A Short Story: Generational Consequences

A woman on her couch looks at her three children wondering what she has done to deserve this. Her eldest son is an armed drug dealer, her middle girl a school drop-out who listens only to friends and the latest boyfriend, and her youngest, he has a personality disorder. 

She is a good mother, provides for her children the best she can, does whatever is necessary to uphold her family – and yet, calamities. Sometimes it feels like punishment, but most days, she feels singled out by God. Why does she, a nice, respectable woman, have such a disaster for a family? Her husband is nowhere to be found, he walked out on them when the youngest was a few years old. Why, why, why?
Head resting on her palm, she watches her children interact in her living room, looks at each one as their banter turns into a nasty argument. Today, she is tired. She is not going to step in to correct the issue. Usually, she steps in – but this only seems to exacerbate the situation. For this moment, she is an observer,  stony and indifferent to the chaos before her.  

Tears collect at the back of her eyes, but they do not drop. Her mouth is set in a hard line, deep burrows on her forehead, silver hair trace the outline of her face –scars from years of wear, worry, anger and grief. Her eyes fall to her oldest son’s ankle, where a fastened monitor reminds her of his parole restrictions. 

Her youngest is about to throw things around in the room, and from her daughter’s heart spews vile language and a deep-seated resentment toward her brothers. Where is God in all this? What has she seriously done to deserve all this?
The woman shifts on the couch and looks out her bay window. It is a clear, bright and sunny summer day, not a cloud in the sky. The world moves about like a vacation by the beach, while her ears singe with the noise within her walls. What a contrast. 

How she wishes she could disappear and start again. How she wishes she didn’t meet and marry that man whom everyone was against, bear these children whose pregnancies were difficult to begin with, live here trapped in a house, life and being that is not what she envisioned for herself. 

She is a strong, independent woman. Before all this, she was someone great, going places, lofty goals and dreams – and now… now, her family are the people she didn’t care for from an early age.
“You are what you think,” she told her friends before all this, urging them to make wise choices, decisions that made sense, mattered. How did she forget herself? Or did she? Was she really just a victim of circumstance, bereft from choice and decision?
The woman turns to her children, the picture-perfect world outside swiped away by the volcano that explodes in her room. Her youngest son has pushed her daughter against the wall, and she retaliates by knocking an artifact across her brother’s head. 

The oldest creeps out of the room, heads to the back door where a customer awaits. Blood boils in the mother’s veins. Her loud, shrieking voice resonates as she jumps up and flies to her son’s defence. Just another day in the woman’s life.
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A Short Story: Generational Consequences

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