Sunday, April 6, 2014

Something to Lose - Importance of Family

My family is very important to me. My family is large, Polish, and wonderful (most of the time). My grandfather passed away when my mother was a child, leaving my grandmother to raise six children on her own. Six! She worked two jobs for many years to make ends meet. She was such an amazing woman. Family was everything to her, and I think it rubbed off on the rest of us.

Family is important to my heroine Camden, as well. In this excerpt, her family knows that she is upset, and trying to figure out why:

I steady myself against her gaze, which is not the curious gaze of Dad. Mom has a penetrating stare that somehow makes you spill whatever beans you’re trying to keep to yourself. She would be great in an interrogation room. Years of working to stay out of trouble under the continuing assault of her stare has turned me into an amazing liar. I don’t know where it comes from, but I can rattle off stories like you wouldn’t believe. I give details and don’t just try to gloss over the important part of the story. I am somehow able to spin these sometimes crazy untruths, and they work on everyone except my mother. I’m not that good, at least not yet. With Mom, however, I learned a long time ago that if I don’t want her to know the entire story then it’s better for me to spill the parts that I’m willing to divulge as quickly as possible. That kind of throws her a little as she thinks that you’ve told her the part that you’re trying to keep hidden, and then she stops looking for more.
I guess I sound like a horrible person, someone who lies all the time. I don’t. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite, but I don’t condone lying unless it is absolutely necessary. I save my lying talent for when it’s really called for, like when I want to avoid talking to my mother about how I found my boyfriend kissing another woman last night. I get to have some kind of pass for lying about that, right? It’s not like anyone is going to get hurt. It will actually save me from being hurt by not having to relive the humiliation.
“Billy and I broke up last night.”
Mom’s penetrating eyes immediately soften. Her forehead crinkles causing the sides of her mouth to tip downward. “Oh honey. You really liked him.” Like I need the reminder, but I know she’s sincere. “Let’s go in the back. Tell me what happened.”
“I’m not ready to talk about it yet. I just need some time to digest everything first. Suffice it to say that we are very over.” Mom gives me a big hug, and I have to admit that it does feel good. We’re big huggers, too. Polish families have a lot of love.
“You will be over him in no time.” I wouldn’t have thought that to be possible, but based on how quickly I was kissing another man and really enjoying it, maybe it’s true. That was a complete disaster though. I take a deep breath to will my tears to stay inside. I will have plenty of time to cry later, after I get through my day.
She releases me and studies me again. This time with her regular Mom eyes, not the gestapo eyes. I appreciate that she’s not giving me her you’re almost thirty and not married so maybe you need to stop being so picky eyes. I’ve been seeing those a lot lately. Mom has green eyes too but a little lighter than mine. I take after her a lot actually. Her auburn hair is now grey, and she keeps it cut much shorter than I do. When we were kids, it was very noticeable that I looked a lot like Mom, and my brothers were miniatures of Dad. We were always quite the cute family.

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Twitter: @TamraLassiter

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