‘I hate that saying.’ Maddie crossed her arms and glared at her mother. ‘It might be for the best,’ she mimicked.
‘Well, it might be,’ her mother retorted. ‘You’re only 17 for goodness sake. You have your whole life in front of you.’
Maddie rolled her 17 year old eyes. ‘I’m nearly an ADULT, Mum! I have to start living my life on my own terms.’
‘Mother knows best.’ Her mother kept her tart tone, as if the certainty of the saying would convince Maddie in itself
‘Not in this case, you don’t.’ Maddie stifled a sob. ‘How could you possibly understand?’
Her mother softened, reached out a hand to pat Maddie’s arm. ‘I was young once too, you know.’
‘I think you’ll find that when you were young, things were a lot different.’ Maddie was certain her mother never had to face the drama she faced now. Heart rending horror. And no one, no one at all to talk to about it. Except a mother who had no idea.
‘Things will turn out.’ Mum’s reassuring kindness was harder to take than her moral certainty. ‘You never know what’s just around the corner,’ she continued, making Maddie’s blood boil. Social isolation was just around the corner.
‘I’ll never recover from this. My life is ruined!’ Maddie cried. Frustration knotted her stomach.
‘Think positively, and positive things will happen.’
Maddie thought positively about not having a mother who spoke in cliches. She squeezed her eyes shut, peeked through them. Mum was still there, a smile on her face, nodding her head like that ancient toy dog she kept on the dashboard of her car. It was too much for Maddie.
‘It’s all bad, Mum.’ She threw up her hands. ‘How can I ever recover from losing my TikTok account?’ She let the sobs come. ‘It’s the end of my life, and you’ll never understand.’
Find Cheryl’s flash fiction and short stories, including audio versions of some, here!