The Dance We Do

Story written by BetsyBaby on Wednesday 26, July 2006

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Short story about family relationships

Overall Rating: 80%

This writing has been rated by 1 members, resulting in a rating of 80% overall. Below is a breakdown of these results:

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As I stand here in the kitchen, I'm stirring the noodles in the boiling water. I can feel, Stan, our cat, rubbing against one leg and I'm trying to help Emily with her social studies homework. The phone rings and I answer it. "Hello?" "Angie? It's me. Is this a bad time?" It's my mother. "No, mom. I can always make time for you. What's up?" This is the dance we do. She pretends she doesn't know she's bothering me and I pretend she actually isn't. "Are you sure? You sound busy." "No problem, mom. What's going on?" Emily whispers, "Mom, how many signatures are on the Declaration of Independence?" "Nothing too much. I just wanted to tell you what I thought of your story." "My story? What are you talking about?" Emily whispers again, "Mom! The Declaration of Independence? How many signatures?" "I read your story. On your website?" My website. "I didn't think you and dad even had a computer!" "There's no need to be sassy. We were visiting Tom last week and he was showing off his new computer. A Deli-something-or-other." I know she actually means Dell, but I don't bother to correct her. "Sorry, mom, I wasn't being sassy. What did you think?" I begin to write out a grocery list, just to keep my mind occupied and to keep from losing my temper with my mom. Paper towels, garbage bags, cat food. "To be honest, I didn't much care for it." Bread, milk, kill Tom. "What didn't you like, mom?" "Well, where on Earth did you come up with that mother character? That wasn't supposed to be me, was it?" "No, mom. It's a work of fiction. I made it up." "But that character sounds just like me! She has dark brown hair and works as a clerk in the post office!" "She also has her nose pierced, a tattoo that says 'badass' and likes to have sex with her best friend's husband. That certainly doesn't sound like you." I've momentarily forgotten that Emily was sitting right next to me. She looks at me with wide-eyed wonder. I hold my hand over the mouthpiece and whisper to Emily, "56." She looks at me, "huh?" "The number of signatures on the Declaration of Independence. 56." "Oh," she whispers back. "Thanks!" Mom ignores my comeback. "And what about the brother character? Tom isn't addicted to anything, except maybe his computer. Why is the brother a drug addict? And the father is some crazy German. What about that?" "Mom! Dad is Dutch and this is not a story about my life! It's fiction. That means I made it all up!" "But what about the main character. She's married to a banker. You're married to a banker." Okay, that's it. I've had enough. "You know what, mom? You're absolutely right. It's a story of my life. A woman with overbearing parents and a drug-addicted younger brother who takes solace in the only thing in her life that isn't totally insane, her writing." There's silence on the other end of the line. Then mom laughs. "Oh, Angie. Always so dramatic, my funny girl. Listen, give Emmy a kiss from grandma and grandpa for us, okay?" "Sure thing, mom. Thanks for calling. Maybe we can visit later this week." "That sounds perfect. Take care, sweetie." We hang up just as the buzzer is ringing on the stove. The noodles are done. I hang up the phone, take a bow and pirouette to the stove to turn the heat off. "What was THAT supposed to be?" Emily asks me, looking amused. "I'm a dancer," I said, "A perfect dancer." ########

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