Inviting water

Anna said, “I’m sorry, Mom.” She looked out the kitchen window towards the traitorous pool, where she would not be swimming today, after all.

“I just wish you’d told me sooner.” Kaya drank her herbal tea slowly. She pushed a second cup towards Anna, who didn’t touch it.

Then Anna got up. She meant to leave, but instead, she grabbed her swim cover up off the back of her mother’s chair. She wasn’t cold, but she felt naked. The bikini had been ill advised.

Kaya set down her mug and rubbed her own temples. “There would have been more we could have done about it then.”

“You would have let me…?”

“Not my call. And not your father’s either.”

Anna rubbed her abdomen and counted off days on the calendar on the wall behind Kaya.

Her mother said, “Sweetie, the world won’t end in three days when he gets home.”

“It ended when you walked in the door.”

“I apologize for my fever.”

Anna looked down at the perfect little basketball that rode in front of her everywhere she went. She wished she looked more like her mother, whose body had turned lumpy and nondescript with pregnancy. She wished she had still been wearing her blousy pajama shirt when Kaya came back from work an hour after she left. She wished school was still in session and she was sitting in Algebra.

“Do we have to tell Daddy?”

Kaya reached across the table and captured one of Anna’s hands before her daughter could pull it out of the way. “Of course we do. You wouldn’t have been able to hide it much longer anyway. You need to see an OB-Gyn. I don’t suppose you’ve had any prenatal care at all?”

Anna shook her head.

“Come on sweetheart. We’ll get through this together.”

Anna snatched back her hand and stormed away from the table. She went out beside the pool to bake in the sun. She had never felt so alone in her life.


And this week’s challenge for Trifextra is “The world will end in three days”. My response? “No it won’t.”

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Inviting water — 12 Comments

  1. Ouch! A well-told version of a conversation a girl never wants to have. It has to feel like the end of the world right then.

  2. The dialog was very believable. The girl’s anger at her mother’s understanding is a plausible reaction.

  3. Wow – the world IS going to end in three days! This was really well-written…I am sympathizing with both characters…

  4. From the sounds of it, the mom only found out because she came home from work early and saw her at the pool. I’m impressed that the mom is able to be so calm about it and not let hurt feelings rule the conversation. The daughter might be annoyed with her mom’s reaction, but I don’t think she knows how lucky she is. (And she just might need an ally when her dad finds out :))

  5. Thanks so much for linking up this weekend. You were our 33rd submission this weekend. I love the way you write. You have such a command of the language, it’s admirable. I love your description of the pool (and that you included it at all). A weaker piece would’ve skipped to the dialogue and just told the story. “The bikini had been ill advised” is a great line, even before we know why. Come back on Monday, ya hear? 🙂

    • Always. I’m merrily dithering about what to submit to the ‘lengthy challenge’ as I’m calling it. I absolutely LOVE this meme. I don’t know why my stupid Askimet has decided you are SPAM, or why the SPAM folder only just now coughed this up for me to even acknowledge, but I’ll always rescue my Trifecta remarks. I cherish the feedback.

  6. Aw. The poor girl. It’s funny how the beginning of a new life can feel like the end of the world. But when it’s happening within the confines of your own household and your own body, it’s easy to lose sight of the irony. This was nicely done.

  7. Wow! Well-told story, which I’ve come to expect from you, so I’m not surprised. The placement in time a pregnancy happens determines how it is received. This situation is like the end of the world. Excellent.