It was a week after Mother’s funeral. I remember when we took this picture; Father was squeezing my hand so tight just because I didn’t want to be in this stupid picture. He was now the most desired bachelor in town. The local newspaper wanted to take our picture expose even more to our pain. My mother was gone and I missed her. She was able to make life good for us. If it were raining, we would bake cookies or she would play with us in the living room. When it was hot she would play with us outside, she would make a rainbow with the water out of garden hose. We would get all wet. It was fun. She taught me how to ride a bicycle… I remember when she let it go and for the first time, I was able to ride it by myself! I remember her laughter on that day; I looked at her “Mother I did it!” she was pulling her red hair from her face; you could see her white teeth smile with thick pink lips. She had the most beautiful smile… After mother died, I used to think “Oh God! My sister will not even remember her, what she looked like, the way she used to tell us bed time story, the sound of her voice, the way she used to put both hands on my face and say “do you know you are the most handsome boy in the entire world?” and then she would kiss my forehead softly. Hum, before my sister, I was the most beautiful child in the entire world… Maybe I’ll keep reminding Amy about mother but what if I forget it too? Look at my sister in this picture. She doesn’t even seem to care mother was never coming back. Maybe she didn’t know yet.” For so long, I felt so much pain for losing mother that I thought I would vomit at any moment.
After the picture was taken, we went to the Joe’s Dinner for breakfast. It was just down the road and Father made us walk there. On the way, I could hear people whispering “look that is Mr. Johansson and his two kids” “Oh poor souls” “Do you think he did it?” “I heard his first wife went missing” “well, he is free now girls… oh he is so handsome”. Back then, I wonder what they meant by saying he was free? I would think “What is he free from?” I thought to ask father but he wasn’t the talkative type. Only today, I understand he was in pain, although his pain didn’t last very long. A month after mother was gone, we meet Gracie. She was tall and fin with blond hair, fair skin, big blue eyes with long eyelashes. Her dress looked too small for her, and it was so tight that I didn’t think she could breathe at times. Her breasts looked like they were going to pop out of there any time. Her perfume was strong and nauseatingly sweet. Her voice was annoying. Her legs were so long that my sister and I would call her ostrich, but it was just between us two. What a mean stepmother she became to be. At the table, we had to care for our manners. God forbid you would butter whole bread. She would say: “BBBB David! Break your bread before butter!” I would look at father but he would not say anything. If I didn’t do, what she said she would give me a little slap on my hand.
We grew up missing the days before that picture when mother was alive. Mother, we miss you today and forever.
I hope you enjoyed my short story. Why don’t you try to take this week DPChallenge too?