His Mother’s Visit … Part III

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Ruthie, Aaron’s sister, and the font of all wisdom

concerning Julia, arrived on Friday. 

As she unpacked she tried to pick a fight. Shirley 

was surprised at Julia’s lack of interest. She began 

to wonder if Ruthie’s version wasn’t a bit off.

On Saturday, they took Julia to the Mall where she

adopted amused silence.

Shirley had a suspicion it was not going to be that

easy to get rid of Julia.

Firstly, Julia was not at all as Ruthie portrayed her.

Cynth was more caustic;

“Any girl who insults her own mother for a stranger is

just trash. You can’t believe anything out of Ruthie’s


Secondly, keeping the air-con on twenty four hours

a day, seven days a week was a high price to pay to

annoy Aaron’s mother; although that worthy took to

shutting it off as soon as she was alone in the house.

Thirdly, Shirley felt that Julia saw through her and

floated between amused and contemptuous.

As the week progressed the food lasted a bit longer

than expected, and though she’d left Julia out of

her weekly shopping, Aaron had picked up ‘a few

things’ so his mother wouldn’t starve.

Cynth was alarmed when she heard this;

“Don’t let it be you against her, Shirley. She’s playing

the part of victim, making you the warder!”

Shirley bowed to her mother’s knowledge and tried to

be a bit nicer to Julia, though policing the thermostat

remained her vocation.

Shirley came to the conclusion Julia would spend the

planned thirty days no matter how uncomfortable.

Cynth and Shirley came up with a plan;

Introduce Julia to their friends then go to a joint

where only meat was served. But it let it seem her

friends had decided.

Shirley  mentioned a particular restaurant to Malika,

who told Rick, who directed Aaron where they were to eat.

While they stuffed their faces, Julia stood outside.

Aaron seemingly unaware that his mother was excluded,

so interested in what Rick had to say.

When they finally reached home, Julia went to the

fridge to prepare herself a meal. Shirley smirked

as she went to watch the big screen television.

She kept hoping that Julia would say something

so Aaron could respond with the ridiculous;

‘But my friend Rick wanted to eat there,’

then berate his mother for standing outside.

Unfortunately, after Julia cooked and ate, she went

into her room.

Shirley rang up Cynth the next day who passed the

details to her friends.

“So the boy let his mother stand outside while he

and his friends ate? If I had a son like that,

I’d drown him!”  One said, the others agreed.

Cynth decided not to share any more tidbits as the

reflection on her son-in-law was quite dark, however,

she couldn’t avoid;

“When I was visiting, they rolled out the red carpet

for me. Every night another restaurant, and they

took me everywhere.”

“Well that’s different isn’t it? Your daughter respects

you and wouldn’t let Aaron treat you like dirt. But a

man who doesn’t respect his mother doesn’t respect

women so you can expect anything from him…”

came the response.

By the final week of Julia’s visit vegetarian meals

ran out. Shirley waited for a response, but there

was none.

Apparently, Julia was not eating and seemed to have

lost weight she couldn’t afford. If she got sick…

hence Shirley whisked off to the vegan restaurant

Aaron had taken her to on arrival.

Julia ate more food at one meal than she had during

her stay, proving she really was famished.

At home, Aaron confronted his mother.

Shirley knew Aaron’s reaction to guilt was anger, trying

to assuage his responsibility by making another at fault.

Hence, the fact his mother was uncomfortable was, of

course, his mother’s fault.

Shirley turned down the sound on the television to hear

Aaron’s voice, then Julia, who previously could bearly

string two sentences together recite a litany.

Shirley stood behind the door, hearing Julia describe how

                         she had been locked in a house

                         without a key, starved, frozen,

                         and that if he had invited her to

                         his house to torture he ought

                         have sent her to Gitmo.

Surely Aaron had to have realised how cold his mother

was, that she’d lost weight, and that despite the fact

the city was a tourist mecca, they had not taken Julia

to one amusement. NOT ONE.

For twenty six days Julia had been in this city and

outside of two restaurant visits, a trip to the Mall

and supermarket, she had been nowhere.

Shirley recalled Cynth’s first visit….

She pulled away from the door. She felt guilty

so watched her television.

The next day Aaron took his mother out. Then again

on the twenty ninth day of her visit.

On the thirtieth day Julia left.

Aaron felt very badly. Shirley pretended she didn’t notice.


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