Tuesday, June 5, 2012

#MotivationMonday Flash Fiction Challenge - My Entry

WORD PROMPT: "It gets better, you know." 

“It gets better, you know,” I say to her. Though I know she thinks it’s a lie. From where she sits, it doesn’t get better. The fear of the unknown is all consuming right now. I get that. I’ve been there.

“It gets better,” I say again, this time in a soft whisper. She doesn’t believe me. She rolls her eyes. I catch the movement and try not to smile in response. She’d be so mad at me if I smiled right now.

I glance at the clock – its time. I’ve allowed her to delay long enough. Taking her plate from the table and dropping it in the sink, I turn back to face her. Head hanging down so her hair covers her face, hands in her lap, she is the picture of defeat. And the day has only just begun. My heart clenches for her.  

“Come on, its time.”

She grudgingly gets up, scraping the chair legs across the floor – probably on purpose to punish me. As if this is my fault.  Again, I struggle to stifle a smile because I know she doesn’t find any of this funny.

I follow her to the front door, grabbing my purse and keys. I notice her bag on the stairs, even as she passes it and heads outside. She’s trying to be stubborn, but I know she’ll regret leaving it, regardless of what she thinks now. With a roll of my eyes, I pick it up and sling it over my shoulder, not missing the irony of the two of us rolling our eyes at each other all morning. We’re so similar. 

The car ride is silent and tense. I wish I could help her understand that this isn’t the end of the world. But nothing I can say will change her mind, so I shut up. When we pull up out front, I reach over and squeeze her hand.  She squeezes back, but still doesn’t say a word.

She slowly gets out of the car, drawing out each movement to make the minutes drag on. With a sad smile and a wave goodbye, she closes the door and turns away from me.

“It will get better,” I whisper one last time, though she’s already out of hearing range.

As she walks up the steps, a tear drops from my eye. My baby is starting High School. It will get better for her, but my heart breaks with each step she takes away from me.  

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