At the home front

At the home front

There was no lick of privacy in this house. A long vacation would do just fine. Apparently, a few minutes of little snatches of sleep was too much to ask for. For the love of God, a lady needed her beauty sleep. And personal space, thank you.
The Lab dog her mother must have sent to wake her up and ‘escort her down’ was yelping at her from the foot of the bed. No respect, even from the dog. She sighed. Oh for the day to leave this house. She stood up and put on her bathrobe and slippers and the dog gave another yelp.
“Shut up, Billy.” The dog bounded down the stairs and she descended after it with regal ease. There was no point rushing. If her mum was going to disrupt her peace, then her mum should at least suffer a little delay too.
“Well, well. Look who the dog brought in,” said her mum when she got to the parlor.
And the dog was lying quietly with its head to its paws. Messenger of evil, spawn of the devil. “I’m here Mum. What do you want?”
“Try to sound a little cheerful, would you? One would think I called you to your hanging.”
Rolling her eyes, she replied, “May I know what was so important you had to send Billy to bring me down?” In the age of smartphones nonetheless.
“Well, young lady, I’ll have you understand that I raised you and it wasn’t cheap. You can repay me by helping me with this new client I have and….”
Trust her mum to use blackmail when she was cornered. Her father’s entrance to the house cut her mum’s speech off. Billy was barking excitedly. But she couldn’t drum up a flicker of excitement at his return. The man showed up or just up and left at the drop of a hat. This time, he’d been gone for two months. Gifts wouldn’t compensate for his absence, but of course, he wouldn’t know that.
“Welcome Dad,” she told him without moving from her seat.
“You’re home, honey. Welcome.” Her mum smiling, rose up with skirts swishing, went to welcome her husband with an embrace and a kiss to his cheek. It was unspoken but they all knew her colling doubled as a scrutiny of his person in a bid to catch a whiff of any suspicious fragrance that might convict him of unfaithfulness.
Either he was pretending to be ignorant of her devices or he found it amusing, he replied with a hearty “Thanks, my dear.”
Susan could only wonder how long the façade of peace and warmth would last this time. Judging by almost two decades of experience, it wouldn’t take long. But one could always hope.
To her he said, “I hope you’ve been a good girl for your mother.”
She assumed it to be rhetorical so she gave a plastic smile in response. If he was expecting her to make small talk, then he was going to be disappointed.
Susan’s mum didn’t bother with small talk herself but proceeded to take off from where she had stopped before her husband’s arrival. “As I was saying earlier, Susie, my client ordered in bulk and I need you to process …”
Daddy cleared his throat and interrupted, “My dear, if you don’t mind, I’m hungry. Help me with my food.”
“I’m sorry honey. I wasn’t expecting you today since you didn’t inform me of the time you would arrive.” You don’t really think I have food tucked away somewhere for you, do you? But in concession, she said, “Let me go and prepare your favourite meal for you, it would be ready in no time.”
At his wife’s exit, he told Susan, “I need you to help with some files I brought from work, Susie. It shouldn’t take you long. In fact, if you can put your back to it, you should be done in about three days. Can you do it?”
Susan was about to reply in the negative but her mother, rushing out of the kitchen and toweling her hands on the napkin she held, beat her to it.
“Of course she can’t. She’s busy. She is going to help me process the shipping for my cli…”
He cut her off hastily. “I think she should do mine first. You’ve had her with you for months during my absence.”
“I didn’t realize we were taking turns. Besides, that’s a moot point because I don’t decide for my clients when to…”
“I am the head of this house and…”
Susan zoned out their voices as their argument went on. It could go on for minutes and by the time they were through, the argument was never the argument. It was a ventilation of their frustrations with each other that had bottled up during his absence which could range from Mom’s discontentment and loneliness over that, as well as his lack of communication, to Dad’s anger towards her nosing about his business via phone calls or ‘monitoring spirits’ that were Mum’s friends.
Only that now, their dispute was initiated by their contention as to who had more right to employ her services. Not that they didn’t have secretaries, but some transactions just had to stay within the family. Like this one. She only wished they had more offspring besides her, then each person could have his pick. She sighed, stood up to return to her room and Billy followed behind. Apparently, he wasn’t a fan of their tirade either.
It definitely was time for that vacation.

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What do you think?

  1. This is really good Priscilla! I enjoyed every bit of it🙌 I
    look forward to seeing more,dear.

  2. Wow…your pieces always dazzles me. I love the story and the projection. Girl, you’re good.

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