z
  • Home

Young Writers Society



i can't talk to my mother anymore

by farq4d


I can’t talk to my mother anymore. I think it’s something that has been true for a while, and I’m only just now realizing it. My mother used to outstretch her hand to mine and hold it in the grocery store, and now she just asks me why I’ve let go of hers. My mother used to scramble me three eggs in the morning, and now she tells me I should eat just one.

Sometimes when I go to the house to see her, she isn’t even there. I could tell her beforehand and it won’t matter. She won’t be there when I need her. And when she is there, she isn’t even in the same room, even when she’s right next to me. I ask my mother questions and she doesn’t respond. And so I ask again and she doesn’t respond and so I ask again and she snaps. I heard you the first time, she’ll say.

I can’t talk to my mother anymore. I need to cry with her and I can’t do it. It’s because I tell her about my day, or about what I cooked for dinner and she just looks at me. She just looks at me and waits until my lips stop moving because she can’t hear me anymore and that’s the only indication she has that I’ve finished talking. Then she’ll ask me why I’m not wearing any makeup. And when I tell her I am, she asks me why I’m not wearing more.

In the car as I drive, she complains about money. She talks about money. How much money this costs. How much money she owes. How little money she makes. And there’s nothing I can do to help because I’m in school and she already owes me money, and I can’t remind her she owes me money because there’s nothing either of us can do about it.

Then she talks about all the clients they lost because my dad wasn’t able to keep up with the business while undergoing treatment. So, I just sit and listen and I don’t say anything because I can’t talk to my mother anymore, and I most definitely can’t talk to her about my dad. She asks me why I never got my insurance license to help. I say I don’t know, when really it’s because I don’t want to be inevitably stuck in a path I didn’t choose for myself.

She talks about how my little sister needs a car to take to college by the end of the summer, and how my even littler sister needs a car too but she has to wait. She talks about the cars my dad left behind. None of us know how to work on them, only he did. She asks me why my husband hasn’t left his classes early or work early to make the time to fix all four of them so she can sell them.

I can’t talk to my mother anymore. Before the wedding, we were looking for pictures of my dad to put around my bouquet. We found a picture from last summer. My dad was smiling, he still had all his hair, and his arm was wrapped around my little sister. How did this happen? my mother asked me. It just happened, I said. I didn’t know what else to say.

And then we found the pictures from last November, two days after my dad died, when I got married in a brief ceremony two days too late. How did we do it? my mother asked me. We just did it, I said.

My mother doesn’t like it when I say my dad is dead, or when I say my dad died. She thinks it’s better for me to say he passed away. But I don’t think it makes any difference. Changing my choice of words isn’t going to change what happened. Changing my choice of words isn’t going to make him come back, it isn’t going to make him more than a box of ashes. Changing my choice of words isn’t going to make me feel any better. I’ve already tried.

The day after the wedding we had in May, my husband and I visited his dad’s family for breakfast. The plan was to say goodbye to everyone before we went away. We planned to see my family for lunch and his mom’s family for dinner. So, we went to my mother’s house and we stayed over for hours. We stayed until I told my mother we were leaving.

“You’re leaving?” she said.

“Yes,” I told her, “We’re going to have dinner with his mom’s family now.”

“And you’re going like that?”

“Like what?”

“Dressed like that,” she said, and my husband shifted beside me uncomfortably. “You’re not even wearing any makeup. And I hate those shorts you always wear. And you didn’t even fix your hair.”

“I didn’t have my makeup. I forgot it here after the wedding,” I told her, “That’s why I’m not wearing any makeup. But also, I don’t think I look that bad.”

“Well,” she said, “We’re about to have dinner here.”

“When are you having dinner?”

“I don’t know, okay? It’s there, it’s in the oven.”

“Okay.”

“So, you’re not staying for dinner.”

“We’re trying to say goodbye to everyone before we leave.”

“Fine.”

“Goodbye, I love you,” and I hugged my mother and gave her a kiss on the cheek, as is the custom.

“Bye,” she turned away without looking back at me.

My mother lost a husband once before. He died the same day she found out she was pregnant with my older brother. She told me she wouldn’t have survived if it wasn’t for my older brother; my older brother saved her life. As my dad’s firstborn, I think she’s looking to me to save her again. But I can’t.

I miss my mother.

And I can’t talk to my mother anymore. 


Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
84 Reviews

Points: 9027
Reviews: 84

Donate
Sat Jun 01, 2024 7:06 pm
View Likes
Coffeewriter wrote a review...



Hyyyy, this is Coffee swinging by to drop the warmest possible review! Grab a nice beverage(please drink coffee) and read a book but before you do that, read my review!
I love how the awkwardness and lack of communication is literally seeping through the screen just telling the reader how the relationship of mother and daughter slowly crumbles away leaving a misunderstood and uncaring relationship behind.


