You should know, she said, I got my results from the doctor.
I searched for something, anything to say. “Oh... well, we’ll get through it.” My voice faltered, I couldn’t even convince myself that I was being sincere.
I closed the front door quietly and slunk into the hallway, stepping around the creaky floorboards. The glow of the TV shone faintly from the living room but as usual I ignored it. As I grabbed the banister to climb the stairs, my mother called out:“Awfully late to be getting home.”
I froze, and my brain filled with excuses. Flat tire. My ride was fighting with her boyfriend again. Traffic.
I poked my head into the living room where my mother slouched in her worn leather chair, feet up on the ottoman, heavy pour of chardonnay on the TV tray beside her.
“Sorry,” I said. I shifted uncomfortably where I stood. She just gazed at the TV. “You should know,” she said, “I got my results from the doctor.”
“Oh yeah? Everything all good?”
My mother’s eyes welled. I froze. Oh god …