A-Z April Challenge: Today is Letter G!
Her daughter stood in her bedroom doorway, gaping at the TV. How it had landed at an odd angle on the floor. Its screen cracked from hitting the edge of the stand.
Marge was sitting on her bed sifting through the mail Jenna had picked up from the post office. More catalogues. Good gracious, even Victoria Secret! They were an affront, these supple models in lace bras flaunting their youth. “I want to get off these mailing lists. How do I get off these lists?”
Marge didn’t look up from the affronting model. “The cat knocked it over.”
“You know how he always lies on it, and he’s gotten so fat….”
Jenna sat next to her mother on her bed. The way Marge used to sit next to Jenna on her bed, when she needed to confront her about the cigarettes she found hidden in her underwear drawer.
Marge kept her eyes trained on the pretty blond model so she wouldn’t have to look at her daughter as Jenna said: “You fell again. You leaned on the TV for support this time, instead of the wall going to the bathroom, and you fell.”
Now Marge looked at her. “And you never would have had to known if it weren’t for the damn TV.”
Jenna didn’t say anything. She held her interrogating gaze. As Marge had held her own gaze during those uncomfortable teenage confrontations.
Back then, it had been Jenna who would look away first. Because there was nothing she could say. There was no disputing the evidence.
Now it was Marge who had to look away first. Back down at the catalogue. At the girl trapped in a single snapshot of her youth, twisting a strand of blond hair. Still too young and foolish to foresee much past that. A single momentary snapshot.