Love is Watching Someone Die

Madame Meerson and Her Daughter, by Mary Cassatt (Wikipedia)

It was a Thursday.

I woke up that morning, realized I was a week early yet again, and headed to the bathroom.  I had never had blood clots before, so I didn’t have any idea how much blood there would be.  Clumps of black blood were everywhere.  Literally.  My mother had me stay home from school for the next two days, and cooked me lots of steak to try to combat the blood loss.

The following Monday, I returned to school.  I remember standing there during lab, and then I remember coming to on the floor.  A friend saw me falling and kept my head from smashing into the tiles.  My teacher had the same friend walk with me to the school nurse.

Embarrassed and uneasy, I explained to the nurse that I’d had a particularly heavy period.  She asked if I wanted to call my parents.  I said no.  She suggested I call my mom regardless, and pushed the rotary phone towards me.  Even though I didn’t want to, I dialed the number.  My mom asked if I was well enough to go back to class, and I said yes.  Other than that, she was very quiet.

When I went home from school that day, my mother asked me, “Why did you call me?  Why didn’t the school nurse call me herself?”

I answer her as honestly as possible.  “I don’t know, Mom.”  I don’t even want to ask, but I do.  “Why?”

“I don’t believe you, that’s why.”

“But mom….”  The blood was everywhere.  “Why would I lie to you about passing out in school?”

“To make me feel guilty.”

“But mom…”  Frustrated, I avert my eyes.  I sigh.  There’s nothing I can say.  I try to compose myself because I don’t want to be accused of giving her a nasty look.  “Okay, Mom.”

I walk away; the thirty feet between us is boundless.

This week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge was the word uneasy.  (And if this piece doesn’t make you uneasy, I don’t know what will.)  Also, thank you to Trifecta for providing us with these challenges and for building a sense of community.

*Credit goes to Death Cab for Cutie for the title.  This is a lyric from “What Sarah Said”.  Thank you (in advance) for realizing that suing me wouldn’t be worth your time.  

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36 Responses to Love is Watching Someone Die

  1. El Guapo says:

    A well written and disturbing story.

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Definitely kept my attention and kept me reading. Tales of blood have a way of doing that, don’t they? 😉

  3. zombies to lighten the mood-worked for me — story was intense

  4. Peaches says:

    Narcissistic mothers will always rate towards the top of the creep factor scale for me. Blood? not so much. Awesome story L&L. Hit home.

  5. Dear L,
    Thanks for writing this. I know sometimes stuff like this that happens just continues to play and replay through our heads. I know, for me….it is such a form of release, to write it out…share it with others.
    You never know who you inspire to do the same♥
    Love, L

    • Thanks Lis,

      I don’t want to comment too much on this post because the challenge isn’t over for another day or so… I do hope it inspires people though, because it’s generally healthy to speak your mind.

  6. Carrie says:

    there is definitely an underlying issue between mom and daughter. More than just heavy periods. You’ve developed an interesting tone with them.

    My only issue is with this line:

    When I went home from school that day, my mother asked me, “Why did you call me and not the school nurse?”

    The mom’s comment makes no sense since it was the school nurse that made the narrator call her mom…right?

    • Yes, it was the school nurse who said to make the call. Not sure if there’s a way to better clarify it, but will definitely be re-reading it to see if it can be fixed… Thanks for your comment!

  7. speaker7 says:

    Yikes, which means “good” because, damn, did this make me feel uneasy.

  8. I liked this, but I have a question concerning the mother’s remark about calling the nurse. She had gone to the nurse already, right, so why would she have called the nurse instead of her mother?

  9. Mel says:

    This piece was so tense. That mother is unnerves me. And your comment about the 30 feet being boundless was an excellent description.

  10. Annabelle says:

    What a wretchedly awkward day for the poor kid. You suggest a lot going on under the surface here; would be interesting to know what it is!

  11. This got to me. That poor kid, that mother.. awful. Heartbreaking. Well done. It certainly stirred my emotion.

  12. Wisper says:

    Wow. This is certainly a piece that creates a sense of unease. It really makes me wonder what’s going on between the mom and daughter for mom to react that way to an obviously serious situation.

  13. jannatwrites says:

    The mom’s reaction is peculiar. I felt just awful for the daughter. When kids are sick, a hug can go a long way…too bad the daughter didn’t get that here.

  14. You really captured the essence of the word with this piece. I felt uneasy reading it because I was unsure what was happening to her and why her mother would respond as she did. Thanks for sharing. Come on back soon.

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