"So I'm organizing a party, for Johnny's birthday. Can you come?" Lisa was once again meeting with her mother, and this time she was trying to steer the subject away from her marital issues. At least for the time being, anyways.
"When is it?" Claudette replied with enthusiasm.
"Next Friday at six. It's a surprise."
"You can bring somebody, if you want."
Claudette hadn't had a date in years. She simply didn't trust people. "Oh sure, I'll come. But I don't know if I'll bring anybody."
Her admission of loneliness reminded her of a recent incident.
"Oh! That jerk Harold. He wants me to give a share of my house!"
Lisa took a patient sip of coffee. Here we go again.
"That house belongs to me!" she whined, "He has no right! I'm not giving him a penny. Who does he think he is?"
Lisa rolled her eyes. It had been like this since she was a girl. Her mother always had some complaint, some issue with someone and the stories usually fell on her.
"He's your brother!" Lisa pointed out.
"He's always bugging me about my house! Fifteen years ago, we agreed, that house belongs to me. Now the value of the house is going up and he's seeing dollar signs!" Claudette leaned back with her coffee mug in hand. She took a deep breath. Now was the time to tell her. "Everything goes wrong at once. Nobody wants to help me, and I'm dying!"
Lisa shook her head. Classic Mom-exagerations.
"You're not dying mom."
Claudette swallowed another sip, then said matter-of-factly "I got the results of the test back. I definitely have breast cancer."
"Look, don't worry about it, everything will be fine!" Lisa comforted, but now it was Claudette's turn to roll her eyes. Lisa might not take this seriously, but then again, Lisa wasn't the one dying with breast cancer.
"They're curing lots of people every day." Lisa added casually.
"I'm sure I'll be all right." Claudette agreed, and then quickly changed topics. "Oh! I hear Edward is talking about me! He is a hateful man." She shivered even just talking about it, "I'm so glad I divorced him!"
"Look don't worry about it." Lisa repeated, "You just concentrate on getting well."
"Well at least you have a good man!"
Lisa abruptly put down her cup. "You're wrong!" Her voice was full of disdain. "Mom, he's not what you think he is. He didn't get his promotion."
Claudette scowled. No promotion? But the men at the bank said he would get it within three months!
Lisa continued. "And he got drunk last night. And he hit me." Those last words hit like breast cancer, but Claudette only had to think a moment to poke holes in the story.
"Johnny doesn't drink! What are you talking about?"
"He did last night. And I don't love him anymore."
Even if he had hit her, and even if she didn't love him anymore, it was Claudette's duty to remind her daughter that she was a woman, and that she could do very little on own.
"Johnny is your financial security. You can't afford to ignore this."
"Yeah, OK, Mom. Can't I just talk to you later?" she had had enough of this conversation. It was a bad idea bringing it up in the first place. She was going to do what she wanted to do, and that's it.
Claudette shrugged her shoulders , "You don't want to talk to me." she said with frustration.
"I just got done talking with a client and I have to get ready to meet him." She had just got off the phone talking with a man, and although he wasn't a client, she was getting ready to meet him. "Can I just talk to you later?"
Claudette gave up. "OK. I will see you later." she put down her coffee mug and went for the front door Before she left she made a little kiss and tapped Lisa on her nose. Even if sometimes they didn't get along, they were still mother and daughter. Lisa smiled. "Bye-bye!" She walked out and closed the door behind her.
And with that, Claudette was gone.