Mother was Wrong
By Marnee Downing
Pointing toward the machine that had been installed a few hours earlier, Lorraine said “Mother insists that in 5 years I’ll be more in love with it than I was with Harold when we got married. Harold, of course, thinks it ruins the aesthetic of the room given the way it bulges out in an unseemly manner. He said it made the window look pregnant!”
Janet giggled, “Pregnant? That’s funny, your drapes don’t resemble pup-tents.”
Lorraine bit back her own laughter, “That’s Harold, everything has to look just so, even the windows.” Turning to the overstuffed chair she tucked her blue dress neatly along her legs as she sat down.
“Good grief, Lori, you sit as though we are still in Miss Caroline’s deportment class!”
Lorraine glanced at the patio doors and saw the red tip of her husband’s cigar, judging the time by the way he held it, and his deference to the younger man with him, she turned toward her younger sister. “I was serious when I said everything had to be just so. I am quite confident that the only reason Harold hasn’t said anything about your dress is he is too enamored of your husband, and of course how it will look when he introduces the heir to Henderson’s Markets to the senior partner’s tomorrow.”
“Heir?!? Oh that’s rich!” Janet burbled, “Heir?” Tears steamed down her checks as her laughter grew. “Oh my, heir!” She pressed a hand to her side, as the laughter continued to grow.
“Janet – hush! Harold will…”
“Harold will what?”
Lorraine rose quickly at the sound of her husband’s voice. “I was going to tell Janet, that you …”
Harold stared coldly at his wife. Why had he ever thought she was worthy to be a member of the Scott family? Biting out the words he asked “Tell Janet what about me?”
Lorraine moved to the window and turned the dial on the window machine, ” I was telling Janet that you’ll love the cool air when summer arrives.”
Harold turned to his smoking companion, “Come along Frank, let’s get that drink.”
Lorraine sighed as the cool air fluttered the hem of her dress. Mother was wrong, she loved the machine now; it had diverted what likely would have been a 45 lecture on manners. Oh yes, she loved it far more than she had ever loved Harold.
Marnee Downing writes, “My writer’s imagination took flight as a girl when I would tell my younger sister stories after we said goodnight prayers with our mother. I am thankful for Modern Retro Woman’s writing prompt since I usually get distracted by the different characters that take up residence in my head and as a consequence rarely finish a story. But I have dozens in various written forms!”
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