The harmonica blues.


My cellphone flashed the digital clock built it the faceplate as I stepped into my house. It was 6:01 in the afternoon and I had an unusual feeling come over me as I closed the door. My house was quiet, which was something I wasn't used to, at all. Normally a dog, cat, child, or mother would come out of the kitchen or holler to me from upstairs, somewhat happy that I'm home, but nothing came, and I slowly let my bag drop to my feet as I stepped soundlessly into the hall, peeking around the arch into my kitchen to find nobody there. They'd left. It happened before, though very rarely, and I was thankful that today just so happened to be one of those rare occassions.

I took my shoes off and my body fell into exhaustion. All the force of my boss's words finally settled into my mind, and the mental impact of them left my muscles aching. I just dragged my feet upstairs, and was finally met by something living. One of my cats. The friendly one that licked your nose when he knew you were down. Cats are funny creatures like that. Some of them could care less if you were pulling your hair out, just as long as they had their needs taken care of; and then there were cats like the one rubbing up against my legs that knew when I needed a friendly gesture, and was more than voluntary to give me one. He jumped up to meet my hand as I sat on my bed. I could hear him purring and pretty soon he was hoisted up on my shoudler sniffing around for my nose, and I couldn't help but smile when his wet nose finally landed on mine, and shortly thereafter took to licking it. I laughed softly and nudged him away. I took my hoodie off and threw it into a collection of clothes, not really caring if they were clean or dirty.

My bed was comfortably beside a decently sized window, and the light from the settling sun was inviting. Little things calmed me down, such things like the sun were one of them. It also dulled my senses, so I didn't have to think about how the day had progressed thus far, and how it would continue to progress once my mother got home. The sun was still up, thankfully, so I had a little bit longer to go. My cat remained beside me, rolled into a ball, snoozing.

I wasn't sure of how much time had passed from when I fell asleep to the point where my front door downstairs was thrown open, in such a noisey commotion, causing my body to jolt straight up, and I could hear the exsperated sighs of my mother as she wrestled with a dog and two children excitingly running into the house, most likely looking for me. I sat there a single moment, gathering that I had fallen alseep, and that my house would not remain quiet for that much longer. I threw my legs over the side, and grabbed my cell – 8:47. The moment I walked out of my room, my heart sank and I remembered what was coming.

My mother, though a big hearted person, had a fiery temper. She often went off at the littlest things, most of the time not fully understanding before she lost it. She never physically expressed her anger, but she had a bad habit of assuming the worse, which made most talks with her take a dramatic turn. She became extremely frustrating to work with, and most times I'd just epted to leaving her be, in her anger, until she calmed down, and her mind allowed for what I said to finally process that way I had orignally intended for it to be.

I no sooner walked into the kitchen as she was placing groceries on the counter, had she already spoken the words that I knew would end this day miserably. I should of been used to this by now, but every fight we had left me freshly wounded, “What's happened?” She didn't look at me when she said this; she was too busy piling three small containers of butter on the counter – she was big on that stuff, used it often to cook.

“I got fired.” I said. I just said it, and stood there, ready to take the heat.

She paused, and placed her hands on her delicate hips, her flow of black long sleet hair resting around her tired, aging face, and I was glad that she had already knew about the restaurant “How was it?”

I was taken aback by the tone she used when she spoke to me. So taken aback that I could of cried tears of relief, “He grilled me pretty bad.” I made sure the wounded exhaustion was visible as I said this, and thankfully her hardened face picked up on it, and she soon softened, and I think she was going to take an easy on me. She probably had time to think about what was coming, and decided against making it worse.

“Well, these things happen.” is all she said as she turned back to unpacking her groceries.

I think I did feel a small stinging sensation reaching my eyelids as I felt the conversation of what happened, drop. This was unusual behaviour for my mother, but I wasn't about to question it. I gratefully accepted the unexpected surprise and was about to turn back to my bed for the night.

“Hun, wait.” I heard her say, and I retraced the few steps I took, to look at her face as she looked up at me, “We need to discuss alternatives.”

Alternatives? That also took me off guard. What alternatives? Was she talking about school? Was I to move out seeing how I no longer had a job.. though I don't see how that helped any, “What do you mean, mom?”

“I think you know.” she said, “School.”

Yeah, turns out, to my surprise, that she was talking about school. I didn't understand why the conversation was taking such a turn, but at least she wasn't scolding me, which is what I fully expected as soon as I left my room. We never really discussed my educational choices; but last I checked, we were both in the understanding that I was too work for a year and safe as much as I could, without fearing student loan payments after all my college was done.

“It's not too late.” she said. She was wrong though. College was already in session, and I don't think they're into taking late applicates, “There's college near town that you can still get into.”

“Mom,” I began, confused, “Why?”

“Well, I've been thinking.” she started, “and I could see that your job was making you miserable. All your friends are in school right now, and.. you already have some money saved.”

Was my mother actually suggesting this? Had she actually noticed my unhappiness and acted upon what she thought I wanted, instead of what she thought I needed? How selfless an act for someone like her. I love my mother very much, but she was always very stubborn when it came to my security in the future. I looked at her, and I could tell she was thinking about this for a while. I was at a loss of what to do. I did want to go to school. I already had planned what I wanted to do, even though it wasn't a major career choice. 

I just did what my body intially told me to do, and I went and I hugged my mother, tightly, “Okay, mom. Sounds good.”

She hugged me back, “I already have the papers. I talked to the head office this morning, and pulled some strings.”

I rolled my eyes playfully at her. Count on my mother to be one step ahead.

She sat down with me at the kitchen table, helping me sort it all out, as my two little sibilings ran about the house playing with anything they found interesting; the dog trying to join in on the fun, and the cats avoiding it, swaying their tails in annoyance. I looked at my mom as she studied the papers, concentrating, and I bowed my head slightly, and for the first time in a long time I said a small prayer. My heart also warmed up and inflated with encouragement – which was something else I had forgotten about.

I still felt bad for the older lady who was out somewhere in this world, probably retelling the unforunate story of how she went to McDonalds one day and got a disgraceful squirt in the eye from an innocent bottle of sanitizer, handled by a unknowing, and good intentional employee; and though that guilt would probably stay in the back of mind forever (right beside the guilt I still had for eating my sister's peanut butter sandwich, and leaving her a tuna one instead, full knowing she hated it), I was beginning to believe that I was going to recover from the metaphorical crash I had with a tree, while my life was going eighty kilometers an hour.

Sometimes my analogies on life made me frown from the amount of cheese and lameness that had gone into them.

The End

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