I was trying to write a post about how I felt being motherless on Mother’s Day. It was falling flat, I still haven’t been able to organize my thoughts into the type of words necessary to convey what I’m feeling.
So, instead..I’m doing fiction. When in doubt, I write fiction. And, it’s not going to be about Mother’s Day!
I found this prompt on Tumblr: It was the snowstorm of the century.
They were saying it was going to be the snowstorm of the century. The entire city was shutting down early in preparation for the impending snow of doom. All the mom’s in the area were probably filling their shopping carts with water and canned foods, in case the power shut off and their children might go hungry. While the dad’s hurried to finish up their work in time to hit early rush hour traffic.
My school was going to let out early, of course. Even before the dismissal bell, most of the high school had checked out mentally. Texts were being sent, spit balls were being thrown and teachers were yelling to gain control of their classrooms. My phone had died during first hour, I had forgotten to put it on the charger last night. So, while all my friends were making plans, I was staring out the window and wondering when exactly chaos would ensue.
There was not a cloud to be found in the entire visible sky. In fact, it was a beautiful day. Weirdly. But, according to all the sources, this entire storm was a freak of nature. It was May 11th. Spring was supposed to bring rain showers, not snow storms. Which was why the entire city was freaked. Not to mention the fact that we never get snow in Port Mansfield, Florida. Well, not never. The last time we saw snow was before I was even born so, longer than 17 years. I remember my mom telling me that the snow was so insignificant yet it paralyzed the city. She was the only one equipped to handle inclement weather but she’s originally from the midwest so that explains a lot.
Actually, I hadn’t seen my mom in close to eight years. I was 9 when she told me she wasn’t longed for this place. I just figured she was being dramatic but based on the fact that she left shortly after she said that, I would say It has been foreshadowing. Yeah, my mom, the best cook and the only person in this town who could drive in the snow. She left me to be raised by my dad. No forwarding address. No contact. Nothing. Just poof and she was gone.
I wish I could say I didn’t miss her. Because, she doesn’t deserve any emotion from me. The fact is, I do miss her. And, the forecast is making me long for the woman who clearly didn’t want me anymore. Except, I want her. I need her. Girls need their moms. Especially teenage girls who are trying to navigate their way to womanhood. My dad has tried but he’s fallen short. I can’t blame him or be angry with him, dads just are not the same as moms. No matter how hard they try.
I never knew my mom that well. I don’t remember having any serious talks about anything other than how to make macaroni and cheese from scratch and how to create the best pie crust this side of the Mississippi. Despite that, I relied on her to be there, smiling when I got home from school and inquiring about my day. She was good at kissing away my tears and always had a warm hug. Even up until the day she left.
The thing that bugged me the most was that I couldn’t remember her face unless I was looking at a photograph of her. It was as if my mind began erasing her.
The bell shrieked and startled me back to English class. My friend Katie grabbed my arm and yanked me out of the chair, “C’mon Annie, let’s go before either the shit hits the fan or they decide not to cancel school after all!”
“I know, right? I mean, look at it out there. I think the weather radar is on some serious drugs.” I tossed my million pound backpack over my shoulder and followed her, along with the sea of students, out into the sunlight.
We didn’t bother stopping at our lockers, we both carried everything we needed in our backpacks. Lockers were an inconvenience, we’d deal with the back problems later in life. The student body trickled toward their means of transportation. Parents were bumper to bumper in the carpool line, which was busier than ever. Our town was small enough that you could get home by walking faster than you could on the bus or by car.
The ancient, baby blue VW Rabbit that Katie bought with the money she saved from babysitting choked to life. Literally. It sounded like it was choking. I wasn’t complaining, at least one of us had a car. I couldn’t save money, no matter how hard I tried. My dad promised me he’d match my savings once I hit around $2500 so that I could get my own car. I was lucky if I had $25 saved at any given time. But, since Katie and I had been inseparable since the first grade, when she moved here from the big city, her car was pretty much my car too. Except, I wasn’t allowed to drive, only manage the music.
Her brown eyes grew wide as words started bubbling from her full lips, “Hey, did you see the new guy? He started today, his name is Jackson and oh my god is he hot.”
I shook my head, the new bobbed cut tickled the nape of my neck, “Nope, no new guy on my radar. Hot is good, though. We don’t have much hotness roaming the halls of Port Mansfield High.”
Throwing her car in reverse, she giggled, “Truth, sistah. Except, I think Evan is hot.”
I turned on the radio and tried to find a weather report, “I’d hope so, you’ve only been dating him since forever.” I settled on the top forty station, they always had the weather on rotation.
The parking lot was backed up so we sat idling, waiting for it to clear out a bit before heading home. I turned up the radio and rolled down the windows. It was definitely getting chillier by the second but it was still warm enough to warrant blasting the radio out from open windows. The fix was to crank the heat.
I busied myself by staring up at the sky and lip syncing to Imagine Dragons new song. I was interrupted by a slap on the arm, “Don’t look but there’s the new guy I told you about. He’s the one getting on that motorcycle. I mean seriously, hot and drives a Harley. Wait, is that a Harley?”
“How would I know, I’m not allowed to look.” I wouldn’t know one brand of motorcycle from another, they weren’t something I was into.
“Okay, look now. He’s got his helmet on. But, don’t be obvious about it.” She was leaning forward toward her steering wheel and staring out my window, because that wasn’t obvious at all.
Curious, I turned my head a drop, trying to remain less conspicuous than my best friend, “So, how am I supposed to tell what he looks like when he’s all covered up? Sure, nice butt. And shoulders. And thighs. Yeah, we don’t have that kind of body walking around the school, that’s for sure. Not that I can get the full picture while he’s suited up and sitting down.”
Annie’s cheek dimpled, “Trust me. I think I’m going to have to fix you up with him. So I can live vicariously through you.” She groaned, “Sometimes, having a boyfriend sucks.”
The cars started moving and soon it was our turn to head out of the parking lot. The wind started picking up and I watched big black clouds start forming out of thin air. Freak storm didn’t even cover what I was witnessing. The revving of a motorcycle turned my attention from the sky to the lane next to me. Annie excitedly smacked my arm again and I smacked her back.
“Wave to him.” She insisted and lifted my hand so I looked as though I were in salute formation.
He kept the pace of the Rabbit and kept turning his head toward my window. He started making a gesture with his hand, instructing us to follow him. So, without regarding to the rapidly darkening skies, Annie made turn after turn behind the motorcycle until we were deep within a cornfield. He came to a stop and so did Katie. He hopped off his bike and walked toward us, removing his helmet and releasing dark curls. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as he kneeled by my side of the car. I searched those knowing, impossibly blue eyes of his and briefly wondered why they seemed familiar, “Hi Katie. Hey Annie, I’m Jackson. I’ve been trying to find you for a long time.”
I’m not sure whose jaw fell first and hardest, mine or Katie’s.