Chapter Eleven: Fine Art

by Emon Hassan on December 16, 2008

There’s no reason Rachel should feel lonely. She does have a number of people at all stages of her daily life to turn to when she needs them. Yet she diagnosed herself lonely. Her mother never disagreed.

Except for this one time when she thought her dad was coming back to live with them. He did, but not as the dad she wanted to have back. He was there all but a week. He said all the things that he thought would make her happy. He bought her things. He pretended to listen to her. All those things a sugar daddy would do – not a comparison she dreamed of making.

Valerie, however, was a completely changed person when he was around. She became the housewife she never was. A mother she never was. Two of those days the little apartment in Maybury filled with laughter. Empty bottles and cans on the living room floor, however, is not Rachel’s idea of happiness.

He was gone by the third day. Carpet and floor got cleaned up. Valerie went back to being depressed and grumpy, being mean to Rachel, and to watching the television watch her back. The night gowns stayed 24/7 minus the 6 hours she spent working at the supermarket, her face unafraid to show off the ever deepening wrinkles. And if she grows another pound fatter, Rachel will have to be excused from squeezing in next to her on the couch.

“Rachel!”

“What” – checking her messages. Lots from others, nothing from Marlon.

“Get me the Diet Pepsi from the fridge”

She looks at her mother through the crack of her bedroom door, television flickering on her chubby face. One shouldn’t feel sorry one’s own mother. Rachel lets herself tonight and holds back on “get your fat-ass up and get it yourself.”

They don’t have a favorite show to watch together. But they both need a reason to get close to a warm, breathing body.

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