“Is there anyone I can call? Your mum maybe?”
“Why do you want to call her? She doesn’t care about me. All she cares about is work and church”
Then she walked away. I could see the look of disappointment on her face. I was 14 years old, and admitted in hospital with genital warts the size of a tennis ball and I didn’t want my mother around.
She would always shout at me. If it wasn’t about chores, it was about my lifestyle. She always criticized my friends and my choices and I’d gotten sick of it. She was really home once a week. Sunday morning.
The aroma of eggs, toast and bacon would fill the air and find us all at the table. We would say grace and try to make small talk. Unfortunately any attempts were met with hostility, except when dad was around. He traveled a lot. When he was around, conversation would be restricted to school and money.
I’d just joined high school and there were so many new things. I wanted to try everything and fit in with everyone. I didn’t know who to ask for advice because mum was always busy and dad just wasn’t there. Mum always came in so late and whenever she’d call or text, it was to remind me to buy the groceries or call the plumber or the gardener.
So when I met Joe, I felt like my life was about to change. He was 17, bad boy and always hang out with the cool crowd. He paid attention. His face lit up when I made him cute artsy stuff, and most of all he held me. Especially when I wanted to cry. So when we kissed, it was only natural that we’d have sex.
“Jenny! Oh Jenny! When they told me I dropped everything and came. What happened?”
“You dropped everything? You? Mum I tried calling you three times and I left you 5 messages.”
“I know honey, but I was at work. When…”
“Are you Jenny’s mum?”
“Yes. What happened to her? Is she going to be okay?”
“Well, I’m not sure how to say this, but your daughter has genital warts.”
I could see the look on a face and I was ready for the noise. Instead, the closed her mouth and looked outside the window for a few seconds.
“Why do you care mum? You’ve never bothered to ask how I’m doing, even when Teddy died. Now all of a sudden you want to ask. Just go back home.”
Immediately I said those words I regretted them. I’ve never seen mum so hurt. She left, but she came back the next morning to pick me up.
“Aren’t you going to work today?”
I was stunned. My mother had quit her job because of me.
Today, I’m 26 years old, married and with a child on the way. I’m a renowned artist and sculptor. I had my story, what’s yours?
~ Poems & Stories ~