“Jayden, go to your room,” I said opening the front door, “And put that cupcake on the table.” I handed him the cupcake. “Bad boys don’t get cupcakes.” Jayden looked up at me, his lips quivering downward. “Now, Jayden.”
A tear slid down his pink cheek and he ran down the hall to his room screaming.
“Jay, baby, what’s wrong?” called Ron’s voice from the other end of the house.
I sat down on the couch flustered, and a few minutes later, Jayden’s crying stopped. I heard a door creak open and shut and Ron’s bare feet coming down the hallway. I got up to meet him and find a place in his warm arms. All I wanted was to put the afternoon behind me and enjoy our evening.
“Sweetheart, I’ve had the worst day,” I said.
“Veda, save it,” he said pushing me away, “What is up with you lately? You’ve been treating Jayden like garbage for weeks.”
“Don’t try to make excuses,” Ron looked into my eyes and took my hands, “V, did you really lose him?” I looked down, feeling as though guilt were radiating off me like a nightlight. “I thought having Hannah babysit him tonight would let you have a small break so you’re not so stressed, but you’re completely ignoring him! He’s two and a half years old, he needs a constant eye on him!”
I startled back, pulling my hands from his, my mouth gaping open, “He’s not even our son. I didn’t sign on for this!”
“Didn’t sign on for this?” He was fuming now. “When you married me, you signed on for anything that life would throw us. Do you really think anyone could have planned on my brother and sister-in-law dying?”
He stormed out of the room, leaving me breathless. The room was spinning around me. How did all of this happen, and why couldn’t I bring myself to love Jayden as if he were my own? I walked into the bathroom, turned on the cold water, and splashed my face. The water trickled down my face, catching in a few of my red curls around my forehead.
I stared in the mirror for a moment. My skin was smooth, without a single blemish; my lips hued red like my hair; but my make-up hid the bags beneath my eyes. I frowned.
“I’m too young to have bags under my eyes,” I said to the mirror.
- Excerpt #1, from my short story, Mommy (amandareimer.wordpress.com)
- Excerpt #2, from my short story, Mommy (amandareimer.wordpress.com)