Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Entry #3

Son Games Mother
by Catherine Vibert


Tommy gave a long sigh as he stepped off the escalator and walked down the hall into the waiting room. He knew if he didn’t show up, she would take his computer.

“Come in Tommy.”

“This is stupid,” Tommy plopped onto the sofa and crossed his arms.

“We can sit here and talk about that if you like,” the therapist’s voice was calm, sterile, “Or, we can just sit here. Either way, it’s the same to me.”

Tommy stared at the floor most of the hour. When his time was up, he reached into his pocket for the co-pay check his mother had written, slipped it into the therapist’s hand, and bolted out of the room.

Later at dinner, he sat down with his mother to eat.

“How was your appointment?” she asked.

He gave his mother an angry stare.

“We determined I’m just lazy.”

“Did you talk about any resolutions?” she searched his face for any truth.

“I don’t care!” Tommy shouted, “I don’t want to go anymore!” He threw his chair back and ran to his room, slamming the door behind him.

Listening from behind the door, she heard his computer power on.

“Tommy, please come out here and talk to me!” she pounded at the door, but he had returned to the game, there would be no talking tonight.

“Good night Tommy,” she walked away, defeated.

“You have an instant message”, her computer beckoned.

“I hate you”, said the words on the screen.

33 comments:

Lena said...

i could practically feel tension between son and mother, well written

Aggie said...

clever.

JaneyV said...

I'm just venturing in to the teen years with my children and the damn secrecy is so frustrating. It's also incredibly difficult for people of my generation to understand the relationship of the computer to the life of a teen. Taking it away or the threat of it is akin to forbidding a friendship. Ruinwen I think you have managed to capture the tension beautifully whilst at the same time making us feel sympathy for both the mother an son. Beautifully done.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

A wonderful depiction of teenage frustration and the anxiety of the mother.

BernardL said...

Boys don't take well to therapists or Mom's who think they need therapy. Very gritty and realistic.

Geraldine said...

You've captured the angst of youth very well.


www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Hina said...

That last sentence was a kick in the gut. Brutally honest and stinging, Cat.

The despair and isolation of both is what I grab onto. If only he would make the effort. Maybe someday he will.

Well-written treatment of a complex relationship. It cuts at the heart.

peggy said...

Having lived through 2 teen age sons, I feel for the mom. Tensions abound daily...good stuff.

wrath999 said...

The tension between mom and son was palpable. Very nicely done.

laughingwolf said...

harsh, but true to life...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Ohhh - that last sentence gave me the chills!!!! Excellent, Cat!

Ruinwen said...

You could feel the pressure building between the two opposing forces. A powerful read. :)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Somebody needs an outward bound course.

Vesper said...

A harsh subject... the double alienation by being a teenager and by living in the on-line age...

Well written.

sawan said...

Jeez, how could some one be so real in her words?? Beautifully written Catherine!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I like the nonverbal ending of your story; it shows how deep the boy's hatred is.

Julie said...

This is a very powerful story. I love how you have portrayed the fractured relationship so well in a short form. The computer "voice" in the end is chilling. I know these people! Excellent work.

ceedy said...

The use of computer in the last line the very object that the mom wants to confiscate ties the story well...

September said...

you portrayed the troubled boy well - sad story, but what is most interesting is how well you wrote this - up to the end.
(thankful my girls aren't like that but know enough of them that my heart goes out to families with them - including the family in this story - which means you did an excellent job)

one more believer said...

hey, in my book the door's still open... he is communicating...!! excellent story... it would be awful if he sed nothing...

pjd said...

Oh, damn.

I wish Tommy would tell her what a useless waste of money the therapist is. Sheesh.

Catvibe said...

Thank you so much everyone, for your comments, they mean very much to me. I am working my way through this contest and will get to each and every entry to visit you there.
And one more believer, yes it is good that he is still communicating, and yes Bernard and PJD, a darn waste of time and money his therapist is. And Sawan, it's real because it was inspired by true events, although it is absolutely fiction. For everyone and anyone who is wondering, it was inspired by true events with both of my sons that happened a long time ago, and those days have thankfully passed with all of relationships in good standing. I feel strong empathy for mothers(since I am one) AND children growing up in this age of therapy and 'medicine' and computers. It's a complicated morass at best and can only be solved on an individual basis.

Terry said...

This writing in this story flowed so naturally, almost rhythmically, which made the kick-in-the-stomach ending even more painful. Your portrait of an angry teenager is perfect, and you nailed therapy-speak on the head. Your choice of wording in the last line (no reference to Tommy typing, but merely a mechanical message) emphasized the breadth of the chasm between mom and son. Wonderful job!

RiverSoul said...

The way you've written this story is really amazing. Loved the way you ended it.
Gr8 job
:)
Thanks for reading my story
:)

Gregg said...

This, perhaps, is the scariest story yet!! (my oldest is 13...) Every word true to life, and the relationships complicated to the core. Wonderfully written!

jana

bluesugarpoet said...

Sorry - the above comment is really MINE...lol - accidentally signed into my hubby's acct.

jana

Margaret said...

You captured the son's fustration in a brilliant way. Very realistic.

A can feel the hurt & helplessness of the Mother after she read the message on her computer.

Very well done!

jason evans said...

Great job on pacing, entertainment value, storytelling, and pacing! And welcome to the Forties Club!!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest.

Catvibe said...

2 pacings, cool! ;-) It is an honor to be in the 40s club. Thanks once again for this outstanding effort.

jason evans said...

Oops, sorry for the typo! I'm bleary-eyed. I meant voice! Great job on voice too. :)

Catvibe said...

No apologies necessary you poor only human person. From extrapolation your feedback says to me that I could do a little polishing on technical skill. Considering this is my first attempt at this kind of writing, I am thrilled at how well it came off! And am looking forward to trying it again after reading all the pieces. Thank you for the feedback! And I encourage you to head over to my blog for a nice treat for some of your other, less used recently, senses.

Terry said...

Cat, congratulations on a wonderful piece of writing! You are talented woman, indeed. Something in the water where you live, hmmmm?