Quick Fiction: The Note

I thought a quick write might ‘warm me up’ so I could work on my novel. This is the product.

The Note
Why does she look at me that way, like I’m grime on her shoe? Did my birth really force her dreams to dissipate? She said it, but maybe she didn’t mean it. Her face was purple with despise, her eyes wide and enraged, but maybe she didn’t mean it. Sometimes she does this and it’s not me. It’s something else; a bad day at work or quite often money troubles. But I need to ask her something. I need a note signed for school. If I don’t return it today I won’t be able to go, and I really want to go. When I was little, I hid in my wardrobe until the house dimmed to silence then like a rodent I’d sneak into the kitchen for food. Now, I don’t react. I say nothing and behave like I’m numb to her shrieking.

She’s sitting there in her chair, a crossword puzzle in her hand. Her face is still purple, but closer to white than before. Her eyes have settled and seem less glassy. She’s watching me cross the kitchen; I can feel her eyes hot on the back of my neck. I straighten taller. I can feel my armour shedding, but I can’t allow it. I can’t go back to letting myself feel. My insides growl. ‘Force her out!’ they roar in unison. And I feel like I have an army of foot soldiers bracing with me.

I reach for a milk carton and smell the opening. It’s fresh. Mum’s good like this, always on top of the housework and groceries. And she cooks well too.

“Mum, can you sign my note?”

“What note?” There’s regret in her tone, and I know her rant wasn’t only about me.

“It’s a school note, the excursion. Remember…I’ve been invited to the Women in Engineering workshop. It’s usually for seniors, not juniors, but I was invited.”

A statue sat where my mother had; not a single emotion lightened her face now. Not a single blink of hope. “I wanted to be an engineer,” she said.

My foot soldiers dropped their weapons. I raised my white flag. I walked away.

Humbly written by X
I hope you like it.

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