Bad Decisions

Writing every day is hard. Putting it online makes me uncomfortable. If I pause for a day, now you know why.

Edit – Oh. My. God. I had to fix a typo from you’re to your. I’m so sorry.

               Sandra checked under the sink before answering the phone.


               “You okay?” Amelia asked. “You runnin’ laps or something?”

               Sandra moved to pace the hall outside the kitchen to talk to her sister and keep an eye on Mackenzie playing with his miniature action figures. “Know that thing, when you think your phone’s ringing when it isn’t?”

               “Phantom something or other.”

               “I have the same condition, only it’s with mousetraps.”

               Mackenzie stopped abruptly to shoot her an anxious look.

               “Don’t worry,” she said, as much to him as to her sister. “It’s a live capture. We’re not killing them.”

               “Is that Animal?” Mackenzie asked. Growing up, ‘Animal’ was as close as he could get to Auntie Amelia and it stuck. “Tell her we made peanut butter crackers for Reece.”

               “You’re making snacks for a mouse named Reece?”

               “Yeah. He named it.”

I’m gonna step outside.

Once out of earshot, she explained that no, they weren’t be invaded. “And no, I wasn’t running a race. I ran to the phone once I realized that’s what was vibrating. I thought for a minute I caught the little bugger.”

“That’s what you get for moving to God’s country.”

“You calling to bust my balls?”

“Among other things,” Amelia conceded. “I’m keeping score for shitty choices. I tried to make out with my ex-brother-in-law. How’s your day going?”

Sandra peered through the front door’s frosted glass to see Mackenzie playing. “Just trying to make sense of it all. Sarah back at school?”

“It wasn’t easy, but we took a chance. Her bubble of friends is small and it’s just me and her. Tom’s back from Malaysia, but he’s not part of our bubble.”

“Is that why you went tongue deep with Sammy?”

She lost sight of Mackenzie. The glass made it hard to see through.

It’s not like he’s juggling chainsaws.

She took the opportunity and sat, careful not to trigger Amelia by sighing too loudly.

“Oh, no. That was for totally different reasons.”

Banter with her sister was always congenial, easygoing, and in times like this, very welcome. Before she could ask the other reasons, she heard Mackenzie.

“Hey, Mom?”

She opened the door, phone held to her ear with the other hand, forcing her to awkwardly cross her arms. “Yeah, buddy?”

“Remember how I wanted a little brother?”

“Not today, Mack.”

“What’s he going on about?” Amelia sounded excited for something new. “Are you pregnant?”

“Now now, Amelia.”

“I think Reece is someone’s little brother.”

“Oh, shit,” Sandra swore, dropping the phone and racing inside.

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