“Mom!” I flung open my bedroom door. “What did you do with my bag?” I went to the sitting room and threw the blankets off of the couch. My clutch wasn’t buried between any of the cushions. “I have to meet Albie in ten minutes.”
“I’m in here, dear.” Her voice sang from the last room down the hall. She sat cross-legged on her bed in her Zen mode. Her eyes were closed and she was chanting “ohms.”
“Good, you’re still here. I need you to drive me to the store later. I am going on a date with Mack tonight,” she squealed like a school girl. “I’ve got to get a new pair of shoes to go with that dress I just got. Oh! I’ll need a necklace too.” She threw her legs over the bed and pulled her stringy hair into a bun. Her crow’s-feet grew as her smile widened.
“I can’t believe he asked me out again.” She threw a Metallica T-shirt over her tank and changed into her burgundy skinny jeans.
“Are you serious?”
“Of course dear. My car stopped working yesterday and I need a lift.” She sat at her vanity, the most expensive thing in our place, and sorted out her makeup. She spread a much too pink splotch of blush across her cheek bones then picked up her green eyeshadow pallet. She looked like a stripper even when she wasn’t working.
“Mom. You do realize what today is, don’t you?” I ran my fingers through my hair before continuing. “Today is Friday.”
“I know. It’s the first Friday I’ve had off in a long time and I am going to make
the most of it.” She turned on the curling iron and pulled her hair out of the bun she had just put it in.
“You got to be kidding me! You requested today off so you could drive me to the airport. You’re pawning me off on Jared today. I am not taking you anywhere. I’m going over to Al’s before you ship me off.” I sat on the edge of her bed. The fight died inside of me. “You told me you’d be here to say goodbye.”
Mom divided her hair into sections and kept her eyes focused on her reflection.
“Mack wants to take me somewhere nice,” she said as if I hadn’t even spoken. “If you could leave me a few extra dollars that would be great. I don’t want him to pay for everything.” She turned in her chair finally meeting my eyes, “Twenty should be fine.”
I felt the tears congregating on my eyelids and hurriedly swiped them away. “Sure mom.” I stumbled out of her room pulling her door closed behind me. My phone vibrated in my pocket. Albie.
I shook out my limbs and wiped my eyes clean before walking to the kitchen. Last Tuesday’s leftover meatloaf still sat in the sink and the dishwasher was standing open. The spice cabinet door was cracked and I could just make out something metallic poking out of it. She put my bag in the cabinet, again. It was her “secret” hiding place. I found my phone, my keys, and my favorite pair of shoes in there once. I snagged my bag and ran out the front door.