SS43: “Mother And Child Communion”
This story’s working title was “The Lyin,’ The Snitch And The Wardrobe.” It went through another clumsy, unwieldy title, then the one I finally settled on: a play on this old Paul Simon song. This was another first for me; I’ve written a few stories about mother-daughter relationship dynamic, in the areas of discipline and punishment (on both ends: “Redefining Punishment,” “Step-Mommie Dearest,” the fantasy scene in “Costly Confusion”). And yet this is my very first one that’ll officially belong to the Incest category. And so I tried to handle this debut foray delicately, and put some real heart and love into it.
Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, 8:24 a.m.
A gentle snowfall blanketed the city, at an only slightly higher concentration on the north end of town than the south. Citizens proceeded about the business of a first Tuesday after ringing in the new year. The sun fought way through a cloudy sky to brighten things up. There wasn’t much change among the occupants of the 700-block of Sullivan Avenue, especially at corner-nearing 727. And that was precisely the source of conflict this morning.
Vivian Emmy Hughes sighed in frustration.
Alone at home, she was soon to serve her regular 9:00 to 5:00 shift at the office of First Parties. And while sitting at a computer—her technology skills outmatching her social skills—proved hardly demanding, the least her superiors asked was that she appear work-presentable. An undeniably reasonable request. The only problem was that as she searched her closet for a semi-suitable outfit, she once again came to an exasperating realization. Before having departed to kick-start her own day, Vivian’s 18-year-old daughter, Rebecca Heidi Hughes, had taken the liberty of “borrowing” her clothes.
And not for the first time; far from it. In fact, Vivian’d just about had it. Now grown, her daughter had blossomed to Vivian’s size, and this pattern had developed fairly recently. It happened every couple of days or so, as if Rebecca figured that if she helped herself to her Mom’s wardrobe every day, she’d easily notice. Apparently Vivian wasn’t given credit to notice it only every other day.
It was not that Becky liked to look like her mother by wearing her things that bothered Vivian. It would actually be flattering, were she granted the privilege to know beforehand. It was that she was to always find out on her own, as Rebecca never asked, or gave her so much as a heads-up prior to ransacking her closet. What Becky didn’t seem to grasp was that had she simply asked, Vivian would be more than happy to share. It would bring back fond memories of Becky’s childhood when she and Vivian used to play dress-up. During these formative years, most kids steered their folks toward Toys ‘?’ Us or Candy World while out together; Rebecca Hughes grabbed her Mom’s hand and dragged her along whenever a GapKids swam into view. Most children were disenchanted with clothing as Christmas or birthday gifts; Becky was pretty-pleased.
The appreciation for smart threads was certainly played into by genetics. Vivian’d always had a keen eye for fashion, as now too did her daughter. And each time Vivian noticed missing apparel in her closet, she was prompted to consider the compliment. That her little girl wanted to be like her Mom, dressed for success. It was only the juxtaposition of wanting her mother’s clothing and taking it without asking that consternated Vivian. She had to suppose the fact that the girl was still a teenager had something to do with it. Becky perched on the brink of graduating high school, soon after getting on with her own life. For Vivian, the daughter leaving the nest and striking out on her own was both happy and sad news. And while the bad—no longer having her in her widowed, empty house—outweighed the good, Vivian still felt the need to have a talk with her about this.
At the same time…when Vivian considered the inevitability of her baby flying the coop, cutting herself free from the apron strings…she naturally became sad and wistful. When she imagined this scenario playing out in reality, she almost wept, missing her already. If only there were a way to… to really strengthen and solidify their bond, the layers of love in their relationship. So Vivian could be secure in the knowledge that her daughter’d genuinely miss her too.
Becky had turned eighteen in October. She attended high school and worked part-time in a department store in the mall. Smart, responsible, performing competently in both arenas…Vivian was exceedingly proud of her. And her mother realized that as an adult who also needed to show presentably each day, Rebecca needed decent clothing.
But… whyever, then, Vivian had to wonder, with a job that took place in a department store, of all locales—where a young woman could easily accessorize her entire closet—should eve gelen escort Rebecca feel the need to borrow-slash-steal a chunk of her Mom’s?
