and I won fifth place. I don't know how I won. I was really regretting my entry, wishing I could rewrite it, massacre it, delete it once it was up. I had an idea and just went with it.
I have to apologize to Maht and all the rest for all my grumbling. Really, "the perfect neurotic" self-imposed tag isn't just for fun (as most of you know), I'm really neurotic. I think too long and hard about even the simplest of things, but I enjoy feedback (good or bad). And I love that the process was completely anonymous, but at times it seemed as though some of the entries comments were from people who know who was who. My husband assured me it was my own paranoia and to calm down and just get on with life.
Anyhow, if you don't want to go to the Moon Topples
for the entire contest, I'll just put my story below.
By the way, I absolutely LOVE the winning entry and voted for it as well, so it's worth the trip to read it. At first, I was completely confused, but then I couldn't get the story out of my head and once I reread it, I realized I kept coming back to read it because it was so darn good. I was glad many of my votes won. Sadly, not all, but some.
Anyhow, here's mine:
Queen Size Bed
When my mom was in high school, her nickname was ‘Twiggy.’ Boys just went crazy over her, and my father was no exception. The first time he saw her, she was walking down the aisle in their homeroom. Dad told me he knew right then that he would marry her someday. Mom was only thirteen at the time and not interested in Dad at all, but he didn’t mind waiting. His patience paid off, he married her right out of high school … and said it was the happiest day of his life.
Growing up, Dad would always tell me, “You get your looks from your mom. She was the prettiest girl in school.” He was so proud of it, just like Uncle Dave during hunting season hanging those deer right out front of his garage. My uncle has a hook inside the garage for the small ones, but when he gets a big buck, everyone on the road has to see it … whether they want to or not. Dad said if Dave had married pretty, he wouldn’t need to show off dead deer.
My mom once told me, "Men measure their years in life by what vehicle they drive at the time, but women use numbers on the scale." Dad bought his first sports car five years ago, right after Mom gained fifty pounds.
In her diary, I read how he pulled a pair of jeans off their bed and said to her, “Would you want someone with your pants size?” All she told him back was, “Yes, I would.” I read that and wished she had said a lot more. That she was still the same girl he married … underneath. That she was still the one he promised to love in sickness and in health, till death do they part, and all the rest of it.
Watching Mom, I know obesity is a sickness, but one that can’t be hid away. Difference between my Mom and a drunk, she wears her disease on the outside. An alcoholic can go anywhere without having to be embarrassed, but not fat people, especially fat women. People think it’s okay to make fun of my mom because they don’t see she has feelings. They don’t realize she had years of being one of them.
I’m the only person left to help her and I love her too much to take the one thing that comforts her away, even if it’s killing her. I think Dad left a space so big in their bed, Mom had to fill all of it because she covers every inch of their queen size bed now.I still hope someday Dad will come back and realize he just made a mistake. I wish he’d give Mom a reason to get better. Just look her in the eyes and say, “You weren’t just the prettiest girl in school, but the love of my life. I can wait this out.” I can too.
Labels: short story contest, wahoo