Okay, lets continue! If you missed part one of Chapter 2, read it first!
Now, on to part two!!! Happy reading!
Chapter Two – Part Two
“Zachariah, you don’t have to hang around with me,” my mother said.
“I know.” I reached into the cabinet for two plates, silverware, and cups.
I studied my mom’s profile as she peered into the bag of chicken wings and French fries. She was still too thin to my liking, despite my attempts to help her eat healthy. Six months of chemotherapy had taken its toll, whittling away at the vibrant woman who raised me. Her skin had lost its healthy glow; her caramel complexion waned and held a dark grey undertone.
Her long graying mane no longer graced her shoulders. Once her hair began falling due to chemo treatments, she’d had it cut low. It had grown since then, but she decided to keep it cut short, barely longer than my own close shave. I missed the grey and black curls that once adorned her head. They had been a testament of her wisdom and amazing ability to persevere through the hardships of her life.
Yet, despite everything she’d endured physically and mentally in the last year, her eyes still conveyed the true beauty of her mind.
I loved my mother. Not just because she was my only living parent, but because she taught me so much.
After setting the dinnerware on the table, I took a moment to pull her into my arms while being sure not to squeeze too tightly. Even though her cancer had gone into remission, and she no longer received chemo, her body still ached.
She sighed and leaned against me. “I enjoy you checking on me, but you need a life of your own, son.”
I kissed her forehead before releasing her. “You are my life, Mom.”
She laughed lightly. “You know that’s not what I mean.”
I bit back my reply because no matter what I said, this conversation was going in one direction.
“You need a wife, Zachariah.”
I selected a few chicken wings from the box, put them on my plate, and followed up with celery sticks. “Been there, done that. It didn’t work.”
“That’s not true. Engagement is not the same thing as being married.” She picked up a wing without setting it on a plate and nibbled.
I didn’t like the fact she wasn’t eating a lot. She seemed to enjoy protein shakes more than actual food.
“Close enough,” I muttered before stuffing a hot wing in my mouth.
Melissa. For the second time today, her name popped up in my head. Damn. The thought of her messed with my appetite. Not wanting my mother to give up picking at her food, I forced myself to chew.
“All things happen for a reason, baby, whether we agree with them or not. Melissa was not meant for you.”
“Maybe, but it wasn’t because you had cancer. Don’t tell me you got sick so we would not get married. That’s messed up.” Unable to chew further, I tossed my wing on my plate. My mom didn’t even blink.
“Zachariah, you know that’s not what I meant. I got cancer because I got cancer. Melissa left because she wasn’t the woman you needed. She didn’t support you in your time of need, and I was the sick one. What do you think would have happened if you had gotten sick? The poor girl would probably have run home to her parents the moment she found learned you were ill. Marriage vows include staying together through sickness and health, not just for richer or poorer.” She smirked. “I don’t think Melissa would have handled the ‘poorer part’ too well either.”
I wiped my hands on my napkin and allowed myself to smile. “Yeah, she was money hungry, which was not new. I would have provided for her, given her everything she wanted and then some.”
“True, and she would have drained you dry, financially and mentally,” she added, disposing of the wing she had finished. I held my breath and waited for her to pick up another one; she did.
“I know how to pick them, huh?”
My mother patted me on the knee. “One day, when you least expect it, the woman of your dreams is going to walk into your life and knock you sideways. Mark my words.”
I thought about the woman who’d come into my shop. Ms. Phillips was probably on the same high-maintenance level as Melissa. All beauty and attitude wrapped into one. I could imagine what her man put up with in order to be with her.
Then I pictured her body without the hip hugging skirt and low cut blouse covering what I imagined would be perfect breasts. One night with her would make a man overlook her issues.
I chuckled. “Glad at least one of us feels that way.”
I sure as hell didn’t.
Jaded will officially be published next week! Yay! Get those index fingers ready to click away until your hearts content! 🙂
New to The Butterfly Memoirs Series? Catch up with A Heart Not Easily Broken (Book One of The Butterfly Memoirs)