Firstly, I hope that this isn’t based on reality but in terms of writing it’s great! I love how you included dialogue too, I always love when characters speak because it reveals more about their characteristics and demeanour socially!
The reader can’t really hate the mother either because she must be broken terribly since her husband died and it was revealed it’s not the first time this had happened meaning she must be drowning in guilt, anger and many unidentifiable emotions.
The daughter is the most pitiful because all she wants is her mother’s love and attention. A thing all daughters crave for whether they have a good relationship with their mother or not. So, in their own way, they’re both pitiful and deserve love. It’s sad really how miscommunication and unintentional actions can slowly lead to misunderstandings and then just drifting apart-even if you’re family. I also understand it might not be miscommunication and the mother might just really not care and people always say,
“Oh that’s not true, all parents have love for their children”
No. I simply don’t agree. Most do. But, there are unfortunately some people in the world who are gifted a child yet don’t give the child the love it deserves, even if that’s the one thing it’s truly needs.
Thank you for reading and have a good day/night!!^^




farq4d says...


thanks so much for reading this and reviewing it <3 I'm really glad that the miscommunication was able to be shown



Coffeewriter says...


:)



User avatar
451 Reviews

Points: 45164
Reviews: 451

Donate
Sat Jun 01, 2024 4:51 pm
View Likes
EllieMae wrote a review...



Image

Hey friend, you know I am a huge fan of your writing, so I knew I had to review right away. The title is very intriguing and it is a great hook for readers!! :D Lets get right into this review!

This opening section was done so beautifully:

My mother used to outstretch her hand to mine and hold it in the grocery store, and now she just asks me why I’ve let go of hers.


The imagery of letting go is beautiful. The idea that she used to be the on holding your hand, but now she wonders why you let go. It isn't that she is reaching out or grabbing your hand, it is just that emptiness, that something missing there.

And when she is there, she isn’t even in the same room, even when she’s right next to me. I ask my mother questions and she doesn’t respond. And so I ask again and she doesn’t respond and so I ask again and she snaps. I heard you the first time, she’ll say.


This was so well done. It really summarizes your mother's character so well. The idea of being there, but not there, is so painful. You explained this so well with the rooms and your mother's irratibilty.

This next part was so beautiful:

How did this happen? my mother asked me. It just happened, I said. I didn’t know what else to say.

And then we found the pictures from last November, two days after my dad died, when I got married in a brief ceremony two days too late. How did we do it? my mother asked me. We just did it, I said.


I love the contrast between the two different conversations. This really shows the confusion on both ends of the spectrum, your mum questioning and seeming like she can't even believe the changes who have taken place. and then these burdens being placed on you, having to answer questions you don't even know the answers to yourself.

Changing my choice of words isn’t going to change what happened. Changing my choice of words isn’t going to make him come back, it isn’t going to make him more than a box of ashes.


This transition was done so well. You talk about how your mother wants you to used 'passed away' instead of died. I love how you go from 'what happened' to box of ashes. This really mimics that same pattern and play on words itself. so symbolic, love it!

My favorite part (the part that made me cry, as always):

My mother lost a husband once before. He died the same day she found out she was pregnant with my older brother. She told me she wouldn’t have survived if it wasn’t for my older brother; my older brother saved her life. As my dad’s firstborn, I think she’s looking to me to save her again. But I can’t.

I miss my mother.

And I can’t talk to my mother anymore.


What an ending! I love how you use examples from other times in your mother's life and you can so easily see the parallels through different experiences. This is so beautiful. Seriously, just wow!

This was brilliant as always! I really hope you post the others soon!!!

Your friend,
Ellie

(and happy belated wedding and everything to you and your husband!!)

Image




farq4d says...


ahh thanks so much for your review ellie, sorry to make you cry LOL



User avatar


Points: 318
Reviews: 4

Donate
Sat Jun 01, 2024 3:06 am
View Likes
branchingout wrote a review...



This was utterly beautiful and heartbreaking. This is my first review because I've been timid to comment on someone's work, but this one deserves it. Before I even get to the piece, I must say I love the cover. It really sums up the feeling of separation at a time when closeness is most needed in a very beautiful way.

Anyway, first off, I love the repetition of the titular phrase. I feel like you've captured a great balance of not repeating it too much to come off gimmicky and rather utilizing the tool to its full potential for the greatest emotional punch. Sometimes, the phrase even surprised me! Despite you repeating the phrase, you've placed it in crucial places that don't seem predictable. This part specifically really stuck out to me as wonderful, emotionally-gutting placement:

So, I just sit and listen and I don’t say anything because I can’t talk to my mother anymore, and I most definitely can’t talk to her about my dad.


The piece is mature and deeply personal. It brings me into a piece of your world, making me feel like I knew you. At one point I felt like I was listening to a dear friend vent except in a greatly artistic way.

I love the dialogue. The emotional distance that's apparent in it. I can almost hear the awkward pauses between biting remarks.

I love all the instances brought up. The specific topics that cause tension. Particularly, I like how you talk about them with such resignation. I obviously don't want to speak about your actual feelings and circumstances, but the way this is written, it feels as if you've made painful but non-bitter acceptance of your relationship with your mother. This heightens the maturity of the piece overall.

Anyway, I have no useful critiques, or any, to be honest. You'd have to ask a more experienced writer for that. It was a pleasure taking the time to read this.




farq4d says...


Thank you for taking the time to write this review, I really appreciate it. I am really glad you liked the piece. It makes me really happy when people read these pieces and can understand the emotions and feelings I am trying to show. I was concerned about the dialogue, that it would not show the awkwardness and pauses and discomfort, so I am really glad you mentioned it.




I sleep with reckless abandon!
— Link Neal