Yes, thought Vivian, as she finally got together an outfit and adjourned to the office. A little eye-opening chat about this when they both got back home was certainly in order. She tried not to let it overwhelm her. For most of her life, she felt she was not taken seriously when attempting to assert and stand up for herself. She felt discouraged from speaking her mind, and more dominant individuals tended to steamroll over her. It was going to be a tough evening and conversation, but she knew her daughter. Such a behavioral pattern, going on this way a good couple of weeks now, wouldn’t stop on its own.
Perhaps most frustrating was that for most of her life, Rebecca had been an angel. She was always good growing up, avoiding the big mistakes, learning from the small ones. Becky’s Dad had died along the way, leaving her half-orphaned. She remained the most valuable treasure in her mother’s life. Part of Vivian wished Becky never had to grow up and could just be her little princess forever.
Sadly, her daughter was not Peter Pan. And while she kept diligence and self-responsibility, her teens turned her sweet nature into rebellion, obstinacy and defiance. Rebecca wasn’t usually too hard on Vivian, being her daughter and living in her home. But Vivian’d be first to attest that Becky didn’t get this adolescence from her. Vivian was always daunted by confrontation. And when her daughter did give her attitude, Vivian tended to let it go. But this newest display of disrespect, taking her clothes without permission and not even expecting her to notice?… This wasn’t so easy to forgive.
It wasn’t going to be an easy conversation. But it was going to happen.
Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, 6:18 p.m.
After a couple of hours at work following school, Becky returned home, shivering and stamping her boots. Sitting in the living room, Vivian was waiting for her. On this day she’d apparently supplied her daughter’s entire outfit, except for Becky’s own light blue top.
“Hello there, honey.”
Becky rolled her eyes at the endearment-tinted pet name. Her mother’d held on to these saccharine nicknames to call her since she was little. It was quite simple in Vivian’s mind and proverbial book: she wanted to keep remnants of the relationship she had with her at a younger, less complicated age. Obviously, she loved the girl no matter what age she was. But Vivian couldn’t help but admit she missed her idealistic young single-digit angel. Even if she made it to a century old, she’d still be Vivian Hughes’ little girl.
“Ma,” Rebecca uttered, a more or less obligatory response, whipping off her—Vivian’s—coat. She then yanked the twisty out of her hair and tousled it into glorious spontaneity. She was an extraordinarily beautiful young woman, with golden hair that marvelously cascaded her face and shoulders. Her green eyes glowed even in the absence of light, and Vivian’s ensemble snugly embraced her statuesque frame. Vivian felt it a shame that a girl as lovely as her little Becky now lacked certain values of common decency towards others. She barely even said hello back to her mother.
Rebecca pulled off her boots, and Vivian patted the seat beside her. A mystery item to be used under more drastic circumstances sat behind her, where her daughter couldn’t see it.
“Becky, dear? C’mon over here and sit down, please.”
Becky eyed her disinterestedly.
Her mother indicated the chair once more. “I wanna talk to you.”
Her daughter visibly once more rolled her eyes.
“Ho boy…no good conversation ever started with that sentence.”
Vivian upped her sternness factor and pointed to the seat with one long-nailed index finger. She tilted her head downwards to throw some authority into her posture. Becky could see she hadn’t much choice. Reluctantly, she blew out her breath and plopped down, propping her cheek on one apathetic elbow. Vivian took her daughter’s unoccupied hand in both her own.
“All right, sweetie…” she began.
Becky reflexively winced. It was so embarrassing to have every single chat with her mother start like this. For god’s sake, does she have to hold my hand and call me “sweetie”? What the hell am I, nine?
Vivian’d taken forehanded liberty to adorn the tabletop with a bottle of wine and two glasses, in an effort to win Becky’s confidence. Actually, Vivian had already downed her first glass, to help ease into this and knock the edge off. She took one hand off Becky’s and poured them both a spot. Rebecca did appreciate this, figuring she could use some alcohol. Vivian regarded her, starting on her own second glass, and lowered her voice to what passed for strictness.
“Here’s the deal, fatih escort Becky: I know what’s been going on. I know that you’ve been taking my clothes to wear yourself. Now, please understand: it does not bother me that you wanna wear my stuff, it really doesn’t. Because I realize you’re very responsible about the clothes you put on your body, and that you launder everything carefully.”
Becky forced a nod, her countenance altering very little as she sipped. Her Mom tried to select her words with caution and tact.
