-Natalie Fern Bell
“Where the fuck have you been?” I asked, frustrated and tired, it was 4 AM and I’d just done this the previous night. “What are you talking about?” she asked me, setting her purse down on the floor by the door, sifting through the mail like she had just gotten home from work, rummaging through the fridge. She asked me, “Do we have any mustard?” I stared at her in disbelief, “Mustard? What the fuck are you talking about? Mustard?” She stared at me impatiently, “Yeah, mustard, do we have any?” I looked at her and walked over to her, took the fridge door from her and opened it farther, reached in and pulled some mustard out of behind the milk. “Great,” she said grabbing a bowl and pouring almost the entire container in, taking a spoon out of the drawer, walking into the living room and setting on the couch staring at me. I looked at her in disbelief and quite honestly, I was confused. She took in a spoonful of yellow and then set the bowl on the coffee table next to us and whispered toward me as if it was a big secret she was hiding from the mustard because she didn‘t want to hurt it‘s feelings, “It’s stale.” I looked at her oddly and nodded that ‘ooookkkkaayyyyy,’ nod. I wondered, how does one know when mustard is stale? She began to pet my hair and run her thumb along my eyebrow, “You were always such a beautiful girl, but I guess now you’re a beautiful woman, aren’t you?” She smiled and put her hands on my face and kissed my lips then looked at my facial structure, “18 years old, you grew up so fast, didn’t you?” I instinctively began to reach up and grab her wrists, but I then loosened my grip and let go, closed my eyes and fell into her embrace. She put her hands on the back of my neck, then on my shoulders, then around my waist pulling me to her, holding me. I, lying there with my head rested on her tits, my body strewn out across her, curled up like a cat, like a little girl, my teeth coming in to meet my knees; rendezvous. “There there, my beautiful girl, why are you so angry with me?” she asked as she stroked my hair lovingly. I began to sit up, I stared into her eyes, mine growing blank from all the anger of this past year, “Because I saw you fucking that boy.” She looked at me in shock, “What boy?” I started up with my hand gestures going on another wild tangent again, “That fucking boy, with the long hair, I saw you in the back of the club. Did you think I wouldn’t?” A look of relief spread across her face as she began to smile and nod knowingly, “That boy, well that’s exactly what he is sweet heart, a boy. He’s not a man, and you’re a woman, so he’s no competition for you. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it, competition?” I looked at her, anger showing through my flared nostrils, I stood up from the couch and tripped over the coffee table, falling ass flat against the maple. “This is a load of shit, you lost your fucking mind somewhere back in Montana.” I got up off the table and walked into the bedroom, gathered my things from the closet, stuffed them into my messenger back; faithful even after all these years. I walked into the kitchen and grabbed a full bottle of vodka out of the liquor cabinet. I then stormed through the living room and grabbed my keys off the inn table and put my hand against the door handle. She just stared at me with superior eyes, the way an adult would look at a child, or the way an owner would look at her pet, I could feel myself crying as I shook the bottle and screamed at her, “And don’t bother looking for me, when I leave here, I’m gone!” I stood there for what seemed like hours but was probably only 2 or 3 seconds, waiting for her to say as little as, “Wait…” She didn’t, so I left.
(2 weeks later)
She stood over my open casket and kissed my cold dead lips and whispered against my ear, “It’s too bad it had to be this way my dear, didn’t you know you were always my favorite out of them all?” I was screaming from the pews, the back row, “I didn’t know, why couldn’t you just hold me, just me… why couldn’t you….” I slipped down and fell onto my knees, curled up in the fetal position between rows, but you know, she couldn’t hear me.