Title: A Mother’s Love
Summary: Derek Monroe didn’t have a good life growing up, his mother was over-bearing. He has now fallen in love and wants to marry a wonderful woman. How will his mother take the news?
Disclaimer: This story and the characters created all belong to me.
Derek stared out into the astonishing garden, his green eyes darkening in seething anger. His face inflamed and his skin hot to the touch. Nail marks marring the smoothness of his palms, as he squeezed tightly in the effort not to hit out and hurt the person he cared about. The effort of not attacking someone he loved made his body freeze as if he were a cadaver. His thoughts and feelings in complete contrast with the person who stood in front of him.
Taking a deep breath as tried to reign in his anger. She was supposed to protect and love him. Sheila Monroe, his mother, the poisonous dwarf. He knew that was a vindictive thought, something that should not be in his mind, but he couldn’t help it. She was trying to ruin his life.
Derek shook his head and tried to push away the vile barrage of thoughts that was crossing the threshold of his mind. He closed his eyes just for a moment, and hoped that he could release the anger that was starting to take a ferocious hold of him. Gradually he opened his eyes and just concentrated on the amazing grounds. The neatly cut grass he had spent hours mowing to earn extra pocket money as a child. The flower beds were free of weeds. His mother would sit down and hum softly to herself as she worked, gloved hands digging down into deep cool moist soil. Nothing was out of place. His mother had always insisted upon that, to a neurotic degree.
This garden could have been on the cover of any country magazine. When he moved away, it was so pristine as if it had been on display permanently. It no longer looked like a family lived there, it was a cold building with no happiness running through. It was his mothers’ fault. When his father, John was alive his only pleasure was doing what his wife wanted, he was an ordinary man with simple needs. He was a dedicated hard working man, whose heart finally gave up on him leaving a wife and child behind.
Derek smiled at all the memories that swept him away back to the past. He could see the younger version of himself running around playing football. His knees were scratched and dirty. His t-shirt that had been clean and freshly washed was no longer the white it had started out at. Mud and grass stains almost covered him from head to toe. It had been a great childhood.
Derek chuckled to himself as he remembered times when he and his friends had got into trouble. That was until his father died and his mother changed to the cold woman she became.
This house should have a new family to make it a home. Not for him though, he could never come back and he didn’t want to. His life was with Jenni. He loved everything about the city where he lived now. It was overflowing with life.
The warmth of pleasure that he felt evaporated as soon as he saw Jenni. Her hand moved to her face obliterating any tears that had managed to escape. Jenni was unlike his mother, she had taught him that showing weakness was fine. He didn’t have to be strong every second of every day. One of the things he adored was her humility.
He loosened his tie and pulled it off and then dropped it onto the chair next to him. Unconsciously his hands undid the top two buttons of his freshly laundered and pressed shirt, and ran a hand through his short ginger hair. His chest was tight, he couldn’t breathe. Derek reached out his fingers gently touched the glass. It felt like the strongest barricade to him. It wasn’t just the window that was keeping him from running after her. There was something deep within screaming for him to deal with this problem now. It had gone on for a year now, and it seemed never ending.
Derek had desperately wanted his mother to like her, to love her as he did. Everything in this world seemed to grow faint as his mind replayed the proposal like a black and white film. He had got down on one knee after taking Jenni to her favourite place. The view was spectacular; the water was spread out in front of you inviting you to dive in, it was so welcoming. Then, he had asked her to marry him, and she said yes. His heart felt as if it had stopped, his chest was tight as if something were lying on him and restricting his breathing. He felt free and alive as soon as the word yes left her mouth. It was all he wanted. All he needed.
The next thing was for Jenni and his mother to meet. Derek knew that things would be difficult for his mother. She was his only child, and since his dad had died she was alone, and he became her possession. It was stifling all the time, but he accepted it, there wasn’t a lot he could do. She needed someone. He loved his mother but now she had gone too far. He wasn’t sure how he was going to forgive her.
Derek turned to look at the little old woman whose enormous presence did not match her petite size. There was no doubt who ruled the house as he grew up, but that had to change this was his life to lead and fall in love and marry whomever he wanted to. His mother approached him.
‘How could you do that?’ Derek’s mouth tightened to a thin line as he tried to control his anger. The last thing he wanted to do was lash out and say something that he was going to regret.
‘I did it for you.’ Sheila said softly, her blue eyes shining with unshed tears.
‘For me? how is driving the woman I love away helping me out?’ His voice rose with each word he spoke.
‘She’s not good enough for you.’ Tiny wrinkled hands rubbed together, nervously. One simple gold wedding band on a slender finger was being twisted.
‘You’re not going to change my mind. I can’t believe you did this.’ Derek grabbed his jacket as he stormed towards the door. One hand gripping the handle tightly, he turned to her. ‘Don’t make me choose, mother, you’ll lose.’
