Elegant Daughter

This short story came from a prompt at Chuck Wendig’s blog. I have up to 1500 words to write in but I am pretty sure I won’t need that many.

It’s called Elegant Daughter, based on a random number generator.

Here’s the story:

I’ve been called many things.Bratty, snooty, and a B. But one time, just once in my life, I was called elegant. That is what this story is about. How I went from elegant to a B.Yes, it is all related.

My parents are not rich. We have never had money in our lives. My dad works two jobs, one is like a regular job with an office. One is just a job. He works at a gas station/grocery store sort of place. I know he hates it.

My mom’s what they call a S-A-H-M or stay-at-home-mother. I hear the other moms snicker when they have occasion to learn my mother’s career choice. Well, eff you, snickerers. My mom rules. Or well, she did rule. She doesn’t do anything anymore. But one time she was like the best mother in the world.

It was my mom who called me elegant, you hags. She was making my hair all pretty for school pictures. She rolled it on hot curlers, and when it was time to take them out, the curls were perfect. She fluffed them all up and made me look like different. Like a grown-up or something. Then she sprayed all this hair spray on it making it stay put. I liked how it looked.

“You’re as elegant as a queen with your hair done up,” she said.

I felt elegant, too. You know being an elegant daughter was special. We had a moment. Then from the second I got on the bus until I got off of it, life turned a new twist. I discovered the cruelty and hatred and bitterness and jealousy that is teenage-hood.

Everybody hated the elegant hairstyle. I was not elegant. I was a freak and everyone laughed.

My best friends wouldn’t sit with me. Not on the bus, not at lunch. Believe me when I say that I took a brush to my hair with a vengence in the bathroom as soon as pictures were over. I knew my mother would be heart-broken, but I was already there from the taunts and teasing I’d gotten all day.

I cried as I pulled and tugged until all the curls and hair spray disappeared. That afternoon, I snapped at Sandy, who was my friend, and she called me a brat. Once that was out, I heard someone else call me the snooty rich kid. Whatever. They didn’t even know me.

When I got off the bus, I was a different kid. I knew that being elegant was not for me. I would never be an elegant person. I was stupid for thinking it. I was even worse for trying. I would show them. I would be a B. They would be sorry.

Mother never said a word when I came in the house. She just stood at the kitchen sink, looking out as she washed dishes, and asked how my day went. I mumbled something and ran upstairs. She could just get over it. I had had enough of being an elegant daughter to last a lifetime. I didn’t need her sorrowful attitude.

And, we never talked about the hair thing. We never got the chance. A drunk driver hit my SAHM broadside when she was on the way to Costco.

My mom died a few days later and well, now I just sit here thinking about her and how I could use a little elegance now.

I miss her. I really miss her. I’d trade being a B for being her elegant daughter any day.

About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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