Pt. 10 – Previous parts in the serie can be found here.
A weekly blog serie based on the character Mia – the rebellious one. A single twenty-something woman in search of many things – love not being one of them. Complicated is her middle name.
I’m running late as usual. To people’s astonishment, time is an element I’m lousy at keeping track. Mother has long learned this and realises that there is no point of showing up on time when it involves meeting me. Now, whenever it just the two of us (not so often), we’re both late with me being the last to arrive. Her solution, not mine.
I don’t do it all on purpose and I’m always poligetic about it. I’ve tried to break the habit. After several bets, new year resolutions and self-awareness books on breaking bad habit and creating good ones, it’s still an ongoing issue. It’s one of the Mia traits that those who know me hate but have learned to deal with.
I’m ten minutes late. Which is good considering that I’ve once been two hours late, notably to a Maddie event. Bad planning on my part, I’ve apologized but Maddie never misses an opportunity to bring it up. Now, I tell people I’m going to be late in advance to ease their expectations.
It’s a grey afternoon. Please at the fact there’s still no rain. But the sky looks dull with ominous and black clouds. I’m approaching the café, going on fifteen minutes behind the agreed time.
The smell of fresh baked focaccia bread triggers my appetite as I enter the Kitchen. Mother’s late for a change. I sit myself by the window, not far from the door. The café is almost empty but I can’t help notice a group of moms, each holding a baby. With baby strollers blocking path as they occupy the rear end of the café. I move my eyes up to the blackboard behind the counter that reveals what they are serving. I check my phone for the time and notice mother’s twenty minutes late. The tables are turned. There’s a first time for everything.
“What are you having?” mother asks
“Chicken salad with focaccia bread.”
Mother doesn’t eat bread. She avoids everything white products and swears by the mediterranean way of eating; lots of green stuff, fish and other products that are unlikely to end up on my plate on a daily basis. I notice her scolding stare at my choice of menu, obviously disapproving of the bread. I order Coke just to make a statement; I eat and drink what I want.
I suspected a question about work. A reminder of what I’ve been up to. I mention nothing and mouth, “Alright.” Hoping it’ll be enough only to realise mother always needs more.
“Come on, Mia. You’ve started working there and all you have is alright?” frowning as she continues, “How are your co-workers? How is your boss? How is the working environment?”
Only mother would want an essay on certain topics and questions; work, when are you getting a car (as she disapproves of me taking public transportation), what are your plans for the summer. The list goes on. When it comes to personal informations, she requires a book, preferably with details. Her questions often feels like an interrogation while she holds the role of cop, I play the suspect having to watch what I say.
“Well, mother, working nights is not exactly rocket science.” I say folding my hands on the table. “I’m alone at night. So, the environment’s great.”
Silence erupts around the table, an awkward moment where none of us know of what to say. From the look on her face she’s thinking of what to ask as she fidgets with her fingers. Mother rarely gets nervous, so I’m guessing she’s impatience.
And there it is. The infamous question with the same answer as always – no. I send her a knowing glare; the type of look when someone asks a ridiculous question.
She glances down, only to look up. Head tilted, she leans forward, reaching for my hand and says, “A mother’s allow to ask. I care. And yeah, I also worry.”
“I don’t deny you to ask, mother. It’s just my answers will never meet your expectations.”
I want to be able to tell her. Lean forward and tell her everything. Not just about the whole boss-married-man drama but all of it. But the sad truth is, I can’t disappoint. Not again. I can’t be responsible for unfolding a lie behind a truth. Her truth.