Derek slammed the door behind him, the ancient hinges rattled in protest. He glanced in the direction that Jenni had taken and jogged down the lane after her. A few minutes later he caught up with her as she had stopped walking. Jenni was stood looking ahead, looking beyond the idyllic setting. The expansive fields that flowed into a meadow were breath-taking, but the view didn’t matter to him, only she did. The gentle wind blew at his hair. He took a deep breath taking a gulp of air and gathered his courage. With all the time in the city, he forgot how wonderful it was to have clean air.
Derek turned to look at Jenni, for the first time he felt uneasy, scared. He wiped his hands down his thighs trying to dry his sweaty palms. His eyes followed as her hand moved to her face and brushed it across her cheek to make sure her face was dry. She had been crying, he knew it that was the last thing he wanted. He didn’t want to lose his mother, but he couldn’t lose Jenni. She was his future.
‘I know you’re there,’ Jenni said as she glanced over at him. Her eyes looking red like pieces of raw meat. She had scrubbed away most of the tears before he arrived, but her red-rimmed eyes were obvious. That was why she had run, to hide this from him. ‘This is a lovely and peaceful place. You were extremely lucky to have grown up here.’
Derek looked down at his feet. He never knew what to say when it was about childhood. Jenni had told him all about hers, and he was shocked somehow she had turned into this extraordinary woman even with everything she had lived through.
‘I told mother she couldn’t talk to you like that.’ Derek said as he walked towards her. He had desperately wanted the two of them to at least be civil to each other. His steps were slow and deliberate afraid that she might get spooked by everything and run away from him and stay away. He sat down and nibbled on his lower lip, trying to collect his thoughts. ‘I told her straight, that if I had to choose she would be the loser.’
Jenni turned to him, eyes wide her mouth open in surprise.
‘You shouldn’t have done that.’
Derek froze staring at her, looking like a stunned animal not sure what was happening. ‘What?’ He said any other words vanishing from his mind.
‘She’s your mother. You know she’s not going to be around forever and needs to make sure that you’ll be ok. You’re lucky I don’t talk to my parents.’
‘I couldn’t let her talk to you like that.’ He repeated. ‘You’ve been crying, she truly hurt you.’
‘I was hurt, but I understand. I needed to clear my mind. I love you Derek, that will never change. I was going back to talk to her, to see if we could come to an understanding.’
‘Well, when you’re ready we’ll go back together.’ Derek said taking hold of her hand bringing to his lips and kissing it.
‘No Derek, I need to do this myself. It’s between us. Your mother and I need to work it out.’ Jenni said as she smiled at him.
Derek opened and closed his mouth he didn’t want to subject Jenni to his mother again, but he saw the determination in her face. Finally, he nodded and looked out over the scenery, he took hold of her hand and gently rubbed his thumb across the top of it in a slow rhythmic motion.
Derek watched as Jenni walked into the house. He saw the two women standing by the window; he could see their mouths move as they talked. His mother’s arms were folded tight across her chest looking like the unmovable rock that she was. Jenni’s hands moved as she was obviously trying to get her message across.
He couldn’t stand it anymore; he had to know what was going on. Jenni was going to be upset with him, but he had to know.
‘I hope you understand.’ Jenni’s voice came clearly through the door.
Derek opened it and looked at the two women they were smiling at each other. He was so terribly confused.
‘What’s going on?’ Derek asked eyes darting nervously between them.
Jenni walked over smiling taking hold of his hand. ‘Every thing’s going to be ok.’ Jenni said standing on her tiptoes to give him a kiss on the cheek.
‘Every thing’s going to be fine.’ His mother whispered her voice cracking with emotion.
‘Mum.’ Derek said softly turning to her, his voice softening.
‘It’s been a long time since I heard you call me that. I just needed to make sure you were truly happy. That the person you end up with makes you happy.’
‘She does, Jenni makes me happier than I could have ever imagined.’ Derek replied simply not needing to say anything more.
‘I love you son, I’ll always be watching over you.’ Sheila looked around the house.
‘You’re right, a family should be here. Do what you think is right? You have a good heart, son, you take after your father.’
‘I love you mum.’ Derek whispered tears falling; he wrapped his arms tightly around.
Jenni watching as his mother slowly disappeared. She held him tightly, the pain and grief finally overtaking him after all this time.
‘Let it out.’ Jenni whispered.
‘She’s finally gone.’ Derek couldn’t believe the loss he felt, the pain was overwhelming and creating a black hole inside. His mother had died a year ago, but she had haunted her home. They could never sell it because everything she did. It was the first time he realised why she had stayed around. She was his mother. This was how she was before his father had died, before she has changed to a cold-hearted woman. She wanted to make sure he was happy, and somehow Jenni had managed to convince her.
He would ask her what was said, eventually. For the moment, Jenni would help him grieve and would be by his side every step of the way. One day, far in the future the pain wouldn’t be so bad.