“Ma, it’s me.”
“Very funny. You left a message. Said it’s very important?”
“Not too important, DeDe.”
“Ma, I’m in the middle of nowhere in the Nazca Desert, bouncing this expensive call off a satellite heading for Jupiter. What is it?”
“Well, I was cleaning out your old room and I got rid of a few things.”
“Like what, Ma?” she says, fearing those notorious words.
“You didn’t want your wedding album did you? It’s been a long time since your divorce….”
“Yes I want the album. It’s full of photos of my friends and family. Some are gone now.”
“DeDe…I’ll be right back. Stay there….”
“Oh, I’m back.”
“Where did you go, Ma? My hand fell asleep.”
“I had to go get your wedding album. I threw it away. Ha, ha. I wanted to get it out of the dumpster before the truck picked it up.”
“You went dumpster diving, did you?”
“Well, you said you wanted it….”
“Are you there, DeDe? I know you’re there. I can hear you biting your tongue.”
“Okay, thanks for saving my album, Ma.”
“Ma, what about the wedding dress?”
“Wedding dress? Your wedding dress?”
“Yes. Mine. The one you had hermetically sealed by ancient Egyptian dry cleaners to last for all eternity. That one.”
“Are you making fun of your mother?”
“Ma, no one could make this stuff up.”
“Well, to be honest, I threw it away. Last week, or maybe two weeks ago.”
“Ma. When in doubt, do NOT throw it out. Did you really throw it out or did you give it to Salvation Army?”
“No. I didn’t think you’d want some homeless person wearing your wedding dress. Of course I threw it out.”
That statement is so wrong in so many ways…
“Are you biting your tongue again, dear?”
“Nope. I’m fine. Anything else important, Ma?”
“I got rid of all those books in those boxes in your room. There were so many. Aunt Kay had a yard sale and we did get rid of many, the rest we tossed.”
“Which…which books, Ma?”
“You know, the ones from college. The ones you brought over before you left for wherever it is. You’re not reading them anymore are you? You took the classes….”
“The archaeology books, Ma? The books in those two boxes I brought over? Those books, Ma? In the boxes marked “touch these and you die”? Those, Ma?” Ahhhhh, shit.
“Why? Why would you get rid of boxes of books I brought over for safe-keeping to your house?” No, let me finish the argument to its natural conclusion, but she fakes crying. Why get rid of my archaeology books of all things? I’m an archaeologist.
“Yes, I was biting my tongue. I don’t hate you.” Yes, I do.
“I’ve got to go, Ma. NASA needs their satellite. I’ll talk to you the next time it makes a pass around the Sun, okay?”
She’ll probably tell her friends I’m working for NASA now.
Thanks so much to Ms Thain for hosting Flash Fiction Challenge