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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.

27 Comments

  1. melissa melissa December 28, 2012

    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!

  2. Journey of Life Journey of Life November 18, 2012

    This story was very touchy. I can’t help myself being teary after reading the mom-in-law’s letter to Sheila.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues December 12, 2012

      Sorry it took me so long to respond, A. I’m glad you liked the story.

  3. Roshni Roshni November 16, 2012

    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

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      I guess we all need our quota of irritating folks to keep us sane, eh? πŸ˜‰

  4. Amy Amy November 15, 2012

    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.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      I love reading stories with a twist in the tale, Amy – so I’m can’t resist writing them too! I know what you mean about justifying our feelings and actions. I’ve done that too often.

  5. Privy trifles Privy trifles November 15, 2012

    Loved this story Corinne!

    Sometimes we fail to realise the genuinely loving and caring people around us till something like this opens our eyes πŸ™‚

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      Thanks, Privy. Yes sometimes we completely misunderstand people and their motives.

  6. Suzy Suzy November 15, 2012

    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.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      Thanks so much, Suzy. Sometimes we do complicate our lives, don’t you?

  7. G Angela G Angela November 15, 2012

    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

  8. Galen Pearl Galen Pearl November 15, 2012

    I am so enjoying getting to know you in this way. You are such a talented writer!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      I’m blushing here, Galen Pearl. Fiction is so new to me – I always have an inner Censor sitting on my shoulder saying ‘No, no, no!” πŸ™‚

  9. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando November 15, 2012

    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! πŸ™‚

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      Thanks so much, Martha. I am so encouraged to write more stories. Thanks again.

  10. C. Suresh C. Suresh November 14, 2012

    Moving, Corinne ! How much bitterness you can fill yourself and the world with because of a lack of empathy!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      Thanks, Suresh. You are so right. A lack of empathy is the root of endless problems!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      I wonder why Moms and daughters have the most complicated of relationships, Kathy? πŸ™‚

  11. leigh leigh November 14, 2012

    I thought the story was compelling and insightful! Wonderfully done, thank you for sharing!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      Thanks so much, Leigh. Your story touched me very deeply and brought back a wonderful memory!

  12. Jenn Jenn November 14, 2012

    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 πŸ™‚

    Cheers, Jenn

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 16, 2012

      So true. Sometimes people are sent into our lives to expand our hearts, Jenn.

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