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A Modest Girl's Mother


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A Modest Girl’s Mother

  It all started when mother fell. We lived in a little town in the middle of no were. It seemed like from the moment I was born I wanted to leave. There was hardly any life here. All the stores were closing. All the factories were shutting down. Even the school was closing. More and more elderly people were moving into the area because of the nature. That was the only population that grew in that town. My home, the place where people go to die. I hadn’t visited in years and I had just come over for Thanksgiving. It seemed like my mom didn’t want to waste any time at all nagging me. As soon as I stepped through the door it was just questions, questions, questions. All of them I gave some generic and bored answer.

“How’s your teaching job going?”

“Fine.”

“Have you found a good man yet?”

“No.”

“How come you never call?”

“Busy.”

  She had always been calling me nonstop before, but ever since dad died she nearly called me every second. I only picked up half the time. I hated being constantly reminded of who I was. Now that I was living in LA I had pretty friends who talked fast and had cars that drove even faster. In college they would make jokes about southern red necks they saw on television. I worked hard to hide my accent, but sometimes it slipped. I always lived in fear of being seen as the ignorant country bumpkin they joked about. I especially had to hide it in the parent teacher meetings. What would the trendy LA parents who sent their kids to an expensive private elementary school think if they knew some back woods hick was teaching their kids. I would be doing well, then mom would call, then I would be reminded it was fake. That I was fake.

  My mother’s questions had blended into a background sound of white noise as I left my old room. After all my efforts to ignore it being back here was like the ultimate slap in the face. I was following her heading down the stairs to eat. It would be just the two of us. She would have plenty of time to interrogate me at dinner. Then I hear a thump, followed by a few more thumps then a crash. I ran over to our wooden steps and called for my mom. She didn’t answer. She was at the bottom of the steps with a pool a blood forming around her. She wasn’t moving. She wasn’t saying anything. She was laying completely still on the hard wood floor in her house cloths.

I ran down the steps and tried to get her up.

“Mom? Mom get up.”

   She wouldn’t get up. Her blood just kept seeping from her body then on to me. First on my hands then into my clothing. I just sat there like an idiot. Paralyzed with fear. I felt my heart beating against my chest painfully, then my eyes started to well up with tears. I brought one hand up to whip my tears away, but I just ended up getting blood in them now my eyes were red and burning. The pain was enough to snap me out of it and I got up to call the police. When I opened my mouth to tell the operator what happened I didn’t sound frantic like the people on television do at all. I was just sad and quit. We were miles away from the nearest hospital, so it would take a while for an ambulance to get to us. That didn’t really matter much to me. In my heart I already knew my mother was dead.

  I walked back to the room were my mother was, but I didn’t see her. All I saw was red. Red blood on the walls and on the furniture, blood pooling up around my feet and reaching to my ankles. I screamed loudly and fell backward on my butt. When I hit the ground, my mother was back, and the blood was gone. I didn’t want to think about it then. When the ambulance got there, they found a dead old lady and her crying worthless daughter.

   I hadn’t said a word at the funeral. We didn’t have many close relatives. So, it was just me and some of her friends. Some people shared some nice memories they had with her or told about how much they missed her. I didn’t have anything to say. I didn’t know how I felt. On one hand, now I had what I wanted. The last remaining link think liking me to the place had just died. I was completely free to reinvent myself now. I could even change my name If I wanted. On the other hand, my mother was dead, and I was completely useless in helping her. I should have helped her down the stairs or at least played more attention to her annoying questions. We should have been closer. We were all the family each other had and now I was alone.

“Careful what you wish for.” I said under my breath.

One of my mom’s friends looked at me with a questioning look.

“Nothing.” I told her.

  Ever since then I kept having dreams. Sometimes it was my mother. She was in the blood, she was the blood. I kept the sinking into the blood. I could myself drowning in the warm red that was burning me from the inside. Other times I would relive her fall. I would find myself back there and rush out of my room to stop it. As if I could re write history through a dream. I would always fail anyway. She would tumble down the stairs and die just as she had before. There were parts that were different, sometimes my mother was missing her eyes and all you could see was the bloody sockets, sometimes it was my face dead on the floor instead of my mom’s, and sometimes the very walls bleed as she did. They all had one thing in common though. The blood. I hated the blood. It haunted me as it were my mother’s ghost.

  I took a plane back home. I sat next to the wind. I tried to read, I didn’t want to fall asleep again. I was trying to read through my planner. Changing dates and changing appointments. A few times I almost nodded off a few times, but I managed to shake myself out of it. At least I thought so, but I guess I must have been writing something without my knowledge because when I read one of my papers it said ‘warm’ on it.

