Sunday, June 28, 2020

Independence (short story) by Leanne Dyck

A tale of how two brothers gained independence.

This short story was inspired by Canada Day (July 1st) and Independence Day (July 4th).

photo by ldyck


Elizabeth had two sons Ulysses and Cameron. She loved both of her sons equally.

Finances were merger for the single-parent household. So, in addition to his schoolwork, Ulysses contributed financially first by doing odd jobs around the neighbourhood and then by getting a part-time job at a local fast food joint. He brought every cent home to his mom. Elizabeth, alone, paid the bills and managed the cash flow.

"If I'm old enough to earn it, I'm old enough to manage it," Ulysses told his mom.

"We need to eat not buy new sneakers," Elizabeth told him. 

The two of them fought. It got so bad that one day, Ulysses told his mom, "That's it. I'm out of here." He couldn't stand to think of his little brother being raised by such a control freak so he added, "And Cameron is coming with me."

Fighting back tears, Elizabeth shot back, "Go, but your brother is staying with me."

Though tons of people just called Cameron "lil bro" and thought the best compliment they could give him was to tell him that he was just like Ulysses, it was plain to Elizabeth how different they were. Cameron was a gentle spirit. Instead of fighting for independence, he choose quiet moments to talk about it with her. And eventually, she did let him move away to attend university but she couldn't stop worrying about him. So she phoned or texted everyday and visited him once a month. She brought care packages, tidied his dorm room and did his laundry.

After work one night, she was waiting for a bus when a skinhead with hate tattoos grabbed her purse. She'd just been paid. It was stupid, but she held onto the straps. He drew a knife.

"Help," she screamed.

Out of the shadows, her baby boy, Cameron leapt to her defense. Just because he choose not to fight didn't mean he couldn't. With a well placed blow, Cameron knocked the knife out of the assailant's hand and saved his mother. 

From that day forward Elizabeth's respect for her youngest son grew. She stepped back more and more to allow Cameron to deal with his own affairs. And in this way, Cameron earned his independence. 

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On this blog in July...

Two short stories and two book reviews

July 5
short story:  A Fish on the Hayfield
how I became a writer

July 12
book review:  Room
Emma Donoghue
One of my favourite books

July 19
short story:  Maybe Me (romance)
slightly odd but, you know, isn't love like that

July 26
book review:  My Sister, the Serial Killer
Oyinkan Braithwaite
darkly comic thriller

I'm still here.

photo by ldyck

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