When she opened the door …

Today’s writing prompt and my response.

Use the prompt however you like, one at a time, or pen a short story over as many as you like.
When she opened the door she wished

The morning started badly and if Julie didn’t catch up it was only going to get worse. She had planned to wake early, put the final touches on her presentation. But she had woken late, Jamie had been impossible to rouse from his bed, and she had taken three supposedly urgent work calls before 8 am.

‘Come on,’ she urged her son, who was dealing with the day’s start with typical teen enthusiasm. ‘It’s not the bloody holidays yet. Move it!’

Young man eating eggs

He stolidly worked his way through eggs and toast while Julie slapped butter on bread and prepared a mound of lunch sandwiches, her own breakfast cooling on the table.

She half-turned. ‘Are you ready?’ she snapped. ‘Got your homework? Got your sports gear?’

‘Yes, yes and yes.’ Jamie smiled, and a piece of Julie’s tension melted from her harried mind.  

He was a good lad, despite his inability to comprehend the concept of ‘urgent’, or ‘hurry’. She squeezed the last sandwich into its container, handed it to him with a wry grimace.

‘Now run, or you’ll miss the bus.’

‘Yeah, yeah. Stacks of time, don’t fuss, Mum.’

Five minutes later she shooed him out the door, resisting her need to hug him, plant an embarrassing kiss on his cheek and tell him she loved him, that she was sorry about the snappiness.

Instead, she spent a half second watching his lounging gait wander down the drive before turning back to the kitchen and piling dishes into the dishwasher. She glanced at the clock. Ten minutes until the call. Shower or go over the presentation? She mentally checked it over, hoping she’d done enough that the document would jog her flustered brain cells into intelligent activity when the time came.

Shower. The hot water would relax her, even if it was rushed.

Nine minutes later she was at the computer, logging in.

The doorbell rang. With a frustrated tut, Julie pushed back from her desk and scurried down the hall. A tall, bluish shape loomed at her through the frosted glass.

When she opened the door, she wished she’d insisted on that goodbye hug, that embarrassing kiss. She wished she’d apologised and had told her son how much she loved him.

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2 thoughts on “When she opened the door …”

    1. It was a bit bleak … The winning piece in the comp I asked for votes for was on similar lines but so beautifully written – heartrending stuff.

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