motherhood by phoenix.writing

7 Mar

Lisa couldn’t quite believe that she was here, that her life had twisted into some sort of a configuration where this was the result.  She was twenty-six years old, and for the first time in her life, she was sitting on the floor in a bathroom with a watch and a pregnancy test, waiting for the results.

She wasn’t sure that she was cut out to be a mother.  She wasn’t sure that she was ready for any of this, but when she had vowed to love, honour, and protect Dan, she had meant everything that came with it.  She had maybe just not thought about everything that that would entail, or thought about it, but in that sort of abstract way that you did before any of it became a reality, before you’d lived with it day in and day out, before it kicked you in the face with its crazy, crazy surprises.

She had known that it would be a challenge.  She had known that there were people who thought she was out of her mind for marrying someone who was more than a decade older than she was.  But she was in love.  Dan was in love.  They had promised one another that they would do anything to make this work—and Dan had started flat-out telling his friends that if he heard one more “mid-life crisis” mentioned, he wouldn’t be responsible for his actions.

Seriously, he was thirty-seven, not in his fifties, and she was twenty-six.  Beautiful by some standards—extremely, Dan assured her—but not a damn play bunny or something.

Alice was Lisa’s most vocal critic, though most of the commentary was not given within Dan’s hearing.  Lisa knew that it was hard on Alice, that it didn’t help that she was fifteen, and Lisa was thus smack dab halfway between their two ages.  Too close to the daughter and not close enough to the father if you asked half the people who knew them.

Fortunately, Lisa was a little too old for people to casually pop out with, “He’s old enough to be your father”.  Alice had screamed it only once; even she seemed to have decided that it just didn’t work very well as an insult, not unless the person she was really insulting was her dad, and she had made it abundantly plain that this was all Lisa’s fault.

Lisa had done everything that she could, but suddenly having a fifteen-year-old meant missing out on fifteen very important years of learning, apparently; the fact that she failed as a mother was brought home to her every time she interacted with the girl.

But she kept trying.  She loved Dan, and she had been delighted with Alice the first time she had met her, before Alice had realized that Lisa was possible evil stepmother material.

Dan had told her that these things just took time, that Alice was stubborn but that he was sure that eventually, she’d see the same wonderful person that he did and wouldn’t be able to help loving Lisa.

Lisa had kept trying, though she had begun to think that “when hell freezes over” would be a more accurate description of when Alice would start accepting her.

But it seemed that just possibly, she had been wrong.  Because of all the people Alice could have called, she had called Lisa.

Lisa looked over at the pale-faced girl next to her and reached out to give her hand a squeeze.

“Hey,” she said, smiling as reassuringly as she could.  “Whatever happens, we’re going to get through it.  We’re a family, remember.”

Alice nodded faintly, clutched for a moment at Lisa’s fingers, and then she lifted the pregnancy test so that they could look at the results together.

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10 Responses to “motherhood by phoenix.writing”

  1. ingridfnl March 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    This was great. I love how you established relationship between Lisa and Alice before revealing that it is Alice’s pregnancy test. Very believable.

    • phoenix.writing March 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

      Thanks. I was trying to show what motherhood Lisa was really thinking about while still allowing the reader to imagine that Lisa was thinking about the impending pregnancy.

  2. juleshg March 7, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    I was very taken aback to see that it was Alice’s pregnancy test. As much as this is a hard blow for Alice I see so much opportunity here for a relationship to grow between her and Lisa.

    • phoenix.writing March 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

      It’s one of those pieces where I hope on the reread, the reader can see that Lisa really was spending virtually all her time thinking about Alice and that was therefore the motherhood that she meant. I was definitely trying to write something that was hopeful for all the possible despair in it.

  3. jadamthwaite March 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    I loved the twist in this and I so didn’t see it coming – you kept it impressively hidden. Somehow the fact that it mends their relationship a little makes me feel good about it no matter what the outcome.

    • juleshg March 7, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

      when I got to the twist I went back and re-read it from the start wondering if I had missed something. It was really well constructed

    • phoenix.writing March 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

      Thank you both. I wanted to build up to an ending that was a surprise without it seeming like Lisa was obscuring thoughts to make it more difficult for the reader. (I’m usually annoyed when as the reader, I can see that the author has deliberately left something out–like the typical murder mystery moment where you’re told that the detective learned something crucial but you’re not told *what* so that it can be revealed as a shock later. I wanted this to be an occasion where if you look at it from the end, the rest is all re-cast in a new light, but the old way is still logical with the old information.) With Lisa and Alice, I was definitely aiming for good possibilities even amidst tough choices.

  4. jmforceton March 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Excellent story, very well written, with a great ending.

    • phoenix.writing March 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. ^_^

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. peacekeeping by phoenix.writing « the character project - March 14, 2010

    […] Links to Cold Feet and Motherhood […]

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