The Keys

“Here are the keys”, Harry said.

“Look at him acting as if he’s handing over the keys to the Queen’s jewels”, Sheila thought bitterly.

“Why now?” she asked. “Couldn’t I have had them when she was alive?”

“Are you mad?” he said. “You know how it would have broken her heart to give over the running of the house to you.”

“Does it ever occur to you who the mad person in this house is?” Sheila yelled. “I’m not the one who brought a parent to stay here after I got married. You’re the one who insisted we needed your mother here to run house – our house. You deprived me of setting up my home – she had to do it all her way.”

Harry looked at her silently.

“Then she wanted to cook. We had to suffer her food when she lost her memory. Remember the time she made a dessert and sprinkled it with paprika instead of nutmeg?” Sheila ranted.

“Don’t speak ill of the dead. At least she died happy – thinking she was needed.” he said softly.

“Yes! She really did think she was needed, didn’t she? She had to entertain us with her bad piano playing the moment we got back from work. Batty old cow!” Sheila said spitefully.

“Have some respect, Sheila.” Harry said, raising his voice a bit. “You know you’re going to miss her all the same. I know I will.”

“Miss getting those long calls at work when she wanted to fill me in on what Mrs Whatshername down the road told her? There are two people who won’t miss her calls!” Sheila said angrily.

“Two? he asked.

“Yes, my boss and I!” she said with a smirk. “It’s as if she knew each time I had a deadline to complete or a meeting to attend.” Grabbing the keys from him, Sheila began to walk out of the room.

“Oh! I forgot”, Harry said. “I found this envelope here with your name on it.”

“What? Who wrote this? It looks like her handwriting,” Sheila said, her voice filled with curiosity.  She opened the envelope wondering what to expect. She sat on the couch to read. On a piece of paper torn out of a note book were these words written in a spidery handwriting:

My dear Sheila,
I know you hated me for taking over your house. But trying to look after Harry and you was all I could do. I know I did a bad job – but you were always patient with me. You endured my food and awful piano playing. You even put up with my intrusions at work. I’m sorry I called you so often. I just felt so lonely when you both were out. Harry is a good son to me- but you, Sheila, are the daughter I never had. I know you’ll be glad to have the keys to the pantry back. I was only passing through, my girl. You were always the mistress of this house! Take care of yourselves.
Love
Mom

Harry watched silently as Sheila curled herself into a ball and started to sob bitterly.

The keys set me off. I hope you like my story!

 

 

This was written for The Writers’ Post Thursday Blog Hop.

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Comments

  1. LOL the Irony. Sometimes we have that one person in our lives–and we just miss the whole point of their existence until it is too late. Then it hits us :)

    Cheers, Jenn
    Jenn recently posted..My Perfect Meal *Insert Laughter*My Profile

  2. I thought the story was compelling and insightful! Wonderfully done, thank you for sharing!
    leigh recently posted..KeysMy Profile

  3. That was so bittersweet and perfectly exhibits that love/hate relationship most of us end up having with our mothers or mother in laws. Well done!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com
    Kathy recently posted..Being BraveMy Profile

  4. Nice story Corrinne :)
    Jaishvats recently posted..Sweet and Smoky MemoriesMy Profile

  5. Moving, Corinne ! How much bitterness you can fill yourself and the world with because of a lack of empathy!
    C. Suresh recently posted..Nokia Apptasting meetMy Profile

  6. Oh, what a perfect story with the perfect twist at the end, Corinne! You kept me intrigued to the very last with the brilliant dialogue between Harry and Sheila. Kudos, my friend! Keep writing! :)
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Time FliesMy Profile

  7. I am so enjoying getting to know you in this way. You are such a talented writer!
    Galen Pearl recently posted..The Mercy SeatMy Profile

  8. Corinne ! I loved every bit of it ! you are a great author ! written so well – thanks for sharing, am glad to have read this, the timing is just right for my life …….. I take this message with gratitude ! Love & Hugs to you

  9. Isn’t that ever so true. We just fail to understand someone’s intentions and make our lives miserable. Loved your take on the keys.
    Suzy recently posted..Blog Hop #54 – Picture PromptMy Profile

  10. Loved this story Corinne!

    Sometimes we fail to realise the genuinely loving and caring people around us till something like this opens our eyes :)
    Privy trifles recently posted..Inspired Inscribes – 3My Profile

  11. ah, the irony! Wow, I wasn’t expecting that ending… for me this is an excellent reminder of what happens when I ‘justify’ my feeling and actions.
    Amy recently posted..Would you rather be happy or right?My Profile

  12. Yes, I’m sure there are plenty of people in this world who just annoy us for just being, but whose presence we will miss when they leave!! :S
    Roshni recently posted..Calvin and IMy Profile

  13. This story was very touchy. I can’t help myself being teary after reading the mom-in-law’s letter to Sheila.
    Journey of Life recently posted..Journey to the Philae TempleMy Profile

  14. So she really had to read after finishing all her stuffs? LOL! It’s like getting cold shower afterwards… it gave me the chills and made me embarrassed because that’s exactly how I react at times :P….

    Loved it BS!

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