She watched them go. Self-sufficient, self-absorbed, leaving the ravaged breakfast table resplendent in cereal boxes and dirty bowls.

She couldn’t remember the last time they’d waved goodbye, let alone kissed her.

She didn’t expect miracles from teenagers, but acknowledging her existence wouldn’t hurt. She was ignored unless they had a complaint. Each day they grew more like their father.

She sat amid the breakfast chaos carefully counting her secret savings. It was enough. She could take that cruise and never return.

She wouldn’t do it of course, but the dream of a different life made her smile.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
8 months ago

There are times in our lives that I think we all long to escape. I really empathised with your protagonist Mary, we all need to feel wanted and appreciated. At least her secret stash keeps her dream alive even though she may never act on it. Great story!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
8 months ago

I can relate to your story, Mary. I dream of that too, to travel and escape from a stressful life even for a while. But I cannot do it, I cannot leave my children even when they make me cry and my nerves are exploding.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
8 months ago
Reply to  Mary Wallace

 ?  Yes. I think so. But not all.

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Another sad and thoughtful story Mary, and yet, if we can not be ourself, then it has been a waste of a life – don’t you think?

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Oh, what a sad and lonely lady. The self-sufficiency must be a comfort to your protagonist, but life would be painful whichever choice she made.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
7 months ago

Mary, I think many parents sometimes feel like getting on the first ship and make a run for it. You very accurately described how unappreciated parents can feel, by the way their spouses and kids treat (or ignore) them. Great story.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

Family life so easily turns into a situation where we take a lot of things for granted and don’t show appreciation for what we receive. I understand the protagonist’s longing to get away and also why she won’t leave.
I think that the sentence “they grew more like their father” is very important to the story. Teenagers need to see appreciation, love and gratitude expressed between their parents in order to understand how to express love and show appreciation. I’m sure it’s there, hidden under their sloppy behavior. And I think the mother intuitively knows it and that’s why she won’t leave. Thanks for a great story!

Daisy Blacklock
Daisy Blacklock (@daisy-blacklock)
7 months ago

This is such a sad and thoughtful story. Many can relate to this story, which is what I love about it. I especially like how you finished it. Great job!

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Daisy Blacklock
Daisy Blacklock (@daisy-blacklock)
7 months ago
Reply to  Mary Wallace

It was my pleasure Mary.

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