Happy New Year

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Daily Deviation
Daily Deviation
January 14, 2022
Happy New Year by WiltsWriter
Featured by Barosus
Suggested by JSnaith
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Literature Text

‘Happy New Year.’

‘You could maybe try to say it like you mean it, darling.’

I gesture at the broken glass sparkling across the living room carpet, wondering if my mother was being obtuse on purpose, but then I’d long since stopped trying to figure her out.

‘It wasn’t exactly a successful evening, was it?’

- this was one of the last times I saw either of them, actually. It seems … apt now that one of my last memories of my father is anger. His face apoplectic. Screwed up and red, apart from his lips which were strained into two white lines. I couldn’t tell you, even now, if he meant to throw the glass. I definitely don’t think he meant to hit the cabinet. It had belonged to his mother. It stuck in his craw that she had left it to me in her will, but even so. I don’t think he’d have wanted to see it destroyed. And certainly not by something he would have dismissed as histrionics had they happened to somebody else -

‘Well, the beef was a bit dry, but then you always did struggle with that one, didn’t you darling, and nobody else seemed to notice.’ She at least stays in the doorway, perhaps not wanting to commit to assisting in the clear-up, in the same way that she refuses to commit to admitting there was a problem in the first place.

I make a strangled noise as I kneel down once again, searching for the larger pieces of glass and placing them carefully in the dustpan next to me.

‘Perhaps things did get a little … aerated, but you always knew how to push Daddy’s buttons. You two were always at loggerheads, ever since you were a – ever since you were little.’

- ah, yes. There’s the rub, alright. The little things still catch her out. They catch me out, too, but somehow I’m supposed to know how to navigate these waters. I don’t. My counselor says that this is normal, that this is okay, that everyone is on the journey. But she doesn’t half do a lot of tapestries -

Refusing to commit, even now, I noticed. But I don’t say anything. I never say anything. What would be the point? I over-extend my reach, my fingertip stroking the edge of a chunk of glass instead of the flat side. I silently watch the strip of red swell and break the skin and bring the finger to my mouth.

‘Careful, darling, you’ll cut yourself.’

‘Yes,’ I mumble, the words falling either side of my finger. ‘Thank you.’ I examine the cut, seeing that it isn’t deep, but stand and make my way to the kitchen for a plaster. She follows me, her slippers patting on the parquet floor of the hallway behind me, harder on the kitchen tiles.

Somehow, she’s suddenly ahead of me, pulling the turquoise plastic box from underneath the sink. Her fingers make short work of the papery plastic wrapping on the plaster and she’s sitting at the table.

‘Come on, darling, let me see.’

I sit. Her fingers are cool and smooth as they slide over my hand.

‘It’s not so bad, darling. I’m sure it’ll heal up soon.’ She wraps the plaster in two swift movements, sealing it closed with a squeeze.

- I suppose these moments are the ones I miss the most, even now. I don’t miss him. I don’t miss her moods or her sheer Englishness. That lip was starched on a daily basis for years. But those small moments where I saw her. They didn’t happen every day, and there were days I’d curse her and avoid her and hate her, but then there would be this moment where she would just … stop and things would somehow unblock and unclog and it would just be me and her. Those times I loved -

‘Thanks, mum.’

Her fingers stay wrapped around mine for a moment before she scrunches up the discarded wrapper.

‘Now, what did you do with that old newspaper? We can’t put all that glass straight in the bin, can we, darling?’

- somehow her practical side always won out in the end. It’s what made her accept my transition in the end. What other choice did she have? To cut her child out of her life? That wouldn’t do. It just wouldn’t do at all, darling. -

Written as a 'twiddle' as a response to an activity for my current writing course. Just a simple story of a New Year's morning. Only ... nothing's ever simple, is it?
© 2022 WiltsWriter
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xlntwtch's avatar

Late congratulations on your DD! The story is appreciated.

WiltsWriter's avatar
kwjibo-deviations's avatar

Wonderful work there!

WiltsWriter's avatar

Thank you very much - appreciate it!

LindArtz's avatar

Very Nicely written!!! :clap: Congrats on your DD!!! :)

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WiltsWriter's avatar

Thank you! I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

JSnaith's avatar

Congratulations on getting a Daily Deviation.

I love the way the story shifts between two time periods and the twist at the end. Nicely executed.

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