Friday, July 1, 2011

Love, Mom ...

It's been a while since we've seen Em. I'm happy to bring her back this week for TRDC prompt as seen below. For more info on her character, relationships and previous posts about her story, see here ... STORY ... you will likely see this post first, and then the remaining parts of the story in reverse-chronological order.


I looked over at Matty. He slept, slouched in the old leather chair that used to be my father's. I focused as I glanced at the shredded trim of his jeans. So relaxed. How could he sleep that way? He'd surely wake up with a crick in his neck. It'd be impossible not to. As if he'd heard my thoughts he shifted slowly and sighed.

I slid out of bed. Made my way to my closet. I knew it had to be in there. The journal I kept when we were together. I needed to find it. I used to keep track of things. I used to try. But since we ended I totally forgot. There was no reason to. Not anymore.

I grunted while pulling my college knapsack out from behind the bins of ratty old tee shirts. I just couldn't get rid of them. I don't know why, but I couldn't.
Memories, I guess.

I tore through that bag until I found it. Wrapped up in an old shirt I had stolen from Matt when we first started dating. I held it up to my face and inhaled. It still smelled like him. Why I bothered doing that when he sat just a few feet away in my bedroom I couldn't say. Routine, I guess. Soothing.

I opened it and read ... Today I met the man I think I'll marry.

I laughed. Had I been that naive? I flicked through pages, flashing back at each one. Dates. Memories. Moments. A card slipped into my hands. My breath caught. My mother's handwriting. It'd been so long. I opened the envelope carefully. Slightly smiled back at the black and white kitten on the front.

I wiped a tear from my cheek and
started to read.


I know you don't want to hear this, but there is so much I still need to say to you. Please let Matt know how grateful I am that he is here to support you through this. Please be sure that you don't push him away in your grief. You'll need him, Em. You'll need him like I've needed your father. Don't force him to fail you the way I did your dad.

I paused, unsure if I could continue ...

Someday you'll be a mother, too, Emmalynn. You'll know what it's like to hold your baby in your arms and want to protect her with your entire being. Your heart and your soul. And your body. My body is failing me now, baby, and I wish it were not so I could be there for you always. So I could see the day you bring your sweet baby home. Hold her in your arms, hand her gently over to mine. Although my arms won't be there before you, know I'll be beside you always. Guiding you. Reminding you.

You'll never have to protect your child from Matt. You'll never have to guard your heart. I just know this. I know he'll be there, no matter what. He as much as told me so that day we picked you up at the airport together. It seems so long ago now. But I know it's true. He promised. And Peter's boys never break their promises. Trust me on that.

I started to cry, a deep and heavy sobbing. I wiped my eyes. My nose. Most of my face with my sleeve. My body shook and I couldn't control it.

I hadn't heard Matt step to the door of the closet. "Em?" His eyes flickered with fear. "What's wrong?" He sat down next to me, hand on my shoulder, my cheek, my chin. Tilting my face towards his. Wiping the tears.

I sniffled.

"I think I'm pregnant."

You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life--whether good or bad. What does it say? How does it affect you or your character? What is done with it?


  1. Oh poor Em!

    I loved the conversational tone here. I felt like I was following her through her home.

    These lines "My breath caught. My mother's handwriting. It'd been so long." worked so well as short snippets, like her breaths.

    And I love the karate chop ending- perfect!

  2. Well done! I'm kind of curious as to what prompted her mother to write that letter. And the ending was definitely surprising!

  3. The tone of the letter is so wistful and sad, but with a thread of practical. It's a very authentic voice.

    It's a nice foil to the slightly bitter edge to the narrator's thoughts.

  4. I haven't read Em before but this piece works well as a stand alone. You give just enough so the bit of a backstory is there, lingering in the shadows.

    The letter read like one from a mom, very proper but filled with love.

  5. Didn't see that one coming! Must go back and reread in order!

  6. I love all the little details that trickle throughout. You have a wonderful way of showing a story rather than tell it - I had to smile about the backpack because I keep a box of college papers and old middle school poetry journals in my closet!

  7. Now I am going to have to go back and read more.


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