“Warm?” I said out loud.

The guy sitting next to me turned.

“What did you say?” He said.

I jumped a little in my seat. His face was covered in blood. It was dripping out of his eyes and ears. He looked like he had just been in a bad car accident.

“Oh my god.” I covered my mouth and gawked at him.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Your face…”

I didn’t look at him I just folded over in my seat and cried into my hands. I heard him call someone over.

“Are you okay ma’am.” I heard a woman say.

I looked up and I saw that the blood on the man’s face was gone. I rubbed my forehead. I must have been really losing it.     

“Are you alright?” The lady asked again.

Desperately not wanting to be one of those crazy people you see on the news who loses it on the plane and forces it to land I forced myself to smile at her.

“I’m fine, I just um, had a little headache. That happens to me sometimes.”

“Oh, do you need anything?”

“No, I’m fine now, thanks.”

The guy I spoke to before was still looking at me when she left.

“Sorry.” I told him. “There’s nothing wrong with your face.”

“I hoped not.” He laughed a little.

I laughed nervously as well.

“My name’s Fred, nice to meet you.” He held out his hand.

I took it. I hope my hand wasn’t shaking. I already seemed crazy enough.

“I’m Annalee, it’s nice to meet you as well.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked.

“Yeah, it’s just been a long week.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

“Sure.”

  We did talk about it. I told him about my mother dying and my dreams of blood. He didn’t really have any impute on it just told me about his own life. Apparently, he was currently in school to be a dentist. He told me about worry about his grades, and how he struggled with money. When the plane landed he gave me his number and I gave him his.   

  When I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about the blood. I hated it. I cut my finger with the kitchen knife when I was cutting vegetables. It was horrifying. I couldn’t watch television because there would always be since with blood in them. Then I thought about the blood inside of me. The blood being pumped by my heart moving around. I tried to take my mind of things but everywhere I looked I saw blood. The blood seeped into my dream yet again that night.

I woke up the next morning feeling more tired than when I woke up. I put make-up on for the first time in years to hide the dark circles. When I got to the school I was ready to back to school. I walked through the hallways like a vampire. It was only 3rd grade but our school made them change classes. I was a math teacher. Most of the kids in my home room were already sitting in their desk when I got to the class room. I got to my own desk when a little boy came running in just before the bell range but tripped on his own feet and fell on his face. The entire class exploded with laughter.

“Alright everyone be quiet.”

I went over to the boy.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I think I made it.”

“Next time just come on time.” I told him

“Okay.” He looked up at me. There was a read trickle coming out of his nose. I looked at it for a long time. Even here the blood was following me. Even here my mother was punishing me.

“Go wash that off.” I said probably louder than I should have.

“What? Oh.” The boy touched his face and saw the blood on his fingertips.  

That sent me even more over the edge.

“Hurry up and go do it.”

The boy ran out scared.

I dragged myself through the rest of the class that day. I remembered to apologize to the boy after class.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you. How is your nose?”

“Okay.” He said and rubbed his nose.

“Aright don’t miss your next class.”

  I needed to get help before I traumatized anyone else. I couldn’t go on like this. I needed to figure this out before I ended up ruining my life. I decided to take a walk in the park after work. The idea of being alone in my apartment right now was not appealing. I thought of going back to my mom’s house, but I guessed that would only worsen the situation. It looked like my walk was going to be cut short though because there were clouds over head. Thunder boomed, and it startled me. Even though I thought I had gotten rid of my fear of thunder years ago. When the rain started pouring down it was relaxing at first. Then I saw it collect on the ground. It was blood red. There was blood falling from the sky. I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed. People were putting umbrellas up, chatting, and just walking through it. No one seemed to notice the red blood coming from the sky. Which met it all had to be in my head. I really was crazy. It was only a question of how far over the bend I was now. I closed my eyes and thought the same thing repeatedly in my mind ‘this isn’t real’, ‘this can’t be real’. When I opened my eyes again I saw that the blood was water.

  That weekend I flew back over to my mother’s house. I told my friends I couldn’t hang out with them. I told them I need to visit my mother in the country. On the ride over I didn’t see any of the blood. My paranoia of it didn’t go away so easily though. I didn’t plain to stay for long. I just wanted to see my mother’s grave. I knelt when I reached her stone.

“Look… mom I really sorry I tried to forget about you. About our home.” I looked down over the tomb.

“I promise I’ll never forget about you again.” My tears fell over the still brown soil.

The visions of blood stopped ever since that day, but I have always felt like I’m being watched.

 

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