efflorescence

United States

16 | INFJ | ♀️| massachusetts

[ summer + fall 2019 ] peer ambassador

just a melancholy, existential girl with a penchant for poetry, fairy tales, and magical realism.

Message from Writer

if you see a piece get unpublished, it's probably because I've submitted it to a lit mag, contest, etc! sorry :)

Why So Sad?

August 19, 2019

PROMPT: Child Narrator

6
“Where’s mom going?” I ask, staring at the suitcases lying on the floor, their insides filled with my mother’s clothes. No one answers. Not my dad or my older brother, Wren. “Where’s she going?” I repeat, but everyone keeps ignoring me. “Where’s she going?” I scream, frustrated tears prickling in my eyes. Finally, Wren turns, but his eyes are hard.
“Shut up!” he snaps. I don’t understand why he’s so angry. Is it because mom’s not taking him on her trip?
“But—” I say, flinching back when Wren steps forward, his eyes flashing.
“Wren,” Dad warns, the first word he’s said all day. My brother frowns and then sighs before storming away, the door to his bedroom slamming shut. Maybe Wren’s just mad because he’s a teenager. Mom says teenagers are always upset. 
“Where’s mom going?” I ask, hoping that someone will finally explain. If she’s going somewhere fun, like Hawaii or Japan, I want to ask her to bring me back a gift.
Dad stiffens, his face shifting into the expression he makes when he’s hiding a secret. But this time, I don’t think it’s a good secret.
“Go ask your mother,” he says sharply. Then, like Wren, he stomps away. He pulls his jacket on and shoves the front door closed behind him, even though it’s freezing outside.
I’m hurt and confused, but I’m still curious. Maybe Mom will have the answers. She’s always been the loving parent, the one who comforts me when I skim my knee and leaves origami swans on my pillow while I sleep. So I step around the suitcases and crack open the door to their bedroom. She’s hunched over on the bed, facing the window, but the curtains are closed.
“Mom?” I ask quietly. “What’s wrong?”
She wipes her face and pats the bed next to her. 
Instead of sitting, I lay down, sinking into the soft mattress.
Mom lays back too. Her face is red, like she’s been crying. The last time she cried like this was when my aunt died. Did someone else die? I can’t think of anything else that would make my entire family this upset.
“Nothing’s wrong, Wylan,” she says gently, angling her face toward mine. “I’m just going away for a while, that’s all.”
“Going where?”
“To your grandparents’ house.”
“In Japan!” I shout, relieved that there’s no bad news. “Will you bring me something back?” I ask.
She smiles, but she still looks sad.
“Of course,” she whispers. 
I forget all about the suitcases and Dad and Wren because they’re acting like she’s not going to come back. She’s my mom. Of course she’ll come back.

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  • August 19, 2019 - 2:53pm (Now Viewing)

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2 Comments
  • Charisse Marison

    Aw! this is so sweet! I love how the kid has no idea about his mom leaving and his family is trying so hard to cover it up. it's sad, but it really adds to the story! Also, thank you so much for the peer review (I do agree that my grammar could use some fine tweaking :)) and I'm glad you like my story! Keep on writing!


    about 1 year ago
  • Victorialim08@icloud.com

    The thoughts and actions of a child caring for his Mom is a thing that many would have experienced, whether like this incident or not. Well done!


    over 1 year ago