#182 Fledgling

by Charlotte Ehney

My mother kicked me out the only way she knew how. I came home from school to find all her stuff gone. At age eighteen and two months shy of graduating high school, I found myself with no money, no job and three weeks of paid rent on an apartment.

Given my mother’s impulsivity, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, I had attended twelve different schools as my mother fluttered from place to place looking for excitement. Almost as soon as we were settled, the novelty wore off. Then she was ready to move to fresh adventures. I wondered if that’s what happened; after eighteen years, my new wore off too.

With that exit, how could her entrance be any different? Without any contact in ten years, Mom glided into my wedding reception wearing a pale blue mother-of-the-bride dress. Her auburn hair fell in curls around her shoulders. She looked more like my sister than a woman who could have given birth to me.

She drifted around the room making small talk with guests. She lingered over the single men, moving close and laying her hand on their shoulder or arm. Eventually she made her way to us. She greeted my new husband with a peck on the cheek, welcoming him to the family like we gathered every week for Sunday dinner.

She departed arm-in-arm with a handsome guest. She left without apology. She left without a goodbye. My free spirited mother left me once more.

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