Anna watched Etta come into the room. She knew instantly that Etta had a plan. The look on the girls face gave her away. She had heard the front door slam and books drop to the floor. The young girl threw herself on the the bed. It had not been a good day either one of them. There had been trouble at school. . .it had been particularly hard to calm the teacher down this time and Anna knew it was only a matter of time before they would not let her daughter return.
“I may be pg mom.”
“Your. . . .?”
“I may be.”
“When did this happen?”
“Prom.” Etta answered as she jitter bugged around the room. Her mother lay her head back on the pillow. Prom…how could it have been prom? Oh my beloved little girl…where are you now? It was not the first time Etta had done this. Anna heart ached as she watched the beautiful young woman dance around the room.
Anna had been shocked when she discovered that her parents were sharing the story of her life on the times when Etta went to stay with them. The early marriage, the lie about the pregnancy, bad grades, skipped school. . .these were examples intended to warn the her away from harm. Etta had listened carefully, making the stories her own, storing them away for later.
. . . he had been the person that was handy. By telling a lie, Anna had convinced her mother to let her marry. She had hinted at a baby, one that would come soon, ruin a reputation and upset a perfect world. That was all those years ago. They said it would come back to haunt me.
Etta loved the twist. Now she could hold her mother hostage by the same story that Anna had used. She had dreamed of this day.
“We need to visit the doctor, Etta. He will help us figure out what to do.”
“NOOOOOOO! I don’t want to see the doctor. I don’t want to go back to that place. I don’t like the color of the walls. I want to be married. I want to run away and be married. I want to move into the house across the swinging bridge. I want to go back there and be married. Please, Mama, I know I am pregnant. . . .Mama, you won’t tell Daddy will you? ”
Tears came to Anna’s eyes. He had been gone for so many years. She had seen that Etta would never accept the accident on the swinging bridge. The world had stopped on that day. . .at least for Etta.
“Honey, there was no prom. Remember? He did not come. He called and said the glass was broken in the car. You were dressed in your new dress and he did not come; you stayed at home and we played music. Remember?”
Etta sank into the chair. Her eyes turned to the window, there were new leaves on the trees. The swing that hung from the branch swayed in the breeze reminding her of something and her brow furrowed as she tried to remember. Only you can make this change in me. Only you. . . .played on the hifi player. Her mother came to her side and held her close. They hummed the song together.
new flash fiction at Scrawler.com…The Walk