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FICTION: LET'S GO SAILING by Jennifer E. Lee  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Arriving at my mom's tennis lesson, I met her instructor for the first time, unknowing that she had been having an affair with this blond haired, blue-eyed guy in tiny white shorts, who was trying to look years younger than his actual age of fifty. My mother, grinning from ear to ear with excitement, couldn't wait to introduce us.

“This is William,” she said, presenting him like a prize pig at a county fair.

“Hi,” I mumbled, barely looking up to meet his eyes with mine.

“Well,” William sighed. “We finally meet. She's even more beautiful than you let on,” he said to my mom, reaching out to shake my hand.

I figured I should return the gesture, lest I appear rude and have to hear about it later from my mom. I reached out my hand to shake his and he held my hand tight, placing his other hand on top of mine, encasing it like a cocoon.
 
When my mother finally got up the courage to tell my dad, he just sat in his study for what seemed like weeks and he didn’t say anything to any one. I just remember seeing him sitting in his green armchair at his big oak desk with his back facing the door, his dark brown hair perfectly combed. The black desk lamp lay dormant on the desk. It’s lifeless existence left a dim appearance to the room. The blinds were shut, only allowing a tiny stream of light into the room through the slats that did not lay perfectly shut.


After the separation, my mother and William took the house, while my dad and I moved into a two bedroom apartment. I noticed how differently our house was now decorated. My mother used to love things that reminded her of the country like her pictures of watering cans and wild flowers. William was more of an international traveler. Now the muted blues and pastel yellows were replaced with stark red and black. Where there were once cute bunny and chicken figurines were now masks from Africa and painted symbolic art from Asia.

As I looked around the newly decorated living room, I got the chills glancing at the ominous masks. William had a sort of silent way about him that made anyone in his presence uncomfortable. He reminded me of those giant cats you see on nature programs. They look as innocent as your household pet until they see the prey they lust for and when they strike, they show no mercy.

“Well, hello there.” William said quietly with my mom at his side.

“Oh, hi.” I replied, startled and a bit starry eyed.

“Wait until you see what we did with your room,” my mother said excitedly.

I felt the blood boil under my skin, thinking, how dare they change my room. My face burned with the anger I felt as we walked down the hallway, past the guest bathroom. I was anxious to see what had happened to the room in which I had spent most of my life. Many of my things were now at the new apartment with my dad, but I never thought my mother would change my room in the house so quickly. My muscles tightened as she opened the door. I was instantly overwhelmed with the feeling of drowning. I couldn't catch my breath and gasped for air.


“Wow, Mom, it sure is different.” I told her, trying stifle back tears, forcing a smile.

“Oh, I see,” she muttered. “You don't like it.”

“No, no, it's not that,” I reassured her. “It's just different is all. I like it.” I said through my teeth.

“Oh good!” my mom exclaimed, throwing her arms around me. “I just knew you would. Make sure you tell William how great of a job he did.”

Yeah, I thought. At destroying my room. I didn't say anything, but nodded in agreement.

The once light yellow walls were now a dark blue, reminiscent of the ocean. Everything had a sailing theme. There was a large anchor in the corner and a framed picture of a sailboat on the dresser, which held a captain’s hat. It was like seeing an old friend from your past that you had not seen in a while, yet they were barely recognizable to you. Originally, my mother said I could have my grandmother’s antique dresser set, but when I moved out, she claimed it was hers and that she was merely letting me borrow it. The dresser, once promised to me, now sat in my former room, alone, out of place, and suffering form sea sickness.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 3:49 PM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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