“Now, you see, honey…”
Another eye roll.
“…What does put me off is that you don’t ask if you may borrow them. And furthermore, I also notice you’re moving things around in my closet to make it appear as if nothing’s missing.”
Rebecca eventually dropped her eyes to the table surface, knowing she was busted.
“Now, baby, what hurts me about this is that it makes me feel you’re insulting my intelligence. Not to mention the lack of respect by not simply asking if you can borrow the clothes. But-but…that’s it. That’s really all that’s bothering me.”
Her little girl remained curtly silent. Vivian nurturingly patted and rubbed her thigh, another move that made Becky uncomfy.
“…Do you understand what I’m saying here, sweetie? I’m—”
Rebecca felt her fuse shorten. She cut her off.
“Hey—would you please mind calling me ‘Becky’??” she entreated with exasperation. “Is that too much for ask?? My name is Becky. You oughta know that; you gave it to me! I mean, what is with these cutesy-ootsy pet names?!”
Vivian backed off. “Okay, I’m…I’m-I’m sorry, Becky. I’m simply trying to get my point across. I want you to look at me, and promise me you will ask—or at least let me know—when you wanna borrow my clothing from now on.”
The mother did not consider this an unreasonable request. The daughter saw things a bit differently.
Becky scoffed and tossed off a chuckle, giving her hair a careless flip. “Ah, c’mon, Viv.”
“‘Viv’?” Vivian frowned.
“Lighten up!” her daughter urged. “You’re making way too big a thing outta this!”
Vivian respected Becky’s opinion, but was a bit annoyed at such defiance to acknowledge her mother’s proper place in her life.
“Now…look, young lady.” Her voice shook, as she’d never been a stellar disciplinarian. But part of her job was to keep Becky in line.
“To begin with, I don’t care for you calling me by my first name. Laid-back though it may be, I really don’t mind this ‘Ma’ business you kids throw around these days. But please do not refer to me as ‘Viv’ in my own home.”
Only half-listening, Rebecca knocked back her wine, refreshed the glass and turned on the TV.
“Hey. Lay off the pet names, you’re ‘Ma’ again. Sound good?”
Her attitude was beginning to wear on her mother. Vivian seized the remote and turned the set back off.
“Becky, I am not quite done yet…”
Rebecca’d had a long day. The weather was harsh outside, and she was counting on being able to kick back and chillax this evening. She was glad for the wine, but didn’t need the nagging. She dropped her head on the back cushion.
“Oh, god!” she groused. “What the fuck is up your ass today, Viv??”
“St—don’t you talk to me that way, young lady,” Vivian admonished, gradually grasping control of her discipline voice. “I dunno how you talk around your friends, but you watch your mouth under my roof. Get me??”
Whipping out yet another scoff from her endless supply, Becky shut her eyes with a shake of the head.
This tore it. Her last straw snapped. Vivian grabbed the mystery item behind her, keeping it concealed, and stood.
“That, does it! I have had it with you, kid!” She pointed in the direction of the hall and bedrooms.
“Go to your room! Now!”
Eyes still closed, Rebecca burst into a laugh. But as she reopened her eyes and stared at Vivian, she slowly realized her mother was actually serious. Her smile faded as one and only one reaction came to mind: …What??
Vivian held her pose impressively still. Had she been outside, pigeons would’ve begun landing on her. Becky kept her incredulous gaze steady on her Mom a quiet moment. Finally, she got up from the couch herself.
Scoff. “Wow…good friggin’ lord. You really still think of me as a little kid, don’t you?” Rebecca defiantly inquired. She got right up in her mother’s face until they were nose to nose.
“NEWS flash, Viv: I’m eighteen years old. I’m a grown woman. I’m working, going to school, making my own money, taking care of my own business, and you honestly, seriously think you can still ground me??”
Growing fierier by the moment, Vivian glared back, nostrils flaring, virtually feeling the steam pluming from her ears.
“Think it, and know it, kiddo. NEWS flash, Rebecca Heidi Hughes: I…am your mother. My house, halkalı anal yapan escort my rules. For the record, I know how old you are; I remember when you were born. Lest you forget, I was there. And some more news for ya while I’m at it: age is not a factor here. Think you’re all grown-up now, still under my roof, but don’t have to abide by my rules? Nuh-uh. That don’t fly.”
