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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

From "The Memory Keeper" by Lisa Stowe

After losing her grandfather and stumbling into a murder, Cody finally thinks she has the courage to face her domineering, embittered mother.  

“Stop it mom,” Cody said. “Just…stop.  You’ve made it clear over the years that you think I’m worthless. So why didn’t you adopt me out?”
“What’s gotten in to you? What are you talking about?”  May dropped her fork on the plate.
“Answer the question. You think I’m stupid, you tell me I’m ugly, you make it clear I’m unlovable. You’ve had years of telling me over and over what a burden I was to bring up on your own. So why do it? Why the hell didn’t you just abort me?”
May’s triple chins quivered, and she put a hand over her heart. “Why are you talking like this? How could you ask me something like that?”
“Why am I talking to you like this?” she repeated. “Why have you talked to me the way you’ve done my whole life?”
May stretched, wheezing, for the tissue box and pulled one out, dabbing the corners of her eyes.
“By the time your father left us you were almost five. A little old to abort, Cody.”
The words were like a sharp pain slicing into Cody’s chest. She couldn’t breathe and hunched over, gripping her hands between her knees.