Adelaide Cunningham hated to admit it, but her daughter Felicia was a real bitch. Ever since Felicia’s marriage had fallen apart and she’d had to move back home with Adelaide, the tension had been unbearable.
A retired teacher, Adelaide had become accustomed to a laid back lifestyle. She would sleep until 8:00 a.m. most mornings, since she no longer had playground duty at 7:15 each day. Now she started her days with a leisurely shower, and she would slip on sweat pants and a tee—much more casual and comfortable attire than the dresses and high heels she had worn to work for years. She read the morning paper while eating her Raisin Bran, her secret to regularity. Every day gave her the freedom to do as she pleased; she might browse the mall stores, or shop some flea markets, and maybe meet some friends for lunch.
All that had come to a screeching halt 3 months ago when Felicia had landed on her doorstep, suitcases and baby-carrier in tow. Addie had no problem initially with her daughter and granddaughter moving in temporarily. Baby Betsy was a sweetheart and it was wonderful spending time with her, but as the weeks had gone by, it was becoming apparent to Addie why Jordan, Felicia’s husband had moved out. Not only was the girl a slob, she was demanding, rude, annoying, and ungrateful.
“Gee, Mom, don’t you ever have any good stuff in you fridge?” Felicia complained. “Would it hurt you to buy some bacon once in a while, and some white bread instead of always this freaking dark crap? And Cheetos, why not Cheetos?
She stopped long enough to gulp down the last of her mother’s orange juice, oblivious to the drips falling on the tank top she had donned this morning for the third day in a row. Orange spots appeared on the front of her shirt, next to the evidence of the pizza which had been last night’s dinner..
Adelaide took a long look at the girl standing in front of the refrigerator: the shoulder-length hair that had been bleached to the texture of straw, the food-spotted pink tank top that strained at the seams to contain her breasts, the muffin top exposed between the short tank and the low-waist, distressed- beyond-belief jeans, and the permanent scowl on what had once been an adorable face.
Knowing Felicia was in pain at the demise of her marriage, Adelaide had been biting her tongue and with-holding the anger that had been bubbling inside her. (Doc Winston had always told her that hold her anger in was bad for her health.) But, dammit, she had not expected to spend her retirement picking up after a free-loading daughter and baby-sitting Betsy so that Felicia could go bar-hopping with her friends. The time had come to put her foot down!
“Felicia, this has gone on long enough. This apartment is not big enough for the three of us, and I’m too darned old to be doing this. You need to get yourself together, find a job, and a place of your own.”
“Oh, great! Now you’re gonna’ get on my case! I didn't take enough crap from Jordan, I have to take crap from my LOVING mother, too?” The sarcasm in her tone when she spit out the word “loving” hurt Adelaide deeply. For Felicia to imply that her mother didn't love her, after all Addie had done in the last 3 months, not to mention the 30 years prior, was too much to bear!
The mother/daughter argument escalated; Felicia’s barbs became more hurtful, and their voices rose as the anger ran rampant. Suddenly, Adelaide felt a burning sensation running from her left shoulder to her ear and beads of sweat popped out on her forehead. ‘This isn’t good; this isn’t good at all,” were her last thoughts before everything went black, and she felt herself falling to the floor.
(to be continued next Friday.)