Standing Room Only

A World of Short Stories

Tough Love

“I’m really proud of you.  That’s what she’ll say to me next,” I thought.  “How can that not be the next thing she says?” 

I am thirteen years old and have never heard my mother say one word that could be considered positive reinforcement.  Tough love was what my mom was all about.  I knew she loved me, but there were times I did question it.  The time I made a B in class and didn’t get dinner for two weeks. 

Or the race I didn’t finish in the top five and had to run the course before school every morning for a month.  Sometimes she surprised me and didn’t go around the bend, but I usually assumed the worst so when she was nice.  I was always surprised.  And suspicious.  The less she seemed to punish me, the more suspicious I got.  It was only the two of us in our three-bedroom house so it was hard not to notice when she didn’t speak to me. 

She became less and less involved in what I was doing and most of the time I didn’t mind.  I was wondering when the other shoe was going to fall and she was going to come back out of nowhere with all the things I had done wrong in the last three months.  I started coming home a little bit later every night and prayed she would not flip.  When she finally disappeared, I wasn’t surprised.  I just hoped she never came back. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: