We didn’t travel far before Jeanine stopped where the trail widened and curved.
She watched behind us as we closed the distance. Our breathing patterns matched, mine and Mom’s, I’m not sure why but this irritated me more.
I wiped my brow. I didn’t like being mad at her. Since Dad died, I wanted to be closer to Mom but she clung harder to her God, pushing me out.
She always wanted me to pray with her, go to church with her, read scriptures with her. She wanted to pull me in, drink the Kool-Aid.
But I didn’t want to do any of the stuff she based her happiness on. I had the hardest time believing anything so simple would solve all my problems.
Jeanine smiled tightly. “You don’t have much further to go. I need to get back to the clearing. We’re hoping more of us are just late getting in.” She crossed her arms, dropping one hand from the tight self-embrace. She fiddled with a string from her jacket edge.
Mom didn’t reply, stepping around Jeanine. She continued walking. Behind her, I walked further onto the flattened grass blades and didn’t look at the woman.
A whiff of cheap drug store perfume slapped me across the face like she arched her arm through the air, accosting the freshness of the outdoors. The scent’s presence couldn’t be more out of place.
We walked on.
I’d never been up so far north. Usually Mom went to the meetings by herself. At least, I never attended one. She could have taken someone else with her. The more time I spent with Mom, the more I realized I didn’t know her quite the way I thought I did.
Murmurs carried on the breeze, rustling through leaves and branches. I quickened my pace to push myself closer to my mom. I didn’t need to get too far behind. Plus, I was scared out of my flipping blistering boots. Staying near Mom dulled the edge of my fear, diminishing the fright enough my pride didn’t hurt so badly.
She ducked under a spindly low-hanging branch. “Sounds like the camp’s right up this way. Stay close, okay? Remember, we don’t trust anyone.”
Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Bonnie has discovered a dark and twisty turn in her writing that she hopes you enjoy as much as she has enjoyed uncovering it. Dirt biking with her family in the Northwest keeps her sane.
Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person, although it does not define her these are roles that are important to her. From empty nesters to living with our oldest and 2 grandchildren while our house is rebuilt after a house fire in 10/2018 my life is something new each day.