Thursday, July 26, 2012

NaNoWriMo Revisited- Part 2

Here is part 2 of Marrying Dad, an old NaNoWriMo project. Please go to yesterday's post to read part 1 and leave your comments to let me know what you think!

Marrying Dad- Part 2
by Raychelle Muhammad

     I was born Dana Elaine Smith on August 2, 1975, in St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas. My younger sister was born there also nine years later. I enjoyed being an only child for awhile. Grandma told me that if my mother didn’t get moving, I might never get a brother or sister. When she found out that Mom was pregnant with Donna, I heard her say that maybe another child would keep my father at home. “Pray for a boy,” she said. Grandma thought that my mother should have gotten pregnant a lot sooner. “The only thing that will keep a man close is responsibility,” she would say.

     For me, however, being an only child gave me an opportunity to have my mother all to myself—which would have been great if she wasn’t so preoccupied all of the time. I can’t even count the number of times that we sat alone in the living room together after Dad had missed yet another family dinner because he was “working late”. You would think that we would talk, play games, or watch television together. But, all mom ever did on these late nights was call my Dad at work (calls that went unanswered), watch the clock, and pace back and forth between her seat on the sofa and the front window. She would be worried, then angry, and then start slamming doors while muttering something about “not putting up with this anymore” and going to Grandma’s house. My mother would make herself miserable. She often looked stressed and tired when Dad would “work late”. Her hair would appear so limp and matted. Her skin, which was once vibrant and smooth, became dry and ashen. These nights aged her instantly. I would sit still with my favorite picture book and silently watch the metamorphosis take place. Often I wondered if Mom would ever make good on her threats. Anything would be better than this. Many nights she would forget that I had not yet gone to bed, so I would stay put. I was determined that if she was leaving, then I was certainly not going to be left behind. I figured that Dad probably wasn’t the best person to depend on for my care. And no way was I going to be left alone pacing and miserable while wondering when he would come home and feed me. I learned at a very early age that men could be really selfish. I also realized that Mom had a choice to leave, but she chose to stay and be miserable.
Do you want to know what happens next? Please leave your comments below.
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  1. Really touching. Drew me in and I felt for the child and her mother.