Me–Molly

E. G. Fabricant

 

Me–Molly was my entry in National Public Radio’s Round Nine of their occasional feature, “Three Minute Fiction,” in which they invite listeners to submit an original, unpublished story of 600 or fewer words which is “not inappropriate” and fulfills a condition set by that Round’s author-judge. In this case, novelist Mona Simpson required that each story be written as a voice-mail messageThis challenge inspired me to write my first LGBT story, about a daughter confronted with a mother walled away from her by her own beliefs.  They did select a story with a similar theme to be judged.  You can read it and mine, below, and let me know what you think.

 

“Hi—it’s me…well, me, and Carly Rae Jepsen; let me turn that down—”

“—and, moi: Monique!”—

“—Shut UP!  I need to get through this!—Not you, Mom and Dad.  I know it’s been awhile and, what with Sandy and all, I didn’t want you to worry—God knows you’ve got enough going on with the trees and lights and stuff.  And the store!  Good thing Kevin has a strong back, right, Dad?  Um—‘s’cuse me…

“I’m okay.  I’m, I’m not in Bay Ridge, or the city; I’m, uh, up north—

“—Toronto, Maman et Papa!”—

“Goddamn it, Monique!  Sorry.  So.  I’m…all right, right?  I have a place to stay; it’s safe. I can’t say where, yet.  I’m not ready—and I know you’re not.  Anyways, there’s other people like me…good people—Catholic, even…who’ll look after me awhile.  Maybe hook me up with school and some work, so I pull my weight, right?  Anyways…”

“Look.  I’m sorry.  I want you to know…it wasn’t the storm, or even the blowup on my birthday.  ‘Sweet Sixteen,’ right?  ‘The conversation.’  The ‘elephant in the room.’  What was I thinking?  What had changed?  Suddenly, ‘I am Woman!’  You’d see it, hear me—really, finally—and that would be that—“

“—Voir la lesbienne!—“

“Jesus, Monique!  I see now, it wasn’t fair—for you, or me.  It’s just—I couldn’t deal, anymore.  Sitting in school or at Mass, staring at the crucifix—the nails, the blood.  The agony on the face of Him, who hung out with rejects and allowed Himself to be lynched, to prove the wholeness of his love…for everyone.  ‘The least of mine’…No exceptions, right?  Then, the very next thing I hear—always—is where that absolute ends…the boundaries, my boundaries—my personal electric fence.  From them, it’s ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin.’  From you, when it’s not ‘unnatural’ or a violation of ‘your beliefs’—Original Sin, anyone?—it’s ‘Don’t worry, dear—it’s just a phase,’ or ‘Someday, you’ll find a good man and he’ll change your mind.’   Like, you have the right to draw a line in me, between who and what I am—like there’s a difference—so you can choose one and abandon the other.  For everyone but me and my real friends, obsessing and acting on feelings and chemical urges is just awkward and teen-age—maybe even charming, right?  Where’s my forgiveness, huh?  Hold on, I need a tissue…”

“…OW!  Sorry—Monique was squeezing me a little hard.”

“So, anyways.  What I really wanted to say is, I don’t hate you—I needed you more than you seemed to need me…that, I couldn’t stand.  It felt like you were holding yourselves away, waiting for something that couldn’t happen…wouldn’t, never will…”

“Please…please…don’t come for me.  I need to finish this, this, me, where I’m understood.  I’ll be okay here a lot sooner that I would be, there.  Who knows, Mommy?  I might show up, someday, with a wife and a couple of babies, and we can go to the Celtic for tea—maybe dress up nice for a bite at Gino’s, right?  You could break ‘em into the hardware business, Daddy!  Yeah…”

“Um…so, yeah…that’s it, I guess.  Call me, maybe?  You got the number, right?  ‘Kay…”

…LoveYaBye.”

 

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