Four hands now rested on four hips. Becky arched her brows, a bit surprised to hear her middle-aged mother pull off a modernized phrase such as this, complete with the bent grammar. At something of a loss for words, Becky said nothing more, but continued staring Vivian down. Finally, her mother repeated herself.
“Now go… to your room.”
Becky crossed her arms. “I don’t buy it,” she said, sneering, leering and peering into Vivian’s ired eyes. “I wanna see you make me.”
Under normal circumstances, such a challenge would’ve intimidated Vivian. But in this case, she’d thought ahead and sketched out a plan. She knew full well Rebecca loved clothes—almost as much as Vivian did herself—and so took her strategy in this direction. She began by taking hold of the hem of Becky’s light blue top—the only piece of clothing on her that belonged to her own wardrobe.
It was time to break out her elusive mystery item, the secret weapon, which Vivian’d till now kept hidden from Becky’s view. She revealed and brandished it before her daughter’s eyes, shirt hem in her other hand. First a mere hint, and subsequently an intense wave of fear struck Becky’s heart. It was a pair of extra large, extra durable, extra scary mundial scissors.
Vivian watched her little girl’s face transform into a portrait of petrifaction as she idly clipped them a few times in front of her. Her eyes widened and crinkled with trepidation, and her mouth quivered ajar. Three terrible words invaded her brain—
Not my clothes!!
Vivian registered the terror in her eyes. It was her turn to provocatively arch her brows, accentuating with a nod of the head. It was conversely Becky’s turn to be intimidated. Her trembling voice shook and stuttered.
“You… y-you wouldn’t.”
Her Mom opened the scissors’ blades, and slipped the edge of the shirt in between them. Becky looked down with a frightened gasp. Vivian ever so subtly closed the scissors, almost just enough to break the fabric.
Rebecca’s gasp grew into a shriek as an imperfect closet flashed before her eyes. This was a rare and expensive designer top Becky’d been fortunate enough to get her hands on. Vivian had exposed her Achilles’ heel. She abruptly decided she’d do well to acquiesce.
“O-okay, I’ll…” Becky cleared her throat. “I’ll go to my room…but only because I was about to anyway.”
She did her best to keep her voice under control, even though her tough-girl credibility was all but kaput. Vivian smiled with satisfaction, releasing Becky’s hostage shirt, and let her scamper off to her bedroom. What Becky didn’t notice until it happened was her Mom following her into the room, and closing the door behind. Rebecca turned with alarm to see her.
“Wh—…what’s going on?” asked Becky.
The smirking Vivian clipped the scissor blades a few more times, now with the upper hand, abreast of the power this gesture wielded over Becky. She inched on her scared daughter, with deliberate, ominous steps.
“The attitude stops now, young lady.”
Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, 7:22 p.m.
Rebecca could not believe she had allowed her mother to do this to her.
Once Vivian’d determined and ascertained that she had Becky where she wanted her—both physically and mentally—she made her lay down on her bed, on her belly. When Becky asked why, Vivian calmly replied that she’d see.
“Good girl!” Vivian praised, laying the scissors to rest as she entered Becky’s closet.
“Please don’t do anything to my clothes!” Becky pleaded.
Vivian’s answer to this was nonverbal. She collected a number of scarves—an item of which her daughter’d accumulated a dazzling plethora in color and variety—returned to Becky, took her limbs one by one, and tied her hands and feet with the scarves.
“Wha—hey!” Becky objected, realizing what was going on. Another scarf was tied over her eyes, blinding her. Vivian threaded yet another around the ones on her paws, and joined them as well. Becky was now on her tummy in bed, blindfolded and hogtied. Finished and satisfied with her setup, Vivian took a step back.
“There we are,” she smiled, clapping off her hands. “Now then, Rebecca…would you like to try and talk to me again—perhaps like a decent, civil human being this time?”
“What are you doing, Mom??!”
“Ah!” came the pleased exclamation. “I see we’re back to ‘Mom’! Well, that’s a step in the right direction, don’t you think, sweetie?”
The cute pet names failed to irk Becky so much just now. Understandably, she felt freaked out. What was more, she felt utterly humiliated. Like a rambunctious cow needing to be trussed up into the embarrassing position in which she now lay. But humiliation subsided as horror again reared its ugly face.