Thursday, August 27, 2009

10. Protection.

Juliana unconsciously turned on her autopilot very early in life perhaps as a defense mechanism to adapt to the monumental changes that were happening in her life, when at the age of 2, her single mother, Linda Baker, met a man and fell in love. Juliana had a vague sense that life as she knew it would be vastly altered from that point on. In the minuscule awareness of her developing brain, Juliana put up walls and bars and every kind of barrier that she could not yet name to protect herself from the upcoming blow that would inevitably fall on her.
* * * * * *

Linda Baker found herself touching her belly more often these days, hoping to feel some movement. It was her second trimester and she was very anxious to connect with the life growing inside of her. As she turned the spare bedroom in her mother's house into a nursery, bordering the walls with smiling yellow suns, she thought about her mother being so accepting and accommodating when she told her about the child.

* * * * * *

"I'm going to have it." Linda stood facing out the window and only slightly turned her head when she spoke so her mother could see her profile.

"Is it Charles'?"

"I don't - I mean, of course"

"Linda Baker, do you really think you can live under my roof without me knowing about the slew of men you drag in here?!" Marlene Baker lit a cigarette before continuing, "If Charles weren't so madly in love with you, you would see though your deception and wouldn't hang around you like wounded dog grateful for whatever scraps you throw at him."

"Mom, please -"

"But you're too good for him anyway Linda. He's a pizza boy for God sakes, with no prospects, no goals and no future with you."

"Mom! Can you put that out?! Jeez, I'm pregnant!"

Marlene took a long drag before snuffing out her cigarette. "Are you still seeing this Charles?"

"Not really. I kind of broke it off, but this was before I found out."

"Well let me give you some advice Linda and you'd be a fool no to take it. Whatever you do, don't tell Charles it's his, the last thing I need is for my daughter to get stuck with some loser who's going to sell pizza for the rest of his life. How will he support you? Where will you live?" Marlene choked on her words and tried to swallow the lump that was forming in her throat, but was unable to stop the tears from streaming down her face.

"Oh Linda, I wish you were smarter about this. You're only 18, you won't be able to do anything with your life now." Marlene walked up behind her daughter and gazed out the window, stroking Linda's hair. More than anything, Marlene didn't want Linda to have the same life as she did, but history has an eerie way of repeating itself and there she was lamenting and comforting her daughter, just as her mother did 18 years ago.

Marlene kissed her daughter's head and squeezed her tight. "We'll make this work baby. Mama's here for you."

And with those words, Linda knew her mother was just doing what she always did: protecting her at all cost.

2 comments:

Co-D said...

everyday drama. nice read

floreta said...

oh, i really like your writing! very well written.

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