“I had never been summoned to Number 208 [by the park] before; I nervously adjusted my coat . . .” A person could book a pick-up online or by phoning into FedEx but you couldn’t summon a particular delivery person, could you?
“April, it means what I said,” Becky from the warehouse told me on the phone, “I’m not being rude, the lady who lives there wanted you, specifically, at her home.”
The door was open when I arrived. “I’m here,” a frail female voice rasped.
Walking into the house I heard the respirations of a woman on a ventilator. She was all hollows and sallow skin. Her hair was whispy white and thinning. Eyes the color of blue-bells greeted me but they were bloodshot.
The woman grasped a yellow envelope with a trembling hand. She shook the envelope and a key dropped out.
Her shaking fingers held it out, “For me?” I asked.
I took the key staring at it in confusion; it appeared ancient. As I examined it I heard the woman gasp something. I moved closer to her and held her hand attempting to hear her strained voice. She shook her head with a ragged sigh and breathed her last.
Thank you to Wandering Soul for hosting the Story Continuation Prompt Challenge. This week’s theme is Mother.
My Mother walked out of her room in heels. She was wearing her soft teal wool coat she only wore when she was dressed up to go out with my Dad. Behind her the scent of floral and baby powder drifted. I knew her perfume came from a glass pearlized owl which sat on her dresser.
The owl’s sculpted feather could be felt when I held him, but it was his glittering crystal eyes that fascinated me the most. They hinted at the mystery of being grown-up and of an elegance my Mother carried herself with.
Before she went out, my mother reached down to hug me and I was engulfed by her perfumey scent. Her soft long teal coat would brush my face. My Mom’s teal coat was a piece of clothing she only wore on a date or special occasion. Her small curvy figure was hugged by this tailored jacket. It gave my Mom, a woman who dressed in leggings, t-shirt, and sweatpants at home, a classic and graceful quality.
My favourite aspect of this coat was the ruffle that went down the front edge of the coat flaring and fluttering out. The ruffle was pretty. Something splendid and beautiful to a little girl. The ruffle made this coat a fashion statement. It was a coat Barbie would have gracefully worn if Barbie was a petite 5’2″ woman. The belt of the coat synched my mother’s small waist in and the bottom of the coat floated around her.
I dreamed I would inherit the coat one day as a small girl. But my mom donated the coat to Goodwill in the early 2000’s. They style, however, came back ‘ in’ again soon after. Mom wouldn’t have fit the coat anymore at the time, but probably would now as she lost weight a few years back. I know the coat would look as stunning on her now as it did back in the early 1990’s.
Mom’s teal coat was a piece of beauty. Together with the scent of flowers and baby powder, it cast my mother in this ethereal light where she appeared as if she were an angel. She would leave for the night and the babysitter would arrive, some student from my Dad’s High School where he taught, and I would feel utterly bereft without my Mom.
She was an angel dressed-up, somehow, not my usual Mother. She wasn’t the woman who yelled at me to pick up my toys, but a figure of elegance which illuminated the glow of a woman in her prime. A young woman who for one night left her children at home and was able to be a girl, to be free.