Mothers & Daughters

Stories We Tell

A Fictional Series


I worried about Delilah when she was young. After Ben, Dizzy and David’s foster son, moved away to be with his father, she moped around for an entire summer.

When she went back to school, I was pleased to see that the moping had stopped – but there was another problem brewing. Delilah was fixated on someone new – a boy named Curtis.

She hadn’t given boys much attention until Ben came, and then went, so I assumed that she was doing what girls often do – looking for something, or someone, to help ease the pain of her loss.

I had hoped that she would find solace in her climbing, or something else that was a little safer than the opposite sex – which sounds strange when I say it out loud – but boys it was.

Before we knew it, Curtis was ‘ancient history’ and she was onto someone new – and then someone new after that.

The cycle continued until Delilah was seventeen, when she came home from a night out with her friends and announced that she had hit the jackpot – she had found ‘the one’.

She reminded me of myself, when Martin and I had finally connected the night of Dizzy’s dance, but this was so much different. Delilah was still a baby in my eyes, and I was freaking out.

“Mother,” she said to me. “You were the same age when you and dad hooked up, you know.”

Honestly, I did have that realization, which was probably why I was so worried! I love Martin, don’t get me wrong, but things were different back then. Not to mention the fact that Delilah was still terribly naïve.

Martin and I decided to have this boy – Joe – over for dinner so we could get to know him. Delilah had already prepped up, telling us that he played guitar in a band, that he lived with his parents in Patterson County, and that the band was going to tour the country soon.

As Martin was slicing the meat, Delilah started to set the table, so Joe and I were alone in the family room.

“So…,” I said to Joe. “Delilah tells us you’re in a band.”

“Yeah, I play the drums.”

“Oh! I thought you were a guitarist.”

“Oh yeah. I play guitar too.”

I thought for a minute, about the band traveling around and how one guy playing two instruments might work.

“Which instrument will you be playing when you go on tour?”

“We’re not sure yet. I’ll probably sing most of the time.”

“You sing too? Wow, you’re a man of many talents. So, where is your first stop?”

“Well, we haven’t worked that out yet. Maybe Texas?”

Delilah peeked her head in from the dining area and it was apparent that she’d been eavesdropping.

“Joe, I thought you said that your first gig was already set up in Colorado.”

To spare you the details, I’ll just say that this bizarre conversation went on and on, over dinner and then chocolate mousse.

Did Joe actually play guitar and drums… and sing, too? Was he really going on tour? I wasn’t sure what to think, but there was one thing that I was sure of that evening. Joe was a pathological liar. I’d known one before, and those familiar red flags were flying high.

My heart went out to Delilah. I watched her carefully – looking for a sign that she was onto him – but she looked so innocent, so clueless.

Delilah had a wild imagination, but she was painfully honest. And trusting. In all of her seventeen years, I’d never heard a falsehood pass from her lips except for those little white lies that kids always say, like… “it wasn’t me!”

At the end of the evening, she walked Joe out to say goodnight. In between my thoughts of “Is this guy for real?” and “Thank God he’s finally leaving,” I was putting words together in my head, figuring out how to have ‘the talk’ with her once Joe was gone.

Delilah came inside and went straight to the table – sneaking one last bite of the dessert.

“Well!” she said. “We won’t be seeing Joe again.”

“Sweetie, what happened?” I asked, holding back a gigantic sigh of relief.

She finished chewing, and then gave me a huge chocolate smile.

“I told him we were moving to Switzerland.”

We laughed until we cried.

And there was one more thing that I added to my list of ‘things that I was sure of’ that evening… my baby was growing up.


A Note From Me

So. I am continuing on with the story! I thought I was running out of ideas and that it would be much easier to start something new… but I was wrong. I have no idea where to start with a new story – so here we are again.

I said before that I hate dialogue and I guess what I should have said was that I have a hard time writing it. I figure I’ll never get better at it unless I try, so there you have it – a little more dialogue than usual.

The image is a pretty good recycling job of both of the girls. I tried to age them a little, and then added a little dream paint effect – since memories are often dreamy, or clouded with our wishes and biases.

Anyway, this was interesting to write because of the liar aspect. I knew that the dialogue was wide open for Joe – since liars can say just about anything, but I tried to keep it simple for the sake of time.

I guess that’s all for now.

Thank you for reading… I hope you found some entertainment, enjoyment, or amusement here!


Word of the Day Challenge: Pathological

7 Comments

  1. Dialogue is difficult… There’s a strong tendency to think dialogue goes back and forth … ABABAB… but sometimes people just follow themselves. Sometimes questions aren’t answered. I don’t really know how to write dialogue… or anything else really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true!! I come from a pretty quiet family so there’s a lot of silence too 😂😂 I read somewhere that you should read it out loud too, to see if it sounds like something someone would actually say. It’s pretty tricky!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah, I don’t really know Janet. When people talk they’re often not really listening to each other. They’re just waiting for their turn … probably trying think of something clever while the other person is trying themselves to be clever. If you’re a really earnest person … who listens and observes … you might find writing realistic dialogue unnatural. Because most of the time people are just bouncing back and forth pretty banal shit that makes no sense at all!😂.

      You have a narrative style and voice which invites the reader into the narrator’s mind. I mean this as a compliment, it reads like Sarah Jessica Parker’s narration in Sex and the City. When you have other characters in stories, try sprinkling in snippets of their dialogue. Let them be short and pithy that serve the purpose of carrying on your narrator’s story as she tells it. Just an idea🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I totally agree on the “bouncing back and forth pretty banal shit that makes no sense at all!” Too funny and so true!! 🤣🤣 I like what you said and really appreciate the compliment and thoughts. Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

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