Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Flash Fiction Friday: "Lunch Date"

"Hello? HEY! Caroline! How are you, hun?"

"Uh huh. Getting tough, huh? Yeah. I remember those days."

"Oh, you have Braxton- Hicks? Oh, you poor thing. I remember those. Awful."

"You'll get through it, though. We all do. It's tough. But you can do it."

"Is it worth it? Yeah. Well, sometimes it is. It depends."


"What? Oh, I just took my shoes off. They're cute, but God, do they hurt."

"Mark? Oh, he's fine. Busy, like we all are. But he's fine."

"Kristen? God. Don't get me started."

"Oh, I know, the teen years are tough. I was a beast to my parents, so I guess it's karma, right? But I can take the snotty attitude and the back talk. I mean, I don't like it, but I can take it. It's her schoolwork that's killing me."

"Oh my God. It's a disaster. She won't study for anything, she won't do any homework. We threaten, and we beg, and we cajole, and....nothing. She'll do a little bit, just enough until we back off, and then she's right back to her old habits."

"Mark? He's worthless when it comes to her. Worthless. He can't say no to her. He's as bad as those stupid pimply faced idiots who call her at all hours of the night. They're all in love with her. At least Mark isn't trying to get into her pants. "

"Ha! You're funny!"

"I know. It's awful. I keep asking her, 'What's your plan? What are you going to do without an education? How are you going to pay your phone bill? Car insurance? How are you going to pay for all those shoes you love so much?' And all I get is 'I don't know,' and 'I'll figure something out,' and shrieking, and tears. God, I'm so sick of the same arguments. Every year since about second grade, it's the same talk. 'You have to do your homework!' It's freaking Groundhog Day."

"I know some people do it, just get married and have families. There's nothing wrong with that. You found David, and that's great. But you got your education, too, that's the thing. I know you never use your degree. Heck, I barely use mine. But you have it. God forbid something happens to your husband, you have skills, something to fall back on. Kristen has nothing. I know high school is stupid. But we all did it!"

"No, I don't think I want her to be just like me."

"No, I don't. I really don't. I just want her to be something, to be someone, to be able to support herself. Something other than somebody's other half."

"Are you saying there's something wrong with being like me? Owning a business? Creating something?"

"Oh, OK. I understand."

"No, I understand what you're saying. Maybe that is her destiny, just to get married and drop a litter. But don't you think that's setting your sights a little too low?"

"I know she is. You should hear the messages come in when she turns her phone on. I hate to say it, but I would have been such a slut in high school if I had looked like her."

"Right? Seriously."

"What really frightens me is that I can so picture her getting knocked up, right out of high school. I really can. What I keep thinking of, what I keep picturing in my head, is her looking up from some precious baby's face and telling me she wishes she had listened to me. It turns my stomach."

"I mean, am I working too many hours? Is that it? Am I ruining her life? Does she not get enough attention? Doesn't she see how hard I work? It really makes me question everything I've ever done as a parent. As a person."

"Thanks, honey. I appreciate that. And it would help if we had a united front. But Mark always, ALWAYS takes her side. No matter what. "

"Maybe you're right. Maybe she'll catch on. I hope you are right. I get nauseous every time I think about her future just crumbling away into nothing. You have a future with David. And even without him, God forbid, I think you'd be OK. 'Mom' just isn't a career choice that pays that well. You know that."

"You're right. There really isn't anything I can do, is there? I can yell until I'm hoarse. And I have! And I can't make her do it. I just don't want her to ruin her life."

"I know. You're right."

"God, listen to me. Here you are, about to have a baby, and I made it all about me! I'm such a bitch."

"Thanks. You're such a good friend for letting me monopolize the conversation like this. I really appreciate it. I better get back to work, though. "

"Tomorrow? Absolutely. 12:30 tomorrow................I can, yeah. At the Cafe Gano? I love their Caesar salad! Sure. No problem."

"Alright, I'll see you then."

"OK, sweetie. Bye."

The Flash Fiction Friday Challenge this week is to write a story about Groundhog Day. This story is a little wierd, and it is called "Lunch Date".


  1. oh good lord what a nightmare. hah!

  2. Egads. I have a fourteen year old daughter... 'nuf said. Good story!

  3. The realism is nauseating. This is EXACTLY what I'm afraid of happening when/if I have children. It makes me not want to have kids, ever. Once children become adults, their lives are in their hands and they have the right to make bad choices.... but somehow that doesn't compute in a parent's brain (honestly, I'd think a parent heartless if they shrugged their kids' bad lives off as their own faults and didn't let it bother them). As responsible as their child-adults are for their own failures, a parent will still suffer for those decisions. The utter helplessness to do anything is just horrifying.

    I love how this story puts words to our fears. It's wonderful!


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