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Drawing The Lines
By Demeter


She often lies awake late at night, contemplating her new life with her dream lover. Sometimes, she hears her cry, softly, trying not to let it show, but she always knows anyway. It makes her feel inadequate, because there's nothing she could really say, reach out.

She can't promise that the older daughter will ever talk to her again, or that she'll communicate with her still-husband other than throught their lawyer, ever again. And she can't help feeling guilty, because she has helped creating this. Because she wanted so much and couldn't turn her down once given the chance.

There are good moments too, moments when she's afraid that this is a dream she could wake up from any second now. They range from those boring domestic scenes, doing the dishes or going grocery shopping to falling asleep in each other's arms. When she feels like crying sometimes, it's because she's happy.

Then there are the phone calls.

She knows that the girl doesn't really want to talk to her mother, on the contrary, she's working up the courage to confront the person she thinks is responsible for her family falling apart. Am I? She wonders.

And if the answer is yes, too bad. She's tired of the shadows. She's been in love with pain for nearly two decades, and now that she has everything she longed for so hard, sixteen years and then some, she's never letting go again.

But the calls unnerve her. They're frequent, at odd times, and the next time she's had it and simply calls her by her name. "Why don't you just tell me what you want from me?"

There is an awkward silence. The young woman finds words quickly though.

"What the hell were you thinking? Do you even care? You destroyed my family!"

She leans against the wall, closing her eyes. She doesn't panic because this is exactly what she's expected. "I'm sorry you see it that way. I know you're hurt and--"

"How am I supposed to see this? I don't know what promises you made, but you turned my mother into a stranger. This is just sick. She would have never left us."

"She made that decision."

"She doesn't belong with you!"

"And who's to say?" Her temper isn't teased out easily, but the girl is well on the way to succeeding. "You know what, maybe there is a part of her life that doesn't revolve around you. Maybe she's her own person too, and capable of making choices. You might not like this, but she chose me."

The call is disconnected abruptly, making her feel like she's just been slapped.

However, she can't bring herself to regret anything she said.

The End

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