won’t watch. As if I’m too busy. As if I don’t care.
I look out the window again. She’s out of the car. I hear her on the step. I have time. I put my glass on the counter. I turn to the door. I smile. I even open my arms. I open them wide as the door opens. And she comes to me without a word, both of us finally silent.
© Kathleen Coskran 2012