Momma said I was a freak. She didn’t want to let me in the house. I don’t know if it was the blue hair, or the piercings. Maybe it was still the issue of my boyfriend. She didn’t know what to make of a man who wears makeup.
Pa just shook his head and opened the door. He had long ago given up on trying to make sense of his strange little girl. “Want some tea?”
“Nah, I just stopped by for a minute.”
He ushered me into the kitchen. Momma sat at the table chopping potatoes. She didn’t look up, but she did shift her chair so she wouldn’t knock my elbow when I sat down. Pa poured himself a glass of iced tea and waited.
I fiddled with the potato peeler, running my thumb along the blades. “I just came by… well, me and Vinnie broke up.” I snuck a glance at Momma. Her face lit up briefly, then shuttered again. She finished chopping and reached for another potato.
I took a breath. “I was thinking… maybe, I could come with you to church tomorrow? Stay for dinner after?”
Momma dropped her potato with a thud. It rolled toward the edge of the table, but I caught it and handed it back. Momma looked at it for a moment before taking it. She set it down on the table, carefully, like it was porcelain.
It’s always something, Pa used to say. I stopped going to church when I was fourteen. Momma tried to insist, but Pa held her back. “It’s always something with her,” he told her. “If it ain’t this, it’ll be something else. Let her be.”
“Okay, then,” said Momma. “You want to stay here tonight?”
I nodded, a lump in my throat.
That night, in the dark of my old room, I opened my fist. For a few seconds I let the eerie blue flame dance on my palm. It’s always something, I thought, and closed my hand.
This post was made in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge prompt:
1 a : a sudden and odd or seemingly pointless idea or turn of the mind
b : a seemingly capricious action or event
2 archaic : a whimsical quality or disposition
3 : one that is markedly unusual or abnormal