How had she messed things up so badly? she thought with a small spurt of panic. She'd screeched at him like a shrew and then slipped out while he was gone for a walk.
It was enough to boggle the mind. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out her key chain, looking for the right key. There it was... same old key.., she thought with a sense of detachment. Maybe you could go home...
The sound of a book being slapped against wood reverberated through the front entry. "You never do think, do you?" her mom admonished her tiredly, with her hands on her hips. "Well! To what do I owe the visit?" she finished testily.
Liz felt the damnable tears creeping up on her and instead of answering her mom, she played a book from her teenage years and ran to her room, slamming the door.
She'd visited a few times since college, but she and her mom never seemed to be able to get past the whole disapproving mother and wild teenager drama.
Opening her eyes, she caught sight of her childhood imaginary bear. Smiling softly, she gingerly picked up Mr. Scary and hugged him. It was comforting.
Then, turning her head, she took in her old room.
It was all the same, as though she'd stepped back in time.
Her breath hitched. Slowly, she reached out and picked it up.
I sure wouldn't, but that's just me.
She'd had her shot at happiness and she was pretty sure she completely screwed it up.
With a long sigh, she realized that she should probably go find her mom and talk...
She always made her feel like she was interrupting.
Liz pursed her lips. As a teenager, her mom had forever tried to get her to diet and lose her "chubby cheeks." She wasn't pretty enough, she wasn't popular enough, and she just wasn't ever.... enough for her mom. And all the blame was laid on Liz's round shape. It had been enough to give her a complex. The word 'diet' alone was enough to make her eye twitch!
Liz glanced back to her mother, raising her voice a smidge and over-enunciating. "I said that I just came for a visit! Excuse me for thinking I'd be welcome here!" Adult conversation, Liz. Adult conversation, she reminded herself. She wouldn't let her mom get under her skin.
Liz fiddled with the coffee mug set in front of her while her mother waited for her response. What could she say? Her mom was waiting to hear how she'd screwed up her life, yet again. And she was less than eager to confess that she was right. Yet again.
"Not a big deal?" her mom scoffed. "It most certainly is a big deal!"
Liz shrugged. "He accused me of stalling and I... well... I don't know. Maybe I am!" she admitted petulantly. She'd been so mad that he'd been pushing her to make decisions. She had a lot on her plate right now!
"That's not true!" Liz cried in protest.
"No?!" her mom scoffed. "What about the time in grade school when you refused to join any afterschool activities because you couldn't choose between Scouts & Ballet?" her mother reminded her.
"I was ten!" Liz returned in horror. Surely that shouldn't count against her! Besides, all she'd wanted to do was play outside!
"What about the time in high school when you skipped the prom just because nobody asked you and you couldn't decide whether to go alone or with your friends?" he mother ticked off her second finger. "Or the time you agonized over La Fiesta Tech or Sim State University? I had to practically fill out the paperwork for you, otherwise I'm sure you wouldn't have gone at all!"
Liz opened her mouth to protest. "That's not fair!"
Her mom eyed her over her mug of coffee, scoffing yet again. "It might not be fair, but it's the truth," she snapped.
Her mom gasped, setting down her coffee. "That is an awful thing to say to your mother!"
Liz glared at her mom. "It might be awful, but it's the truth," she mimicked angrily. "And by the way, I can make decisions on my own!" she argued. "I not only attended university, but I excelled at it! I graduated with a 3.9 in the technology field! I..."
"We are not finished talking about this, Elizabeth Melisandre Tarry! You sit back down this instant!" her mom snapped angrily, pointing to Liz's chair.
"Sit back down!" her mom repeated, standing up, as well, as though to block Liz from leaving. "We are going to finish this!"
Liz clutched her stomach as another labor pain rolled over her. I can't do anything right! she thought with regret. She wiped a tear away, terrified to be giving birth in her hometown with only her mother.
"I want Moudy," she whimpered, new tears forming at the corner of her eyes.