Welcome to Tuesday's Tales
Today I'm starting new because I simply couldn't tweak my other story to include 'mirror'. (You can see the next scene from last week's story here)
This week is a short stand-alone story. It's very rough because I struggled to find a way to continue last week's story and when I couldn't failed to find an alternative, so this is all a bit rushed. Sorry.
She pulled out her compact and stared at her reflection in the little mirror. Today was the first day of her new life. The first day she’d stepped beyond the front door of her home since the accident.
She turned and gave her mother a hug and wondered which of them was the more terrified. Her mother because she wanted to protect her daughter or herself because…
Because one day she’d have to do it and today, it seemed was the day. She didn’t count the visits to the hospital or to the doctor’s surgery. The latter had been pretty grim because she knew most of the other patients in the waiting room, even understood their abhorrence when then looked in her direction.
She didn’t blame them, it had taken her several months to pluck up enough courage to read the newspaper headlines of the accident. At least that’s what everyone assumed to begin with.
“Driver on suicide drive down the mountain escapes death.” But she’d known the truth and remembered it the moment she regained consciousness weeks later. By which time, of course, so did everyone else, and the hunt for her Ex had begun.
How could you live with someone for ten years and not know how much they resented, hated you?
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Apparently a sharp-eyed clerk at the bank had noticed his attempt to clean out her account and alerted the police. Perhaps she wasn’t the only stupid one in that marriage. But that had been two years ago, and today, for the first time, she was flying solo.
“Drive carefully.” Her mother’s voice followed her to the car, snagged her confidence for a moment, and then slid away. Not criticism, concern. Justified concern.
After all she’d fought the impulse to get down on her knees and check the break pipes and slid in behind the wheel.
With a sickly smile and clenched teeth she raised her hand in a facsimile of a wave, turned the key in the ignition and carefully backed the car out of the drive.
Sweat slicked her palms on the wheel, and her knuckles turned white in their death grip, but she kept a steady pace maintaining the speed limit when she wanted to crawl along at five miles an hour. The school wasn’t that far. Not really. Today it seemed like a million miles away.
“Wait in the car for Haley,” her mother suggested, but she’d shaken her head. All or nothing.
Today it had to be all or nothing, because if she settled for nothing, the chances of leaving the house again vanished.
For the last month she’d accompanied her mother to the school every day. At first other mothers had turned away, then, day by day they’d nodded or waved. A couple had come up to the car and spoken to her, to them. Yes she’d seen the shock on their faces, but they’d stayed and talked. Now she had to take it the next step.
Like the other mothers she’d leave the car and wait at the gate.
Why did it seem like there were dozens more cars parked outside the school gates this afternoon? Her mother always managed to park close up, she’d have to walk a clear hundred yards or more to reach the gates…
Her gut clenched. Slowly she pulled in to the curb, switched off the ignition and refused to rest her head on the wheel. How come the car reminded her of an open freezer when the sun was high in the sky? Taking a deep breath, she opened the car door and stepped out.
A deep buzzing in her ears blanked out the surrounding sounds. Her stomach threatened to toss its contents and several pairs of eyes glanced in her direction.
And to her astonishment they all lit up with a pleasure. Hands reached out, the buzzing in her ears faded, replaced by an excited babble of welcome, and several of the mothers came to meet her, their hand extended.
Their warmth reached into her heart, relaxed the tension that, moments ago threatened to immobilise her, and propelled her forward to join the rest of the women she used to talk with daily.
Yes, until now, the scarred image that reflected back at her in her mirror had kept her a prisoner in her own home.
But not any more.
Today was a new day. The first day in her life when she’d fought her demons, and won.
Thank you for reading this week's offering,
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