Okay, so this past week has been one of the hardest I’ve had to go through in a long time, arguably in my whole life. I began writing something to help me get through the hard time. This is a small taste of what I came up with. I’m calling it the 27 Lies My Mother Told Me.
This is fiction. Just want to make that point very clear.
(Please note that this is an unedited Excerpt)
Lie One-If you eat the seeds they will grow in your stomach
I think this was the beginning of her lies, at least the lies she told to me. I remember her saying this while my sister and I were eating watermelon. We were outside sitting on the picnic table. This was one of our favorite snacks and she would let us have it whenever we wanted. Sometimes she would eat it with us but not always.
I get that she was trying to get us not to eat them in the first place because really what was the point of eating the part of the fruit that didn’t taste good. She could have said this though. This could have been the point of her argument as why not to eat the seeds.
It was a stupid, unnecessary lie, much like all the rest of her lies.
You’d think the first lie I would remember was Santa Claus coming down out nonexistent chimney and delivering to my heart’s desire. Or the tooth fairy. But no it was the damn seeds that would have given life to something a new plant in the spring. We had to collect the seeds after we were done and throw them away.
Years later all her lies seem to swirl around me until I felt like I was in the center of her lie tornado. This lie about eating watermelon seeds seems so harmless. It’s like a soft gentle kitten that scratches the hell out of you every time you go to pet it.
I watched her lay in that hospital bed with her eyes closed and her mouth open, waiting for her chest to stop moving. All of her lies seemed harmless now that the end was close at hand.
“Did her breathing just change?” my sister said from across the small hospital room.
“No. It’s still the same. Everything still the same as it always was.” And that was the biggest lie of all. Nothing was the same. It would never be the same again. But everyone in this same situation said that didn’t they.
I stood up and stretched my back.
“Where are you going?” Anna said, as if I was going to leave her with our dying mother. I couldn’t do that even if I wanted too. Mother had a hold of me, of all of us really. She led us all around by the damn balls, waiting for us to step out of line, like little children in the lunch line. How could I go anywhere with the leash she had around my fucking neck.
“Nowhere. I’m just stretching.” I walked to the window and looked out at the city.
We were on the eight floor of the hospital and as rooms went, this one had a great view. It was a small city and from on the ground it was hard to see all the trees but they looked all bunched up now with little bits of gray peeking out. All that green wasn’t something I would have thought possible from way down in the middle of everything.
“What are you thinking about, Chad?”
“Nothing. The trees. There’s a lot more than I realize.” Just like mother’s lies. So many I couldn’t count them all. Narrowing them down to just a handful seemed like a wasted effort.
“You look pissed.”
“I am pissed. I don’t get why I still have to cater to her like she’s the fucking queen of America or something.” Mother’s will decreed for them both to be here on her death bed if they wanted a cut of the money so had amassed. I didn’t need or want the money, but a part of me still felt like I wanted to be the good son she always wanted me to be. Marry the girl she told me to marry and have the amount of grandkids she thought was acceptable.
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