Jane pressed her hand to her forehead as she watched her daughter through the window. The girl marched down the driveway without looking back and jumped on the motorcycle, which was driven by a boy who looked like he was wearing long sleeves decorated with macabre images. Jane knew they were tattoos. As the chrome monstrosity roared out of the driveway and down the street, she let out a shuddering breath and muttered a prayer, “God, don’t let Julia die on that thing, and please don’t let me kill her when she gets home.”
Shaking her head, Jane turned back to the dishes. She remembered with chagrin how proud she had been when her headstrong six year old daughter had declared she did NOT LIKE pink. Jane had always been determined that HER children would have their own mind, something Jane herself never felt allowed to have growing up. Her daughter’s strong will was endearing and impressive when she was small. At fifteen, however, it was, well, damn annoying sometimes. Disliking pink was one thing, insisting on all black and dying her beautiful strawberry blond hair, however, had just about broken Jane’s heart. And now this boy. The inner battle worked her over as she scrubbed the lasagna pan. She could try to forbid Julia from seeing him. But the die had been cast long ago. She had determined NOT to make her daughter beholden to a mother’s every whim, and now she was playing some of the price. Surely it would be worth it, though. Her daughter would grow into a strong woman who knew who she was before the age of forty….if she lived through this motorcycle riding boyfriend.
The phone interrupted Jane’s thoughts and dishwashing. She sighed as she saw her parents’ number n the caller ID. Saturdays were usually a reprieve.
“Hello,” Jane answered pleasantly.
“Hi, Peach, how are you hon?” her father’s voice surprised Jane. It was usually her mother who called.
“Doing good, Dad, you?”
“Well,” he sighed. “You mom’s had a bit of an accident, baby girl. I’m afraid….it’s not good.”
Jane sat down with impeccable posture at the kitchen table. “What happened, Dad?”
Her father paused, and she heard him cough. “She’s gone, Peach.”
Jane couldn’t respond, and her father launched into the bizarre story. A Junior League ladies’ tournament at the country club, a rogue ball washer, some sort of malfunction that resulted in her mother’s Top Flight XL becoming a projectile that flew into her head. A golf ball…..her mother was killed by a golf ball. What the finger sandwich was Jane going to tell her children? “Your grandmother died on the thirteenth hole today when her golf ball attacked her….but at least she was three under par….”